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Are you man or machine? – Episode 006

Are you man or machine? – Episode 006

With the advancement of science and technology in the 20th century, health care in the United States has narrowed its perspective to an almost purely mechanistic view when it comes to the assessment and treatment of health and disease. For the first time in human history, mechanism has evolved to become the only acceptable authority guiding our perspectives on everything from health and disease to our diet and food supply.

But despite our advancements in technology and all the best efforts of all the king’s men, the health status of the population as a whole is dismal. Rates of chronic disease, cancer, and the evolution of scary “super-bugs” are just some of the facts that point to a problem with the way we approach human health in modern society.

Can the mechanistic model we currently use fully account for the complexity of the human body? Or are we something more than just highly complex machines?

In this episode of the Survival Value Healthcast, we discuss the concept of vitalism and whether or not it provides a useful framework for understanding human health and physiology that’s lacking in our current system.

Topics in this podcast include:

  • What is the difference between mechanism and vitalism?
  • Why the concept of vitalism has been all but lost in modern society
  • Is there really some kind of immeasurable vital “life-force”?
  • Will eating tiny Hooligan fish make you swim faster?
  • Dr. Ward’s recent case involving acid reflux and sleep disturbance
  • A recent study linking cholesterol lowering statin drugs and diabetes
  • The problem with applying the mechanistic view to cholesterol recommendations
  • Long term risk factors of statin use
  • How mechanism may threaten our food supply
  • What is nutritionism? and how has it changed the way we eat?
  • The limitations of our current health care model to deal with chronic disease
  • Dandelions versus rocks
  • And more…

Related Resources

Mechanism as a philosophy (Wikipedia)

Vitalism as a philosophy (Wikipedia) – vitalism as a debunked philosophy of science

Vitalism and the scientific image: an introduction by Charles Wolfe – academic level paper on vitalism as a meta-theoretical position with a changing definition and understanding, for advanced readers

Strong statin-diabetes link seen in large study of TriCare patients

Food Fight: Michael Polllan on food nutritionism

Michael Pollan’s website

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan (on Amazon)

The cholesterol myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD – 2000 text, with 2002 update, chapter 7 on statins shows limitations of treating cholesterol as a component part of larger whole

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Electronics that control inflammation? – Episode 003

Imagine a future where your anti-virus software has to protect your nervous system, not just your home computer. Or, where overseas hackers can commandeer your digestive tract. Science fiction coming alive is just around the corner with the growing field of bioelectronics – implanting electronic devices into the body to treat disease and regulate body… Continue Reading

The cultural effects of happy pills? Antidepressants from a different angle – Episode 008

The cultural effects of happy pills? Antidepressants from a different angle – Episode 008

Modern people are depressed. Especially in America. And especially women. Or at least that’s the conclusion we come to looking at the levels of persons taking medication for depression. Specifically a kind of anti-depression medication called SSRIs, or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. Today we asked the question: what are the cultural effects of so many… Continue Reading