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michael_b comments on Your intuitions are not magic - Less Wrong

65 Post author: Kaj_Sotala 10 June 2010 12:11AM

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Comment author: michael_b 29 January 2015 01:02:15PM 1 point [-]

The immediately available example supporting your article for me is the relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. There's high general confusion around this health claim.

What no doubt compounds the confusion on the issue is that intuitively you might infer that eating zero cholesterol should lower blood cholesterol, or that eating high cholesterol should raise blood cholesterol. Evidence shows this often happens, but not always. There are enough notable outliers that the claim has been defeated in the general mind because it doesn't support the intuitive story.

That is, vegans who eat almost no cholesterol containing foods, can have high blood cholesterol. On the flip side, surely everyone has heard of that friend of a friend who eats inf eggs a day and has low blood cholesterol.

There's a reasonably interesting story that fits the evidence for the claim that if dietary cholesterol then blood cholesterol, but the nonlinearity of the relationship and also the incidence of intuition defeating cases cloud the issue.