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Brett Black

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Everything posted by Brett Black

  1. The all-cause mortality hazard ratio you're qoting above is derived from combining the data from both male and female Adventists, but there may be some value in examining these issues with gender taken into account. According to what you've written here, it is the vegetarian Adventist males who are the real comparative standouts - outliving the male Okinawans by almost 10 years, whilst the female Adventists are "only" managing an extra 4 years over the female Okinawans. If you examine the table from [2] you can see that it was the male vegans who had the lowest all-cause hazard ratio risk of all (male?) dietary groups (beating the pesco-vegetarians): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191896/table/T4/ The all-cause mortality hazard ratio of the females vegans (0.97) did not actually reach significance according to the paper [2]: "Vegans had significantly reduced risk in both sexes combined for other mortality (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.56–0.99) and in men for all-cause mortality (0.72; 0.56–0.92), IHD mortality (0.45; 0.21–0.94), and CVD mortality (0.58;0.38–0.89)."
  2. Brett Black

    Epigenetics and "Intelligent Design"

    But why assume that humans/life/consciousness/this-particular-universe is somehow inherently "special" in the first place? Why would a universe without humans/life/consciousness be any less inherently special? Brett, I agree that we tend to have a strong anthropocentric bias. While I think humans are a (local?) maximum in "interesting complexity" in our universe, even if we weren't here I think the universe would be "special" (i.e. in need of explaining) because of the amazing complexity that has arisen from such (apparently) homogeneous and "boring" beginnings. The best cosmological theory at the moment (the Big Bang theory), says our universe started out as a (nearly) uniform soup of subatomic particles. The laws of physics appear to be tuned to enable (at least very occasionally) extremely intricate and complex structures to evolve from this very humble beginning. This tendency alone (whether humans emerged or not) would seem to require some sort of explanation, rather than just being a brute fact. Perhaps it was a super-being who tuned it, or perhaps it's a result of anthropic bias - there are a huge number of universes with different laws of physics, and we (naturally) find ourselves in one of the very few that are tuned to support the emergence of complex structure, and eventually life and intelligence. Attributing inherent significance to complexity just seems like yet more anthropocentric bias to me. Why the bias against attributing significance to homogeneity? Furthermore, an inability or unwillingness to entertain alternative universes which function in bizarrely different ways to the known universe(not just, for example, merely extrapolating known physics with tweaks to various constants etc) may, again, be a reflection and limitation and bias of the human(s) involved. Just generally, doesn't attempting to explain the perceived specialness of the universe with a special intelligent creative being/force, just move the question from what created the special universe, to what created the special creator of the universe?
  3. Brett Black

    Epigenetics and "Intelligent Design"

    The fine-tuning idea sounds like a set up for a tautology and self-bias to me. E.g. "humans/life/consciousness/this-particular-universe is so special, therefore there must be some special reason behind/explaining its origins." But why assume that humans/life/consciousness/this-particular-universe is somehow inherently "special" in the first place? Why would a universe without humans/life/consciousness be any less inherently special?
  4. Brett Black

    Elevated fasting glucose

    I thought this study might be of relevance:
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