Clansgian at wmconnect.com
Clansgian at wmconnect.com
Tue Dec 12 10:15:26 EST 2006
> I can agree with the idea that lifestyle choices affect risk. No
> argument there. My problem was in the "absoluteness" that you and Gene
> seem to expound upon.
And to me it is the absoluteness that you and Marie and Lynda expound upon.
In the end it is a matter of degrees. For the overall population I'd say the
stats show that genetics plays a very minor role and by and large a role we
can do nothing about. When people advocate the heatlhy vigorous life, it seems
as if the reply is, "It's of no use, I had an uncle that fell over dead when
he was in the peak of health, so there's no point in any of us being careful
about our choices,"
> Wait, you were the one who said genetics doesn't matter that personal
> choices determine disease, now you are saying that one *can* be
I'm just playing along with your game.
Because if you are saying that personal choice can
> override genetics, to me, that's the equivalent of believing in the use
> of faith healing/curing....it works for a small minority, but overall,
> it only works slightly better than chance.
No. It's a matter of your not being able to do anything about the one and
able to do everything about the other.
> My family history makes for a strong genetic case, but not so strong a
> case for the 'lifestyle choices' argument.
Then here's where we disagree. The lifestyle "argument" isn't something that
applies to some but not to others. Remember, Bev, we are talking about
risks. Overweight and smoking puts a woman at risk for ovarian cancer regardless
of her genetics. (I'm making these numbers up for arithmatic's sake) Let's
suppose lifestyle choices put you at 4 times the risk for ovarian cancer than the
"norm" population. Let's suppose your genetic history put you at 6 times the
risk as the population as a whole. It doesn't mean that the 6 times risk
swallows up the 4. They concant. You are at 24 times the risk rather than at
just 6. I know that's simplistic but you get the principle.
> Nowhere in your note did you prove that "lifestyle choice" provides
> better odds than "modern medicine".
Yes I did. Just add up the numbers. It doesn't even come close.
In fact, on one hand you are
> _I_ was talking about genetic predisposition, not prevention or cures.
> IMO, you equated genetics with astrology, the former being a
> "hard/objective biological science" that is really not all that
> interpretive(you either have a gene or you don't) and the other being a
> "soft/ambiguous pseudo-science"
Yes you either have a gene our you don't. Also, the star is in the heavens
or it isn't. So far the two are identical in their MO. The way genetics is
applied now of days, it is just as soft/ambiguous as astrology. Astrology had
(at least) to affects on its adherents: 1) They used it to explain everything
that happened to them. 2)The fell into a stupor of fatalism not attempting
to do anything to improve their lot. After all, it's written in the stars,
what can you do. The modern misuse of genetics has exactly the same effect.
It is used to explain everything with (grant supported researchers) looking to
find "the" gene that causes everything from bad personality, to homosexuality,
to obesity. Then because of the popular geneocentric view of things,
everyone shrugs their shoulders and says, "What can you do, I have bad genes." In
that genetics is exactly like astrology. When astrology was all the rage (when
it itself was science) there were tales aplenty to "prove" it. Two brothers
as like as peas in a pod go into business in the same circumstances and one
makes a lot of money and one goes broke .... it's in the stars, that's the ONLY
So what's a person to do? We all have our anecdotal stories. Mine are very
different from yours. I can recite two score of people I know who have died
of invasive diseases and they were overweight, smokers under stress, or morr
often all three. All the men of my father's generation in my family who
smoked died of cancer before they were 75 and ALL of the one's who didn't are still
alive. We've all got our stories. So the only thing to do is to look at the
wider statistical picture and there the tale is told in stark contrast that
life choices affect the ODDs far more than genetics. Not 50/50 but more like
98/2. And I wouldn't be surprised to find in the future that, just like
astrology, we've been attributiting a great deal to genetics that has other
> > But what I find unfathomable is the hot and quick defense of the role
> > of genetics in something like ovarian cancer and yet an activity
> > that increases the odds of contracting and dying from the disease by
> > 50% is dismissed lightly rather than an abstenance from it being
> > championed.
> Tell it to my dead non-smoking grandmothers and great aunts.
> Bev, off to go light up.
> BevanRon of EarthNSky Farm NW Georgia USDA Zone 7
> 34.498N 85.076W Bev is Earth, Ron is Sky
> Homestead list and subscription:
> Change your homestead list member options:
> View the archives at:
More information about the Homestead