[extropy-chat] Are vaccinations useless? (meta)
hkhenson at rogers.com
Wed Mar 15 21:34:07 UTC 2006
At 01:19 PM 3/14/2006 -0800, Samantha wrote:
>On Mar 14, 2006, at 12:54 PM, Hal Finney wrote:
> > The excerpt I posted from the "Economics of Health Care" textbook
> > yesterday was intended to confirm the point that the consensus in the
> > field is that medical practice played a small or even insignificant
> > role.
>Role in what precisely?
Lenghting average lilfe span.
>If it advocates some of what I've seen here it isn't worth my time.
> > The two excerpts I posted yesterday both offered reasons why
> > vaccination
> > and antibiotics are thought to have been of relatively little benefit.
>Okay. I am done with this pointless discussion.
I would like to go Meta on Samantha here. This is a reasonable discussion
of a puzzle that is based on real numbers and the numbers lead to
discounting a lot of what we thought was obvious--that medicine as
practiced by doctors had a lot of influence on longer lives.
Samantha, I wish you could see an fMRI scan of your brain while reading
Hal's post. As a guess though, even *with* such evidence about being in
"partisan mode" I don't know if you could invoke logical thinking.
This isn't a personal attack, just an observation of a psychological
characteristic that must have had significant evolutionary pressure to
evolve in the EEA.
Back to the topic, there is reasons (from bones) to believe hunter
gatherers lived longer and healthier lives than early farmers. (Other than
killing each other off in wars.) People who have looked into this think it
was mostly due to dietary deficiencies in agricultural products.
Additionally a number of very serious disease (mostly from livestock) were
able to propagate in the higher density populations that would burn out in
smaller groups with sparse contacts.
What we might be seeing in the past few hundred years is not increase in
life span, but a return from a depressed life span as transport and better
understanding has been translated into a diet and disease exposure more
like we had in the EEA. I.e., our starting baseline was wrong.
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