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Debunking the religion of ‘settled science’

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Once upon a time there was a government that actually listened to the scientific community…

Nope. Never happened.

What actually happens is a lot more mysterious than the twists and turns of scientific inquiry. You see, those bits of information come from squinty-eyed lab coats that ask uncomfortable questions and get answers even they don’t like. But I digress.

In the 1950s some researchers had found that a diet rich in animal fats seemed to raise serum cholesterol. Ancel Keys firmly believed that this led to more heart attacks, so he studied diet and health in seven countries from 1958-1964. He chose not to include France and Switzerland, two countries likely to contradict his theory. Instead he used Greece, Italy, and Yugoslavia, countries that were undergoing massive dietary changes due in part to post World War II economic changes. In Finland 992 men per 10,000 died of heart attacks. In Crete only 9 of 10,000 did. It had to be the olive oil on Crete instead of the animal fats in Finland that made the difference.

True scientists would note that Keys didn’t prove anything about animal fats and heart attacks. First, his “selection bias” led to an experiment designed to support his beliefs. Second, East Finland had three times as many heart attacks as West Finland, in spite of all other factors being equal. But let’s leave the terrible design of the Seven Countries Study for the moment.

In The Big Fat Surprise, Nina Teicholz tells about Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a Harvard trained anthropologist who lived with the Inuit in the Canadian arctic in 1906. He lived their life style, with 70-80% of all calories from animal fat. Red meat was dog food. Vegetables were added only when they were unsuccessful at hunting. (“Vegetarian” is an Inuit word for “bad hunter.”) During the polar night, light was so poor that they could not do much outside safely, so they didn’t even exercise much. Yet, in Stefansson’s 1946 book Not by Bread Alone, he noted that the Inuit were the “healthiest people I had ever lived with.” They had no obesity and almost no disease.

In 1928, Stefansson and a colleague, under rigorous supervision, ate nothing but meat and water for a full year. After the year, the two men were carefully examined, and found to be fully healthy. They didn’t even get scurvy, since they ate the whole animal, including bones, liver, and brain, which have Vitamin C. So thirty years before Ancel Keys, we already knew that he was wrong.

The problem is simple. There’s no such thing as “settled science.” But anyone who wrote contradicting Keys got such a tongue-lashing in the journals that they tucked their tails between their legs and slunk away.

“Science” is not an answer, it’s a method. First, a researcher sets up a test designed to prove his theory wrong. You read that correctly. Every good piece of science is set up to show that the researcher’s idea is bad. Only good ideas can survive that sort of inquiry. Then, when the first researcher says, “My study showed that the ‘null hypothesis’ is wrong,” another researcher sets up a different way to prove the idea wrong. Only when the experimental hypothesis is confirmed by repeated experimentation can we have real confidence in our answer. By the way, most studies can’t be confirmed.

As a physician, I have lived this process for decades. There are many ideas in medicine that have been promoted as “gospel truth,” just to be disproved later. But this kind of uncertainty is simply not good enough for the political class.

The Political Prime Directive is “Do Something!” It doesn’t have to work. In fact, you don’t really have to do anything. You just have to look busy. That will tell gullible voters that you are “fighting for them.” Reality is unimportant.

In the case of diet, we find that the McGovern Committee of the Senate created in response to an overhyped 1967 CBS “documentary” titled “Hunger in America” was the prime mover. The Committee pushed for federal guidelines on nutrition best exemplified by the “food pyramid.”

Food Pyramid

The “bread, cereal, rice, and pasta group” makes up half of the dietary recommendation. If we add fruits, which have lots of sugar, that portion increases. Add in “use fats and oils sparingly,” and we have the High Carb/Low Fat modern dietary recommendations. And as Dr. Jason Fung shows in The Diabetes Code, high carbohydrate intake causes Type II Diabetes. The only cure is a High Fat/Low Carb diet with intermittent fasting. When I titled my YouTube video on the subject Your Government is Out to Kill You, I meant it. Let’s consider the facts.

Scientific inquiry is never finished, and even such simple ideas as Newton’s three Laws of Motion are never fully explained. Quantum theory continues with more and more detailed understanding, at times contradicting what was proposed before. We thought that general relativity required time dilation at high speeds, but now we believe that space itself may be able to move through space. And if that’s confusing, then imagine how legislators must feel when they consider scientific questions.

Most legislators are trained in law, not science. So when a “scientist” comes to them with an apparent answer to a supposed problem, they are, like most gullible people, ready to buy into the proposed solution. After all, they’ve been hired to “do something,” and when someone with the right letters after their name comes to the Emerald City, the Great and Powerful Oz must follow their recommendations.

There are many others with proper academic credentials who present information that contradicts the High Priests of Carbohydrates. But those researchers don’t represent farmers who “need” protection from crop failures and can contribute to political campaigns. So our benevolent CongressCritters vote for wheat and sugar subsidies that kill us with obesity and Type II Diabetes in exchange for a never-ending stream of money for them. All this is justified under the General Welfare clause of the Preamble to the US Constitution.

Not surprisingly, wheat and sugar subsidies result in more wheat and sugar being grown. To prevent a glut in these commodities, Congress passed various bills to limit the acreage devoted to them. So now farmers could get paid for not growing crops. A series of “fixes” has followed, but no one seems willing to challenge the wisdom of promoting crops that kill us. Or for that matter, promoting anything from DC.

And that brings us to another imagined pending apocalypse. We’ve been serenaded by a chorus claiming that 97% of scientists agree that we are facing a man-made crisis in our climate. The carbon dioxide we make as a by-product of fossil fuels is somehow turning the earth into an oven. Alexandria Airhead-Cortez has declared that we have only twelve years left, and every Democrat Presidential Candidate has taken up the refrain.

Rather than debunk of the 97% myth again, let us simply realize that it is “a lie of epic proportions.” So is almost everything else about “global warming.” Remember the nature of science. It makes predictions. If the UN IPCC predictions fail, then the ideas that support those predictions are scientifically wrong.

Certain facts are abundantly clear. Our current global temperature is cooler than it was during the Roman Climate Optimum or the Medieval Warm Period, yet the prophets of climate doom deny this fact to create a “hockey stick” graphic supposedly showing a catastrophic warming trend. They use this “garbage in, garbage out” starting point to create a set of computer models that predict massive warming if we did not reduce our CO2 output.

Temperature Anomoly

But the recent path of temperatures hasn’t been so supportive of their predictions. Since 1998, there has been no net warming. The UAH (light green) graphic is the gold standard of the data, and its average (dotted line) is flattening. Ditto for the HadCrut data.

IPCC Predictions

In short, the IPCC has been crying “Wolf!” And when we plot actual global temperatures, we find that they have nothing to do with CO2.

Geological Timescale

In particular, the medieval warm period ended in the Little Ice Age about 1250AD. And it was only one of several warm periods unrelated to industrial activity or burning of fossil fuels. In short, something bigger is going on.

Average Near-Surface Temperatures

Is that big thing solar cycles? El Nino/La Nina? Cloud dynamics? Ozone holes? Volcanic activity? Cow farts? There are so many factors and so many possibilities that no one has anything close to a complete understanding. About the only thing we can be sure about is that CO2 isn’t a problem. The Gospel of Man-Caused Global Warming is a religion, it’s not a scientific truth.

The current level of atmospheric CO2 is far below the level easily identified in ancient times. And life was flourishing then, just as it is now. If CO2 levels were to rise, as greenhouse operators do artificially, plants would grow better. And they would use less water, making sub-Saharan Africa into a garden. If CO2 falls by a third, most plants would die. Then what would all those carbon-free vegans eat?

CO2 isn’t even a potent greenhouse gas. It’s easily outstripped by methane, which is utterly dwarfed by water vapor. In short, the tiff over CO2 is about as important as worrying about what Congress will do when it isn’t in session. If you want to control the earth’s temperature, control its clouds.

But we have a spectacle every few weeks where uninformed and overexposed Democrats blather on about a non-existent catastrophe that has been perpetually just around the next corner. New York and Miami are about to be flooded by a rising sea level. Reality simply can’t enter their bubble for the same reason that crop subsidies don’t die. “Climate Change” creates massive donations to political campaigns. Once elected those ignorant legislators create subsidies to their favored researchers and businesses who return the favor with more money and alarmist projections.

The Law of Subsidy is again proven. When you subsidize climate hysteria, you get more of it. It becomes more expensive because its rent-seekers promote rules that cost you and me money through CAFE standards, eagle-killing windmills, and loan guarantees to Solyndra. There are lots of Tesla cars on the road because the Feds gave Tesla over $700 million in subsidies, just in the third quarter of 2018. (Who said Elon Musk wasn’t smart?) The possibilities are endless. As Ronald Reagan said, “The closest thing to immortality is a federal program.” The reason is simple. The Law of Subsidy creates harmful and perverse incentives.

Subsidies create financial gains for donors and power for those inside the Beltway. If Congress were to eliminate subsidies to climate hysteria or agriculture, CongressCritters would lose mutually beneficial relationships with those donors. What’s not to like?

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

Whatever happened to Betsy Herring?

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Betsy Herring

Chances are you don’t recognize that name. Neither did I until today. I usually don’t do Democrats, but I’m going to make a brief exception this time.

I can honestly tell you that I would have been less surprised to learn that Massachusetts Senator and Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren was born on Mars than I was to find out she actually came from Oklahoma. I had just seen her as a typical East Coast Ivy League liberal.

There have been other strong women born in the 46th state who made a name for themselves far beyond where they grew up. The most memorable one, I think, was U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick who served during Ronald Reagan’s first term. Interestingly, her political route was from Socialist to Democrat to Republican rather than from Republican to Democrat. She was one smart and influential lady.

But there was a generational difference as she was born during the Roaring 20’s. Elizabeth Ann Herring is a baby boomer like yours truly. Perhaps that’s why the contrast between her political development and my own seems so striking to me.

She married at 19 and then pursued her education and political career mostly back east. I was only 6 years old when we moved out west to Oregon. I was back in Oklahoma a couple times briefly between ages 11 and 13.

I’m interested in what it was that motivated the candidate now known as Liz to embrace far left politics. Either she is a hard left ideologue or an opportunist. Both, in my book, would disqualify her from becoming President and Commander-in-Chief.

We are both of the same vintage and both come from working-class Oklahoma families. The Vietnam War is probably what drastically altered the course of my life. After spending teenage years in Southern California, my military service took me overseas and interrupted my pursuit of higher education.

I’m purposely not saying much about my own background because it isn’t the issue and you have no reason to care. But what was it during the education and career of Elizabeth Warren that changed her life trajectory so drastically?

I did a little research but it’s fascinating to consider what her own immediate family and childhood friends think now about her so-called progressive views compared to her former ones. If I were in their position, I suppose I would be harping at her to reconsider.

I guess the way I found out that she was originally from Oklahoma was when I heard that she claimed to be of Cherokee ancestry. I knew the Cherokee homelands were in the southeast and that they were forcibly relocated over the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory.

I was surprised that she had never spent more time finding out about her alleged Native American heritage. I went so far as to obtain a citizenship card from the tribe to which I belong. A majority of my classmates during the brief time I was back in Oklahoma during 6th and 7th grades all said they were part Indian.

I will interject here that I am not thrilled about conservatives using mischaracterizations of indigenous people to refute and ridicule Elizabeth Warren’s claims. I would ask that they simply respect Native American culture and focus their criticism upon the candidate herself.

This curiosity about how a girl from Oklahoma could become a powerful woman from Massachusetts, along with recent indications that she may soon be the front-runner for the Democrat nomination, are what led me to look at her more closely. I also live in a deep blue state. A Republican has a far better chance of getting elected in Massachusetts than here in Hawaii.

But I’ve always been one to buck the trends. As an Okie kid in the smoggy urban jungle of West Los Angeles, I took every opportunity to reinforce and reemphasize my identity because I already knew who I was before I got there. So, Liz Warren, at what point did you begin identifying more with the progressive politics of New England than the red-state mentality of your native Oklahoma?

I have not lived in Northeastern Oklahoma Green Country since 1962. I am long overdue for a visit with my cousins there. Unlike Ms. Warren, I do not have siblings who still live there. But there’s a lot more than just a taste for the fried okra my mom used to fix that gives Oklahoma a very special place in my heart even now.

Hawaii is my home and will continue to be. Despite the Democrat one-party machine that controls virtually all elected offices in the 50th state, there is hope for an infusion of common sense conservatism.

Then I see how Elizabeth Warren has become part and parcel of the blue state mentality in Massachusetts. She is being swept along by the tide rather than swimming against it. It comes down to whether this was due to political expediency or a true change of heart.

I would recommend she engage in some serious introspection and articulate the origin of her political views, especially those of a social nature which contravene the family values of the majority of Oklahomans with whom she grew up. I have also brought up the same issue regarding U.S Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii who has likewise done a 180° turn.

When did the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman become negotiable as a campaign issue? Did you experience an epiphany that revealed a new truth? Or did blue state politics override your good judgment and common sense?

So, Betsy… errrr, Liz … you’ve got some explaining to do. Better SOONER than later!

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Conservatism

NeverTrump’s Achilles Heel

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Trump says peace talks with Taliban are now dead

A common refrain among NeverTrump Republicans is that Donald Trump is unfit for office by both temperament and ideology, the former being foremost in their vociferous opposition to his presidency.  On the latter point I don’t entirely disagree:  Trump was—and is—not particularly conservative, although his instincts lean in that direction, as does his governance.  Put another way, for a guy who spent most of his life as a New York Democrat, he’s been far more effective at advancing a conservative agenda than George W. Bush ever was—and with the historic number of judges confirmed by Mitch McConnell, Trump’s legacy will live on long after he leaves office.

As to NeverTrump’s supposedly principled opposition to the President’s character—well, that’s another matter.  I don’t doubt that there are a few among their number who have been consistent in that regard, but when it comes to the leadership of that movement it becomes obvious that their arguments have less to do with actual conservatism and more to do with lamenting their diminished status within a Trumpified GOP.  How else to explain the likes of Tom Nichols voicing his support for whomever the Democrats nominate in 2020, no matter how radical or socialist?  Or Bill Kristol embracing his own “inner socialist,” and declaring that he would rather be ruled by an unelected deep state than a duly-elected Donald Trump?  These are not conservative positions, any way you look at them—and they make you realize just how content Conservatism, Inc. was with the relentless leftward drift of the country and the culture, so long as they got to keep their cozy little gigs arguing over the details.

More than that, however, NeverTrump seems to have a real problem with the truth—quite ironic, considering that one of their main criticisms of Donald Trump is what they see as his serial dishonesty.  Take this tweet from Mona Charen, for example:

In case Ms. Charen needs a reminder, Bill Barr is investigating the origins of the Russia collusion hoax—an episode in which the former Secretary of State illegally ran a private email server in order to thwart federal records laws so that she could escape scrutiny for her activities with the Clinton Foundation.  It’s also beyond question that Clinton compromised national security with her actions, exposing state secrets to bad actors—including the Russians and the Chinese.  Now it has become apparent that the FBI, under the leadership of James Comey, may have coordinated with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to give Clinton a pass.  This represents an astonishing amount of corruption at the highest levels of the federal government, which is a direct threat to the rule of law.

Yet Ms. Charen seems uninterested in finding out the truth—probably because it would vindicate President Trump’s assertion that a deep state has been working to undermine his administration from the start.  This is indefensible from anything resembling a conservative point of view.  The only explanation is that Charen doesn’t care, because the truth conflicts with her political preferences.

I ran into the same issue personally with National Review’s Jay Nordlinger.  I’ve read him for years, and have always respected his writing and his dedication to conservative principle.  And even though I largely disagreed with his views on Trump, I always believed him to be arguing in good faith.  Last week, he posted this on Twitter:

To which I replied that George H.W. Bush did much the same to the Kurds in northern Iraq during the first Gulf War, after publicly admonishing them to rise up and overthrow Saddam.  The Kurds did just that, assuming they would have the military support of the United States.  Bush didn’t give that support—and American troops stood by while Saddam engaged in a wholesale slaughter.

Nordlinger, disappointingly, reacted by blocking me.

Understand that I wasn’t defending Trump’s decision to withdraw troops in Syria—I merely pointed out that one of his own personal heroes had made a similar decision, believing it to be in the best interests of the United States at the time.  That, in retrospect, it turned out to be a huge mistake that didn’t stabilize the Middle East and directly led to the rise of al Qaeda doesn’t seem to matter.  History has been subverted to politics.  Truth is now secondary.

This, more than anything, is the greatest weakness of NeverTrump.

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Culture and Religion

Should Church be the mission field?

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Should Church be the mission field

There is a growing prevalence of churches that want to draw people in to present the gospel. These churches, commonly referred to as “seeker friendly” churches have been one of the biggest trends in Christianity in the postmodern world. A comparison would be the analytics of Major League Baseball. Some people champion it; others loath it. For these seeker friendly churches are engaged in the advance usage of analytics and marketing. In the effort of not being dismissive in a traditionalist “get off my lawn” way, I want to examine, giving a fair shake, this prevalent trend in Christianity.

In the early church, it was inconceivable that churches would attract large audiences to present the gospel. During the time of persecution, Christians building coliseums for worship would have been lit as candles to light those coliseums while lions were fed to their brethren in an evening pagan spectacle. During the reign of the Papacy, this second phase of Christian history built cathedrals, however these architectural feats were never intended to be mission fields, rather home bases. The post-reformation segment of Christendom saw large gatherings and generational revivals but a large church does not equal a “seeker friendly” church. In American history, we have seen some readily obvious cycles of rebellion and repentance with the Great Awakenings. We aren’t in one of those periods of repentance as a society; we need to be, but I digress. If you build it and they will come is an entirely new phenomenon for physical churches.

I am unsure whether this phenomenon of seeker friendly is the result of the rebellion in our societies or a response to. However, many prominent proponents of seeker friendly churches have questionable theology such as Andy Stanley. Andy Stanley’s Deep and Wide is the bible for seeker friendly churches. There’s obvious problems with the seeker friendly church model that stem from belief systems that counter scripture, the Popularity Gospel as I have coined it.

But the original question was not contemplating the theological legitimacy of seeker friendly churches. Rather we are examining the use of church as the mission field which these famous megachurches’ methods have permeated into many bible believing churches. The origin comes from theologically void sources, however legitimate churches use much of these methods to increase the audience of the church, but I am wondering how these methods can increase the size of the church.

1Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NASB

So if the church is to be the mission field why then is the church not interested in preaching the gospel every Sunday? Sermons on money don’t save. Sermons on not being “judgmental” don’t save. Not even sermons on loving your neighbor save. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 concisely articulates a saving message that Paul seems to have preached regularly during his time in Corinth.

Comfort

The Good News of Jesus Christ is a call to a painful death to self, daily. No work-around backdoor preaching in a way non-believers can agree with is a sufficient substitute. Using the physical building and programs as a mission field is an unprecedented means modern Christianity finds itself in. By no means, should we turn down innovative ways to baptize believers and make disciples. However, these means must do exactly that. If the church is to draw non-Christians, specifically church adverse people, in with music, atmosphere, and accommodations then the duty of the Church to Christ is to present the gospel daily.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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