In my book The Interconnectedness of Life I argue that even though I do reference scientific studies, because science changes from one year to the next I don't heavily rely on science to back up my book. What I do however is try to state my point that a vegan lifestyle (better yet a diet of predominantly fruits and vegetables) is indeed better for our health, the health of the planet and if we care about animals.
What do you think? Do you think science is a load of quack or do you follow science and every study out there? Your opinion on the issue.
The Interconnectedness of Life a book by Michael Lanfield with foreword by Karen Davis, PhD explores the relationship between humans, animals and the Earth. It exposes the underlying reasons to the vast array of daunting problems of our time while addressing spiritual and ethical issues so we can live in a more harmonious, loving and compassionate world.
With inspiring and telling stories from Jonathan Balcombe, PhD, Karen Davis, PhD, Judy Carman, MA, David Sztybel, PhD, Matt Bear and others, this is the definite book of awakening consciousness on the planet, while saving the Earth, feeling and looking great, and best of all being kind to animals. If you truly want to understand the meaning of life and our place in this world, than this book is for you.
What people are saying about The Interconnectedness of Life
"The Interconnectedness of Life articulates in an uplifting and engaging way the many correspondences between vegan living and building a healthier world. Michael Lanfield weaves stories from his personal journey of transformation together with the latest research on nutrition and ecology. To this he adds a judicious selection of wise words from sages of many times and places. The result is a literary banquet that is sure to inspire and guide readers to greater compassion, clarity, health, and understanding. Highly recommended."
– Dr. Will Tuttle, Author of the #1 Amazon bestselling book The World Peace Diet
"If we as humans are ever to break free from the path of destruction we currently find ourselves on, it is crucial that we as a species embrace the concept of nonviolence. Veganism is a philosophy whose time has come, and in order for us to fulfill our destiny of spiritual evolution, it is one that must be recognized and adopted by every living human on this planet. Michael’s message is clear, love is the glue that connects everything to everything else, and denial of this has led to wide scale suffering for countless animals, planet wide. If we are ever to bring this planet back from the brink of seemingly inevitable despair, we must recognize animals as our brethren and realize we are here to guide and protect them, not to abuse, slaughter and gluttonously devour them, as has sadly been the case since the dawning of recorded history. The Interconnectedness of Life goes far in explaining just why we need to step back and take a look at our relationship with other earthlings, and sheds light on the daily, forced atrocities animals must endure before finally ending butchered sizzled and fried on our dinner tables."
– Mango Wodzak, Author of Destination Eden
"Reading the Interconnectedness of Life, you feel as though you are sitting with Michael himself as he opens his heart and tells his story of vegan awakening. In this genuine and heartfelt book, he covers all the reasons why human beings must end the exploitation and killing of animals, if life on earth is to survive. He also offers excellent references for further research. What I love the most about Michael’s work, though, is that he goes to the heart of the solution for us all. He makes it clear that our task “to create peace and heaven on earth” requires the raising of human consciousness to the highest level of unconditional love for all life. This book will help many people become vegan and thus, help bring peace, freedom and love to all beings."
– Judy Carman, MA, Author of Peace to all Beings and The Missing Peace
You can purchase the paperback or download the free PDF.
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greetings michael! and a belated welcome to 30bad!
science is definitely not a load of quack, but many 'scientists' do practise quackery. sometimes, researchers in (the 'soft' sciences especially) are more interested in 'proving' their pet idea (for various reasons) rather than discovering reality and its truth.
sometimes though you can have honest defense of potentially valid, but unaligned theories and it appears as though scientists don't know what they are talking about, though what they are really doing is waiting for confirmation of the particular theory. a famous case in point is hoyle's steady-state universe vs gamov's big bang ... the latter won because of evidence that eventually became available. so it is unfortunate to assume that
1) hoyle was incompetent because he 'lost' when in actual fact he was one of the most brilliant scientists of the past century (as was gamov, btw) and defended his theory very well until evidence showed otherwise.
2) scientists don't know what they are talking about because they disagree with each other. this latter attitude invites the fallacy of inflation of conflict.
many mean well, but design investigations which take insufficient/extraneous factors into account, so they only get a partial picture rather as did the six blind men studying the elephant:
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approach'd the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"
The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he,
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
although john saxe above was referring to theology, the same can apply to science as well. personal observation is a good thing usually, but some can get quite egotistical about it too.
you can't really have good science until one removes the ego because then the effort to discover is genuine. one merely becomes a channel to find truth rather than uphold personal observations which can often become crusty convictions.
humility seems to always be a good idea for it enables one to see beyond the immediate vicinity as newton realized:
I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Prad...that last quote is really beautiful...thanks for adding it :)
I love science. Chemistry is a true science. Classical Physics is very precise.
Medical/Nutrition science today can be corrupt. For instance, I was looking into Vitamin D2 and discovered that the study I read was funded by this Mushroom Council. The results indicated that it was just as effective as D3, but others studies claimed D3 as being significantly more effective.
Medical/Nutrition studies are bought and paid for daily. It seem that they find the conclusion first, and then design a study that reaches the desired result. I am sure sometimes they even downright lie. Pharmaceutical companies are notorious for misrepresenting data.
However this is not science. Fraudulent science is not true science, it only claims to be. They are poseurs and prostitutes.
True science advances technology, and is definitely useful for that purpose.
greetings persimmon eater! and a belated welcome to 30bad!
i've enjoyed several of your fine posts on 30bad!
however, you write:
Chemistry is a true science.
ha! such heresy!
chemistry is just wet physics!
this thorough article settles such matters:
P equals M C snared
A most lucid account of the important role of physics with due respect to other 'sciences'.
Yes, physics is king.
Medical Doctors started posing as scientists by wearing a lab coat. Don't be fooled.
Most people tend to want answers so that they don't have to individually and endlessly contemplate on the ever-changing facts. Your prior comment was brilliant but, to defend physics and segregate it from the pile of crap it encompasses, lol. Science from my point of view is the epitome of the limitations of the human mind.
It took a while to found out that as a kid; everything I was learning was without proof and that it stunted my growth. Schooling provided answers that would temporarily satisfy my seeking of truth.
As a physics major faith was required of me. Faith I generated, but it went toward the conscience that has guided me and only disdain of physics remained.
Never was I the religious sort, but now it is by faith that I live. I was hopelessly addicted to starches (I came to this conclusion after reading Tolstoy's later works), foolishly assuming that I was healthy because I was lean. Transitioning to vegan was a piece of cake/effortless in comparison to raw vegan.
It is faith in the words of Arnold Ehret and the concept that eliminations (detox) are unpleasant and temporary. If I didn't read Ehret's book, I never would've been able to consider fasting or abstaining from my desires. Ehret provided me with knowledge not only of what I should not be consuming. He instead provided me with the ideal food for man and theories beyond.
To see so many among you, speaking objectively, warms my heart. Before adulthood, the only impartial contemporaries I've noticed had been my brothers. May you be my brothers and sisters as well.
"What do you think? Do you think science is a load of quack or do you follow science and every study out there? Your opinion on the issue."
Here's my opinion. I see science as a tool, like a hammer or garden rake. The appeal of science is that its ever changing. In fact if science was stagnant it wouldn't be science, it would be history. Today, butter is healthier than margarine, tomorrow margarine may be healthier scientifically again.
Tools are always evolving or changing. Yesteryear there was the double bit axe proceeded by the single bit ax. After the double bit axe came the bow saw, the cross-cut saw, and so forth.
There is faith, but which faith? That's the question I cannot handle. Most of the time religion comes down to "because God says so." Some people can handle a bare assertion like that, others can't. How do we know that we shouldn't be sacrificing beating hearts to the Aztec's God? We cannot know, for if we did that would defeat the purpose of faith.
Faith is about not knowing. About trusting, if we could scientifically prove that the Aztec's God or any other faith's God existed, it wouldn't be faith. It would be fact.
At some point in our life we are like "enough" I cannot stand not knowing anymore. My ignorance is killing me and those around me. At that point we seek knowledge.
As a child we always ask why? Why does the moon come out at night? Why do some insects fly but not others? All science is asking why, and building from there. To answer your question I tend to follow science and every study out there. Though there is too many studies to follow.
I'm finding anecdotal evidence, faith, and science are all very similar when searching for the truth. You have to examine and re-examine everything that you've learned over and over. For example is cholesterol bad for humans? Why or why not? How much protein do we need? Are high carbs or low carb diets healthier? Is exercise important? How about stretching. Is there one God or is there many?
Most of the time you get two or more mutually exclusive answers. One person says "I ate a low carb diet and all my aliments went away." Another person say "I went raw vegan and all my aliments went away." "I ate a high carb diet and almost died." "A high carb diet saved my life." My gym teacher says stretching is healthful. A guest speaker said stretching wasn't helpful at Arnold's Way.
A scientific peer reviewed source says saturated fats leads to heart disease another says no correlation and so forth. The process of life is a struggle. The eternal struggle to sort truth from lie and falsehood. That's all we as humans do. What I learned in middle school gets uprooted and replanted over and over again.
My best guess is to try four techniques to separate truth from falsehood. By self-experimentation I mean try stretching daily for 6 months. Then for 6 months do not stretch at all. Don't rely too heavily upon any one of the four.
0. Anecdotal evidence
Here's a good argument against science:
"The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness." Richard Horton
*What do you think? Do you think science is a load of quack or do you follow science and every study out there? Your opinion on the issue.*
Whatever you mention here has nothing to do with science. Maybe with business, and politics.
Not reading the comments here, perhaps later. I'll provide some thoughts being a scientist myself, though, I don't research nutrition (visual perception and spatial navigation).
Science is a method in which you form a hypothesis and empirically test it within constrained conditions. The hypotheses often come from theories or experimental paradigms within the field you're studying. It's more often than not, also based on prior literature on the subject (read any study and you will see many citations). Some fields prefer to replicate studies to see if you get the same data again. The interpretation of the results is in accordance to the hypothesis. So in short, ask a question, make a prediction, and set up the environment to test that prediction according to prior literature. Then, you get numbers and do a lot of statistical analysis on that data.
What comes out of those studies (the discussion and conclusion section of the article), as well as anything including the methods, materials, and framing of the questions, IS open to debate. One of the hardest things most scientists learn in graduate school is to take criticism on how to improve their study.
My recommendation is to take empirical data seriously, however not as isolated facts, but with knowledge of context in which such and such results come from. This, any person can do with reading and good knowledge base of the subject. To be an "actual" scientist means running and publishing those studies, everything else is on the table for others to do too. What you see on the discussion and conclusion are interpretations, and are often reported as if they are conclusive in the mainstream media. NOTHING is conclusive in science, and is always open to change. That's exactly the beauty of it. There always holes to poke at. But, you can use the knowledge that is acquired holistically, and have your own perspective on things. That does not mean ignore it entirely. So big questions such as "is cholesterol bad for you" is a multifaceted one, that can be tested at many angles to prove a point to people when their intuitions give in.
The biggest mistake made is when people think that science is a dogmatism of some sort. Well, no, it involves testing ideas in reality. You can do that really well or really poorly depending on how good of a scientist you are (where your results and insights generalize well into other situations, and you have causal explanations for your data - or strong correlations to get at causal mechanisms).