Thread: Fad Diets
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
FitDay Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 143

As a disclaimer, I've been following these boards a little while now and I have a lot of respect for tandoorichicken. He has done a lot of research on his own, more than I have it seems, and though I may not always agree with him I do listen, respectfully. Now with that said I don't disagree with everything CoreyCorey has said but when it conflicts with tandoorichicken I tend to agree with tandoorichicken. But that is based on the research I've done. Now I have not read the China Study but I wouldn't base my entire nutritional outlook on one study. I like to see the empirical evidence and draw my own conclusions. So it is good that both of you have sited particular sources.


We are only human and we cannot know everything nor do we, with a few exceptions, have total recall. Therefore when we make arguments or discuss issues we tend to fall back to fallacious arguments. Calling each other on these is legitimate since it helps keep the argument honest. But in order to cut through hype and misinformation, we must always be on the look out for fallacious arguments, especially since it is so prevalent in our media.


As stated by tandoorichicken he did not actually present an ad hominem fallacy. Actually, I don't think he presents a fallacy at all.

Loren Cordain is trying to sell everyone a diet and his studies and references are sponsored by industries that are favored by his diet. He developed the diet, then developed data to support his theory.
Quack Definition -
1) A practitioner who suggests the use of substances or devices for the prevention or treatment of disease that are known to be ineffective.

2) A person who pretends to be able to diagnose or heal people, but is unqualified and incompetent.

Quack definition -
1) a fraudulent or ignorant pretender to Medical skill.
2) a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess; a charlatan.

So your premise here is that Dr. Loren Cordain formulated a diet and then 'developed data' to support his diet. If it is true he just supplied data to support his diet then this would fall in the fraudulent category. So just because you don't expressly say quack doesn't mean you aren't calling him one. I don't think it helps that in a follow up you say:

If I wanted information on how to exercise properly, I would consult Dr. Cordain, a PhD in Physical Education. If I wanted to know something about nutrition, I would consult Doctor Campbell, a Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Here you are saying because of his degree he is not qualified to present such information in the first place. Which again implies quackery.

Actually now that I think about it, your reply in essence could be taken as an ad hominem attack on tandoorichicken since you are erroneously attributing something to him expressly to help discredit his position. Wording is everything.


From CoreyCorey:
Now, the high protein crowd will run studies with people on high carb diets versus high protein diets. But if you read the studies and not just the abstracts, they use things like potato chips, white bread, pasta, and other processed carbs to skew the studies to show the benefits of high protein. Anyone trying to sell you a fad diet is going to show you studies that are skewed to their way of thinking. Loren Cordain is trying to sell everyone a diet and his studies and references are sponsored by industries that are favored by his diet. He developed the diet, then developed data to support his theory.


Dr. Colin Campbell is a scientist in the strictest sense. He was actually hired to prove that protein deficiency was causing cancer in children. He performed a very scientific study with no pre-conceived bias and eventually his study became the most thorough study in nutrition ever conducted. His data taking has been peer reviewed and found to have exceptional accuracy. He has around 750 references in his study. He promotes a lifestyle based on health and performance and not one that focuses entirely on looks. How many athletes do you know who eat a high protein diet? The best endurance athletes in the world eat 75%+ carbs in their diets.
This could be construed as a fallacious argument. What makes Dr. Colin Campbell better than Dr. Loren Cordain. You are obviously trying to discredit Dr. Cordain here even so far as not using his honorific but what makes Dr. Campbell any better. He was hired by someone, you said, so that could already introduce bias. Was Dr. Cordain's research peer reviewed? That would be an important piece of information. You say, Dr. Campbell has 750 references in his study but were these cherry picked?


I could keep this up. And though I see the most fallacious arguments with CoreyCorey I see a few with tandoorichicken as well. The point of an argument is to sway your opponent or audience to your way of thinking. But I think we should try to do it ethically, meaning with the least amount of fallacies as possible. I think some are unavoidable like appeals to authority especially when you can't site specifics and we are all guilty of using anecdotal evidence. At any rate, I hope we can all agree that we are trying to present in our own opinions the best advice we can for our fellow fitdayers. So with that in mind, I think this thread has been very educational and because of it I will be expanding my library.

Last edited by yauncin; 07-02-2010 at 04:18 PM.
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