The Science of Conspiracy: The 211th Evolutionary Lens with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying

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In this 211th in a series of live discussions with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying (both PhDs in Biology), we talk about the state of the world through an evolutionary lens.

In this episode, we discuss Winter and seasonality, before a longer discussion of overfitting, shoe-horning, and straight-jacketing. How do models, collusion, and Occam’s Razor contribute to how we understand the world? Why are generalists better situated to interpret complexity than are specialists? Then: how good is the science behind the major paper out of The Lancet that assures us that we should not be eating red meat? Answer: not very. Finally, we discuss the orcas who were trapped in sea ice off of Japan, and what it means to be an orca (including mention of the grandmother hypothesis).

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Mentioned in this episode:

The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr (about Luca Turin): https://www.amazon.com/Emperor-Scent-Story-Perfume-Obsession/dp/0375759816

Willett et al 2019. Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. Lancet 393, 447–492: https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0140-6736%2818%2931788-4

Stanton 2024. Unacceptable use of substandard metrics in policy decisions which mandate large reductions in animal-source foods. Npj Science of Food 8(10): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41538-024-00249-y

Stanton et al 2022. 36-fold higher estimate of deaths attributable to red meat intake in GBD 2019: is this reliable?. The Lancet, 399(10332), pp.e23-e26.: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)00311-7/fulltext

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Timestamps:
(00:00) Wait
(00:05:41) Welcome to mid-winter
(00:23:41) Sponsors
(00:32:16) Scales, fur, and feathers
(00:41:31) Over fitting
(00:50:34) Collusion and Occam's Razor
(01:04:41) Limited hangout
(01:16:06) Failure to predict over fitting
(01:24:41) Models and Cartesian crisis
(01:39:41) Healthy diet and red meat
(02:00:41) GMOs
(02:07:51) Orcas trapped in sea ice
(02:18:56) Wrap up

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