Cherry Picking Science

Well folks, if you’ve got feathers, they may or may not get ruffled with this one. In today’s day and age, health, medicine, and nutrition is guided by science. And in part, I’d argue rightfully so. This is a sensitive issue in many ways, but I’d like to at least bring it up to induce some higher level thinking and discussion.

Yet, if it takes science (funded studies, clinical trials, etc) to do anything with legitimacy in our society, it seems clear that the obvious vested interest will have a direct affect on the science that is done. For example, there’s a reason there aren’t any scientific studies that prove or disprove the efficacy of protein synthesis in 20-30 year old males on Tuesday’s while holding a handstand. That’s because no one cares and it’s a waste of money. And, in that ridiculous example, for good reason. Conversely, take a look at where our society is flexing its scientific muscles. Millions and millions of dollars are spent on the things that we pay for, like cholesterol lowering drugs, anti-depression, cancer, etc.

Mobile Marek.

What am I saying? The priority in scientific work occurs where there is business and vested interest. (I am not saying we shouldn’t spend money on things like cancer research.)

As someone in the business of Omega 3, I see this stuff first hand. Luckily, science is readily available for fish oil and other sources of Omega 3. Why? Because, it’s a billion dollar industry. There are some flaws with this, though. For example, people will continue to knock things like eating real food for health because it lacks science. Think there are any studies showing a Paleolithic diet’s effect on asthma patients? No chance. Why? Not because there isn’t juicy data there, but because farmers markets don’t fund research. Plus, as you can see in this wonderful TED Talk, we continually cherry pick research to paint the pictures that need painting:


So, what do we do? I think we’d agree the answer isn’t to stop science. Maybe we ought not lean so heavily on science that is influenced by our needs. Maybe we’d benefit from the pursuit of science for the sake of science. Maybe we should incentivize our scientists to work more freely. There’s no way that many scientists are giddy about statins, anyway.  I, for one, take studies with a grain of salt, since I can find ten or more studies both for and against any hot topic in medicine.

Logan Gelbrich


Monday’s Workout:

Complete the following for time:
Part A: Run 400m
Part B:
3 rounds:
15 Double KB Cleans
50m Bear Crawl
400m Run

**Athletes receive two scores, one for part A and another for part A & B

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