Caloric expenditure is not strictly a function of behavior. Holding all else constant, including amount of exercise, reducing caloric intake will also reduce expenditure.
I know, this is why when people stop dieting and return to their original level of consumption, they sometimes end up heavier than before, as Janet mentioned. It's usually better to increase exercise rather than decrease calorie intake, but this thread is about diet, so I haven't really gone into that.
Sometimes it will reduce it by more than the reduction in intake.
Not to say it ca...
Thanks for pointing out something else I should have clarified in my first post.
I'm not trying to compare the metabolisms of multiple people. Some people can eat a lot more than others and maintain a healthy weight.
All I'm saying is that if a single person wants to lose weight, and they reduce their caloric intake (or increase caloric expenditure) while keeping everything else the same as they were doing before, they will lose weight. And I agree that if the person returns to old habits, they will gradually return to their original weight.
You're right in...
I agree with everything you said until you mentioned that sugar is the real cause of people overeating. There are a lot of possible reasons for someone to overeat, and none of them, in my opinion, are solely dietary. The cause may be psychological - for example, a lot of people eat when they're depressed or bored. I myself sometimes succumb to the latter. Some people hate to exercise. Willpower will help in all of those cases.
The only case I can think of where sugar might be considered the culprit is if someone drinks way too many sodas, for example. ...
From the New York Times article:
On the one hand, we've been told with almost religious certainty by everyone from the surgeon general on down, and we have come to believe with almost religious certainty, that obesity is caused by the excessive consumption of fat, and that if we eat less fat we will lose weight and live longer.
Either Taubes is throwing out a straw man here, or his opponents are ridiculously simplistic. It's pretty well established that some fat can be good for you, and length of life is based on a whole ton of factors.
The problem with...
China's been using that strategy for a very long time, and it's netted them quite a large expanse of territory. I would argue that China's current powerful position on the world stage is mainly because of that policy.
Of course, if space colonization gets underway relatively soon, then the nibbling strategy is nearing the end of its usefulness. On the other hand, if it take a couple hundred more years the nibbling can still see some real gains, relative to more cooperative countries.
Territorial expansion didn't work for the Nazis because they didn't stop with just Austria and Czechoslovakia. The allies didn't declare war until Germany invaded Poland, and even then they didn't really do anything until France was invaded.
It seems to me that the pluralistic countries aren't willing to risk war with a major power for the sake of a small and distant patch of land (and this goes double if nuclear weapons are potentially involved). They have good reason for their reluctance - the risks aren't worth the rewards, especially over the short te...
"(and why did it take so long for people to figure out the part about empirical verification)?"
Most of the immediate progress after the advent of empiricism was about engineering more than science. I think the biggest hurdle wasn't lack of understanding of the importance of empirical verification, but lack of understanding of human biases.
Early scientists just assumed that they were either unbiased or that their biases wouldn't affect the data. They had no idea of the power of expectation and selection biases, placebo effects, etc. It wasn't ...
Neanderthals were also in the Near East.
You have a point about the cultural explosion, though. Africans don't seem to be less cultural than non-Africans, despite the fact that they don't seem to have any links to Neanderthals. It occurs to me that this lack of a link, after all this time, exemplifies how slow gene sweep is in a population as numerous, long-lived, and spread out as humanity.
Actually, there is genetic evidence now.
There are genes lacked by Africans that are shared by Neanderthals and non-Africans. Interbreeding seems the most likely explanation for this pattern.
I'm going to nitpick a couple points here.
"There is considerable psychological variance between dog breeds: in 1982-2006, there were 1,110 dog attacks in the US that were attributable to pit bull terriers, but only one attributable to Border collies"
Though pit bull terriers are indeed much more dangerous than collies, it may not be entirely behavioral genetics. Unlike collies, pits are often trained to be aggressive. Pits are also simply much stronger and more resistant to pain than than collies, so their attacks are more difficult to defend ...
You have me at a disadvantage because I don't know much about the history of statistics, but here is my view. Assuming the core principles of Bayesian statistics were demonstrably effective, if they were widely accepted and then later rejected or neglected for whatever reason, then that would be regression. If Bayes' and Laplace's methods never caught on at all until a long time later, and there were no other significant advances in the field, then that would be stagnation.
By these (admittedly my own) definitions, evolutionary biology didn't regress afte...
I said progress was stagnant, not regressing. All of Darwin's books have always been widely available and read, so no information was ever lost. Some of Darwin's conjectures were deemphasized, and the biologists of the time were right to do so; they didn't yet have the techniques to prove or disprove them, and mere conjecture should never be foundations of a scientific discipline. They weren't central to the theory anyway, and even Darwin considered them just speculation.
With modern technical know-how, such as radiometric dating and molecular clocks, th...
Unless I misunderstand him, his claim is that there hasn't been clear progress in the field since Darwin. My position is that there has been clear progress in the last 60 years. I concede that progress before that was slim.
Darwin wrote more than Origin and did talk about sexual selection.
Yes, you're right. Thanks for the correction.
The bulk of my point still stands, though. Evolutionary biology has made clear progress, especially since molecular biology took off in the 50's. Simplistically speaking, evolution is composed of mutation and natural selection, the latter of which was developed impressively by Darwin. But that was only half the story, so it was left to later biologists to complete the picture.
Likewise, much in Darwin is part of contemporary evolutionary theory but was virtually unknown by evolutionary biologists half a century ago.
I disagree with the statement that evolutionary biology isn't making clear progress. I'm guessing you're talking about punctuated equilibrium, which was part of Darwin's On the Origin of Species (albeit not by that name), deemphasized by later evolutionary biologists, and later assertively brought back by Gould et al. However, this hypothesis is only vacillating in and out of 'style' because it 1) has scientifi...
I was using it to mean "arbitrarily much food". My position is similar: If you eat just until you're full and you get moderate exercise but you're still overweight, you should talk to your doctor. You may still need to change your eating or exercising habits, but you should do research first, and not make any sweeping changes all at once.
Changing your habits is always difficult, and that's where the willpower comes in. It should only be needed until you settle into your new habits, though. And you should never have to be constantly hungry, o... (read more)