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Re: News: 'It takes a genome - How a clash between our genes and modern life is

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  • bowmanthebard
    ... The healthier people are, the longer they live, because most people die of ill-health. But trivially, the older people are, the closer they get to death,
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 1, 2009
      Alan wrote:

      > The state of not being dead (yet)
      > is a very poor index of health.

      The healthier people are, the longer they live, because most people
      die of ill-health. But trivially, the older people are, the closer
      they get to death, and the more likely they are to suffer from ill-
      health.

      So in the "battle" between health and ill-health, you shouldn't expect
      there to be less of one and more of the other. With almost every individual, and therefore in large groups of individuals, ill-health
      "wins" in the end. It's always the "victor". But you should expect
      health to "carry on the fight" a bit longer, and to succumb to ill-
      health later. When it does, people live longer.

      So whatever about not being dead yet, longevity is a very reliable
      indicator of overall health.

      Jeremy Bowman
    • Edgar Owen
      Alan, First, anything that can t be objectively defined but people know it when they see it is almost certainly going to be judged differently by different
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 1, 2009
        Alan,

        First, anything that can't be objectively defined but 'people know it
        when they see it' is almost certainly going to be judged differently
        by different people. That's a cop out and just goes to demonstrate
        the lack of a consistent universal definition of health.

        I don't dispute that many people throughout the world suffer chronic
        diseases and malnutrition. But your thesis is flawed because the
        average life spans you cite are actually statistical life spans based
        on inclusion of that subset of the population. In other words the
        true picture is that somewhat unhealthy people live average life
        spans because on average everyone is 'somewhat unhealthy'. That is
        the very unhealthy die young, and the very healthy life considerably
        longer than average so the average life span is that of the somewhat
        unhealthy. Thus it is to be expected that the somewhat unhealthy life
        average life spans for that group. So your analysis is incorrect.

        Let's take an actual example. Mortality is abysmal in countries such
        as Haiti and some sub-Saharan African countries compared to the US.
        Would you not agree that is because people in those countries are on
        average less healthy than those in the US? Your arguments would claim
        otherwise.

        Edgar



        On Feb 28, 2009, at 10:50 PM, Alan wrote:

        >
        > You are correct that my notion of health is difficult
        > to objectively measure -- a bit like love, beauty and
        > justice are difficult to measure. Maybe impossible.
        > Nevertheless, it seems that most humans have a sense
        > about these things and "know it when they see it".
        >
        > You might reflect on the fact that there are a couple
        > billion people (at least) in the world today who are
        > in poor health -- deficient in iron and micronutrients,
        > hypothyroid, and other problems. And as a result they
        > are chronically fatigued, under-performing both mentally
        > and physically, susceptible to infections and chronically
        > infected or infested, and often listless and without the
        > energy or ambition to live full lives. Typically these
        > things do not kill you, but they do greatly disrupt the
        > overall picture that I and most others call "health".
        > (Would you call these people "healthy"?) Assuming access
        > to rudimentary emergency medical care (e.g. antibiotics
        > when needed), and assuming no overt famine or genocidal war,
        > these people are likely to live full-length lives, to
        > age 60 or 70 or more. In poor health.
        >
        > A
        >
        > --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Owen
        > <edgarowen@...> wrote:
        > >
        <Snip>
      • Mark Hubey
        ... There are measures based on this concept. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_time_between_failures As a car gets older, it starts to fail more and more
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 1, 2009
          Alan wrote:
          > You are correct that my notion of health is difficult
          > to objectively measure -- a bit like love, beauty and
          > justice are difficult to measure. Maybe impossible.
          > Nevertheless, it seems that most humans have a sense
          > about these things and "know it when they see it".
          >

          There are measures based on this concept.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_time_between_failures


          As a car gets older, it starts to fail more and more often, a lot like
          the elderly.




          --
          Regards,

          H.M. Hubey
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