Thursday, October 25, 2012

Weight Loss and Other Inexact Sciences

Another hurricane is on the way to us here in the Atlantic northeast. Sandy is meeting a western front, and creating a nor'easter to rival the Perfect Storm of 1991. A major movie was made from that one, so we're dreading what's in store for us. Forecasters and radars (which one ignores at one's peril) predicted Sandy will be here early next week, the last few days of October. Might not be as bad as all that, I hope not. Might not happen at all. But Holy Flying Dinosaurs, the television media has already begun scaring the living daylights out of us...

And yet how often are weather events correctly forecast? Weather Science is an inexact science.

Earth Science is not an exact science either, but Italy is going to imprison seven Earth Scientists to six years in prison for incorrectly issuing false reassurance that a major 6.3-magnitude earthquake that ultimately happened on the 6 April 2009 and killed 308 people would not follow weaker tremors. An open letter to the Italian president from 5000 international scientists asserts the charges are unfounded. A case of injustice if I've ever heard one.

If this post is going to be about inexact sciences, there are thousands of examples. But what are the exact sciences?

(W) Exact Sciences:

An exact science is any field of science capable of accurate quantitative expression or precise predictions and rigorous methods of testing hypotheses, especially reproducible experiments involving quantifiable predictions and measurements. Physics and Chemistry can be considered as exact sciences in this sense.

The term implies a dichotomy between these fields and others, such as the humanities.

Weight loss is definitely another inexact science in general. There's a wonderful BBC documentary by Dr. Michael Mosley I've watched twice this week about the 5:2 diet. This article describes the diet that might actually work, and inspires this writer. For two days a week, women eat 400-500 calories, and men eat 500-600. The other five days a week are unregulated. Any amount of calories is fine, up to about 2200. In this way, the BBC announcer claims he dropped fourteen pounds in six weeks.

I wrote about another diet way back in this post -- the "Sociable Diet." Any way to lose weight that works, like making money, is the best way. Be inspired. And listen to scientists even if the science is inexact.


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