About

Why You’re Wrong is weekly show by Tim Wilson and Jesse Dybka that focuses on current news topics and common beliefs that need a little reason and critical thinking applied. Why You’re Wrong will let you know, well, why you’re wrong.

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3 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi,

    I enjoy your podcast, thanks for doing it. If I’m remembering correctly, there was a diet show in which Jesse made the popular thermodynamics claim about nutrition, or the calories in, calories out claim. I could be remembering incorrectly, but if not, have either of you considering applying skepticism to that claim? Not the law of thermodynamics, of course, but whether that concept really applies to our nutrition, specifically weight gain.

    I’m reading Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat,” and he debunks the calories in, calories out myth pretty well, and attributes obesity to hormonal dysfunction (increased insulin in the body due to excess carbohydrates, which causes insulin resistance, which causes more insulin in the body, and insulin levels control the body’s fat regulation).

    Here are some articles better summarizing this skepticism, and of course if you’re interested, Taube’s book is great.

    http://authoritynutrition.com/debunking-the-calorie-myth/

    http://davidgillespie.org/why-the-first-law-of-thermodynamics-has-no-place-in-human-nutrition/

    Would be curious as to your response, even if brief. Thanks!

  2. Hi David,

    I think we’ve talked about that in a few episodes at this point so I forget offhand the specific things we said about ‘calories in, calories out’. My main issue with everything that I’ve read from people claiming CICO isn’t true (or correct, or whatever synonym) for weight gain, loss, and maintenance is that they do a terrible job of defining their terms and arguments.

    From what I remember we had spoken about it on an episode about diminishing returns and about how it’s the most fundamental part of nutrition. It’s an inescapable fact of our universe that–however much these writers debate its relevance–the first law of thermodynamics governs energy use. You can’t dismiss it just because OTHER things will come into play with human metabolism and nutrition. Just because CICO is a baseline oversimplification doesn’t mean it’s wrong, just that it’s most useful when painting with broad strokes (as we were doing in the episode.) There’s a lot of information out there (good and bad) about nutrition and weight management but the underlying principle of CICO is involved whether they like it or not.

    The argument that I see frequently is something along these lines:
    – CICO is related to thermodynamics and is frequently talked about in regards to nutrition
    – there’s more to nutrition than simply CICO
    – therefore CICO doesn’t relate to nutrition

    And it’s just non-sensical. It’s the logical equivalent of saying speed doesn’t matter in racing cars because you don’t hold down your accelerator the whole race. Traction, fuel management, racing lines, strategy, manoeuvres, etc. all play a roll, and oftentimes slower cars can beat faster ones when they take all the other aspects of racing into account. But it’s ludicrous to say that speed isn’t the baseline factor in winning a race, the same way as saying that CICO isn’t the baseline factor in weight management.

  3. I’d like to hear your thoughts, such as they are, about the following questions:
    In what domains can science (and data using the scientific method) be considered the final arbiter of truth, and in what domains is it not the final arbiter? And, obviously, why?

    Sub-questions:
    How clearly do “people” (the public) understand what is meant by “science?”
    To what extent, if any, can science be used to justify moral judgments?
    Does all data collection using the scientific (Baconian) method qualify as “science,” or is much of it just non-scientific data?

    Also, a nitpick: It was mentioned in a previous episode that during the Second World War most aircraft were unpainted due to the added speed advantage. If speed were the only factor, this would have been a valid idea, but not being seen is equally important. While some USAAF bombers (B-29s) and interceptors (some P-47s and Mustangs) were slick towards the end of the war, British combat aircraft remained painted green-brown camouflage above and sky blue below (Fleet Air Arm camo was sea blue over sky blue). Most USAAF and Navy planes also remained painted something (often olive drab or sea blue). This makes sense from another point of view; a huge percentage of aircraft destroyed were on the ground at the time, and camouflage would make it harder to locate and aim at them while hurtling past at 500-kph. The same applies when being seen from above while flying. If somebody blows up your plane on the field, the extra twenty kph won’t be decisive.
    During Korea and Vietnam, USAF planes were a mix of silver and green-camo. The visibility compromise of light reflecting off shiny aluminum was apparently a decisive factor, and the final result was that now all combat aircraft (pretty much worldwide) are painted something, often haze gray. I guess that would be ‘grey’ to Canadians.

    Keep up the great work!

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