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EngineerofScience comments on Guessing the Teacher's Password - Less Wrong

62 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 August 2007 03:40AM

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Comment author: EngineerofScience 12 February 2017 10:14:56PM *  0 points [-]

One thing I have noticed relating to this in school is that on tests sometimes I put down an answer on a quiz that I know is wrong because the teacher will give me points if I put that. For example, on a Physical Education quiz the teacher briefly talked about how sugar affects the human body. One of the questions was multiple choice and it said "Sugar is a..." and I selected carbohydrate even though I knew it was wrong because that is what we were taught.

Comment author: ChristianKl 13 February 2017 09:51:57AM 0 points [-]

One of the questions was multiple choice and it said "Sugar is a..." and I selected carbohydrate even though I knew it was wrong because that is what we were taught.

It's not a question of right or wrong but of how the term sugar is defined. Popular definitions of sugar like Wikipedia's say: "Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. "

Comment author: Lumifer 13 February 2017 03:43:17PM 1 point [-]

Why is sugar not a carbohydrate?

Comment author: sleepingthinker 15 February 2017 11:32:53PM 0 points [-]

The words sugar and carbohydrate are basically synonyms. Carbs can be broken down into glucose, galactose, fructose and mannose, which are called monosacharrides aka simple sugars. Sacharr is the Greek word for sugar. So I am not sure why you think you put down the wrong answer,

Comment author: gjm 16 February 2017 02:40:28AM 0 points [-]

"Sugar" and "carbohydrate" are not synonyms (starch is a carbohydrate but not a sugar), but sugar is indeed a carbohydrate. I do not know why EngineerofScience thinks "carbohydrate" was a wrong answer on that quiz.

Comment author: sleepingthinker 17 February 2017 12:16:27AM 0 points [-]

I said "basically". :)

Starch is a polysacharride, the Greek word for sugar is sacharr. Starch is made up of long-chains of glucose, and glucose is sugar. The body breaks down the polysacharrides it ingests down into simple sugars like glucose. So whatever the original form, it always ends up being sugar.

But yes, what you say is also correct. All sugars are carbohydrates, but not all carbohydrates are sugars (like starch for example, but even starch can be further broken down into sugars)...