Discussion Group Issues

Bill Schrader Pavilion, 12 Noon, 15 April, 2015

A – Once again my favourite reporter has hit a home run.  Thanks to decades work by one difficult doctor, we can now identify the true causes of death and disability, by country, for the whole world.  Fired by the UN for offending some countries, he (and the guy who had to fire him) were backed by Bill Gates to continue their work.  “Mere” information has led to over a decade of improvement in world health simply by orienting effort more productively.  Try the questionnaire at the end of the article.  Why can’t we think through more problems as he has done?

B – Obama’s mentor-prof at Harvard Law is now leading a big challenge to the EPA on behalf of big coal and declares that he believes the climate change case unproven.  Another lawyer comments on the origin of his belief.  Do you accept his explanation?  Should the courts decide on the science basis of policy?

C – A new study finds that statin therapy to control cholesterol is associated with a 46% increased risk of type 2 diabetes after adjustment for confounding factors – far higher than previous estimates.  I have been on them for years.  Should I consult with my doctor.

England’s Daily Mail reports that Statins significantly increase the chance of Parkinson’s Disease.  The studies abstract is opaque, to say the least.

D – This article describes what we do here and in other LCS groups.  I believe the Discussion Group’s age indicates a real need, so lets talk about how we could learn other interesting things.  Online courses, great books, etc.  Can our model – directed reading/viewing/auditing, and moderated discussion – work in other fields?  What are you interested in?  Your spouse?

E – “Our Fragile Intellect” is a 2012 article by Crabtree, published in the journal Trends in Genetics. Crabtree’s speculative and controversial thesis argues that human intelligence peaked sometime between 2,000 and 6,000 years ago and has been in steady decline since the advent of agriculture and increasing urbanization. Modern humans, according to Crabtree, have been losing their intellectual and emotional abilities due to accumulating gene mutations that are not being selected against as they once were in our hunter-gatherer past.[4][5] This theory is sometimes referred to as the Idiocracy hypothesis.[6]   Assuming its true, will we be saved by our iWatches?

F – Can the police shoot someone if they believe there is mortal danger to them or the public, or must they follow more rigorous guidelines?  Does colour matter?