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    • Thanks for taking the time to respond. This conversation is getting even more interesting. The first thing I’ll say is that I start off with a skeptical view when someone (in this case Esselstyn) is
      trying to convince me of something that is not the generally accepted viewpoint
      of most experts in the field of research his is talking about. He’s making an
      extraordinary claim and therefore requires extraordinary evidence. The
      preliminary study was not sufficient to override that view. So now you’ve
      provided some follow up studies so I’ll have to check those. In other words I
      didn’t simply think if it sounds too good to be true it probably isn’t true.

      Oprah promotes pseudoscience and woo and her Dr. Oz is notorious for promoting
      quackery and alternative medicine of all kinds. That makes me think it is very
      unusual indeed that her magazine would edit her because she wasn’t factual. I
      remain a skeptic of that though not sure either way at this point. Steven
      Novella works hand in hand with her so at this point I’m leaning towards
      Harriet and not Oprah. I have no factual evidence either way but just a he said
      she said. I’ll have to check that out later.

      His study has been done thousands of times across the nation? Really? So there would be a
      meta analysis done on the subject and there’s no reason to even look at any
      individual study. If in fact it’s been done thousands of times. Or do you mean
      to refer to each person who has a special diet to be a study in and of
      themselves?

      Harriet is a medical doctor and not a cardiologist. That gives Esselstyn the edge on her
      but it in no way excludes her from potentially being a valuable and credible
      person to attack his work. I am not a specialist of any kind other than
      teaching and I can make a legitimate attack on people who make poor studies
      even if they are scientists or doctors. I’ve studied statistics and understand
      things like controlling variables, and not being an expert does not exclude me
      from being able to criticize chiropractors and naturopaths for example. Again,
      the edge goes to Esselystyn, though his study was preliminary and at least at
      first he was overstating and overselling his results. We have to be extremely
      careful that we don’t fall into the observation bias problem. That is, we pick
      a side and once our mind is made up we look for every piece of evidence to
      support out view and exclude those opposing it. The best approach again is to
      ask ourselves “what evidence would convince me otherwise?”  What would it take me to change my mind? Me for example I want the replicated studies. I want the meta-analysis. I want
      experts who are starting to change their opinions and supporting Esselstyn’s
      view.

      Is Esselstyn’s view the prevailing view among cardiac disease causality
      researchers?

      Oh, one more thing – I read those two brief criticisms but didn’t take a side on the
      issue it merely made me aware of some of the overstatements and preliminary
      nature of Esselstyn’s first study. I love digging for more answers.

      **This Cake thing totally changed the formatting of what I wrote in Word :( I fixed it a bit...