An example of simplistic settled science

When people start asserting that the science is settled or going on about the physics or whatnot, it is a good clue that a skeptic’s view is needed. Diet is one of those. The simplistic view is that weight is simply a matter of energy in versus energy out. New Studies Eat Into Diet Math describes how this simple arithmetic model is perhaps too simplistic.

the 3,500-calorie rule of thumb gets things very wrong over the long term, and has led health analysts astray. Much bigger dietary changes are needed to gain or shed pounds than the formula suggests.

Whether the topic is human body chemistry or climate or any other complex system, simplistic models seldom function well for representing reality over more than very restricted conditions. The use of such models in trying to regulate public health or other behavior should be suspect.

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