One of my favourite quotes is by Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman that says, “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts”. Knowledge is never settled. What we believed 50 years ago is not what we may believe today. Experts who claim that they know best may be (at times) well intended but their ideas must always be challenged.
Science fiction can become science fact in a short space of time. The communicator used in Star Trek in the late 1960’s is like the flip mobile phone of a few years ago.
Science fact can also become science fiction. We no longer believe the earth is flat or that the sun revolves around the earth. Yet in their day “experts” told everyone that was the case. Those with other ideas face heavy penalties.
Today it is still the case that experts cling to their ideas despite proof that they are wrong. Last week I wrote about the miniscule effect on life expectancy that comes from taking statin medications. Have any experts come out and acknowledged this? Of course not!
Recall also the hysteria about the Catalyst program, which raised legitimate questions about the use of statins.
“Experts” claimed that thousands would die as a result and pilloried the presenter. Whilst heretics are not jailed or executed any more, the principal of seeking to destroy those who question “experts and high priests of science” has not changed.
In a similar vein experts have told us to avoid full fat milk, butter and a host of other foods. This was based largely on the work of Ancel Keys in the 1950’s who established a correlation between consumption of saturated fats and heart disease.
There was one small problem though. Keys only used countries where his theory fitted. If all the countries that he studied were included then his correlation pretty much disappeared.
Thus the “fat is bad” mantra was born and people worldwide have been told by “experts” to switch to low fat milk and other low fat products. And we did.
Some public health officials love to claim that people haven’t followed their advice. The reality is that we have – to our detriment.
The end result has been a massive increase in obesity and type two diabetes. The latter being conclusively shown to be due to consumption of refined carbohydrates (sugars). This stimulates insulin production (which inhibits fat burning) and eventually insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes.
When fat is removed from foods it is replaced with sugar. Thus low fat foods not only are not good for us, they are possibly the worst types of foods to eat.
The USA has made a massive change in its dietary guidelines in removing any upper limit of fats in the diet. Yet many “experts” continue to oppose this. Here in Australia any questioning about nutritional guidelines was described as providing “…further needless fuel for the fire”.
How dare anyone question conventional thinking and the experts who promote it?
How dare anyone publish a contrary view?
Simply appalling don’t you think?
Meanwhile a report by Credit Suisse shows consumers are far smarter than experts. It finds that the public is increasingly eating more full fat foods. In the first quarter of 2015 sales of full fat milk rose 6% whilst skim milk sales fell 14%.
This was described as being part of a trend to wholesome foods and away from processed foods. Interestingly obesity rates in the USA have plateaued – this may be coincidental but I doubt it.
The experts were wrong about fats in the diet. This we can forgive as it seemed reasonable at the time. The evidence that fats in the diet are fine and that low fat and high sugar food are the problem is clear.
The experts will not recant in the face of overwhelming evidence. Marlon Brando from The Godfather best sums up my view on this “…that I do not forgive”.
This article first appeared on www.drjoetoday.com