5/27 – Headline changed from An Amusing Look at Science to An Amusing Look at Food Science
This article has been thoroughly edited and updated since its original posting. After some serious reflection on the entire video I posted below, I shifted my opinion quite a bit – to the point of agreeing with the first half of it, but vehemently disagreeing with the second half. This is indeed very strange.
In my excitement about the part I do agree with, I just didn’t focus as much as I should have on the latter part and how it doesn’t represent my views at all. Instead of just deleting the whole post, I decided to write this disclaimer and leave the post.
My sincere apologies for my lack of attention to certain details the first time around. JK/S4H
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I recently stumbled upon the video below, called Science For Smart People and found it to be funny – and highly controversial and downright offensive at times. Speaking to a very loose, (drunk?) and interactive audience on board a cruise ship, Tom Naughton, writer and director of the documentary Fathead, lends a plucky bent to what makes science, science. At first it all rings true as he focuses mostly on science as it applies to drugs, food woo and current nutrition fads, underscoring the distinction between observational and clinical studies and how preconceived beliefs inform understanding. So far, so good, right? Well, then it goes awry with a one-size-fits-all accusation that scientists are liars in the name of profits, namely, the scientists who work for Big Pharma and Big Food.
That’s when I began to wince – as it riques of something akin to Monsanto bashing and chemtrails… so again, I take it all with a grain of Himalayan salt. The first part of it is still worth watching though because it is funny and actually does do a good job of explaining the scientific method to non-scientifically minded folks.
I visited Naughton’s Fathead website and found a lot of criticism of the food pyramid, of current mainstream nutritional advice and of food regulatory agencies. It comes across as ‘conspiracy theory-ish’ to me but again, I still enjoyed the earlier part of the video and upon first glance, believe at least some of what he claims on his website to be worthy of a further look-see.
I did comment on his youtube channel that he paints all scientists with one brushstroke – public, private, all. It comes across as if he the comedian thinks he knows more about science than scientists do, which actually makes him look kind of ridiculous after sounding pretty good at first!
He parodies Morgan Spurlock‘s movie Super Size Me in his Fathead documentary and claims not only that the “obesity” epidemic is overstated but that fast food is unfairly blamed. Hmm. I don’t think I buy that but I’m willing to consider a few points he makes.