“Disease, please” (Germ Theory denial)

Why did people get all worked up over 9/11? Americans had a 99.99999 percent survival rate that day. And some of those killed were obese, diabetic, or had high blood pressure, and so were on limited time anyway.


While this take would be rightly reviled if a speaker seriously suggested it, there is little difference between this position and those of the anti-vax, pro-COVID crowd. Arguing that terrorism victims deserved their fate would be an incredibly offensive position, but so too is the notion that COVID-related deaths are meaningless since such patients represent a small minority or they had a medical condition.

This stance also dismisses the science behind vaccines and masks, and overlooks that the unvaccinated are 29 times more likely than the vaccinated to be hospitalized for the coronavirus.


Among this group, there is an even more extreme subset which holds that the COVID and other viruses don’t exist, and therefore cannot be transmitted, cause disease or be fatal. In this alternate reality, illnesses are the result of lifestyle choices and environmental factors. These Germ Theory deniers are more dangerous than their flat Earth brethren, who are merely wrong and impossibly stubborn. Those who deny Germ Theory harm not only themselves, but others as well by not taking preventive measures like hand-washing, vaccination, and anti-biotic treatments.


Germ Theory came from the brilliant mind of Louis Pasteur, though there were competing hypothesis at the time from his contemporaries, Claude Bernard and Antoine Béchamp.


The former proposed the concept of milieu intérieur. In an online piece, journalist Beth Mole wrote this idea suggested that disturbances to the body’s internal equilibrium caused disease and pathogens were a nonfactor. Meanwhile, Béchamp proposed a similar idea, thinking the body manifested pathogens in response to an internal change.

Subsequent scientific findings by the likes of Robert Koch and Joseph Lister validated Pasteur’s idea that invading organisms led to disease. However, the postulations by Bernard and Béchamp still find favor in the conspiracy theory and alt-med crowds. While still on the fringe, Germ Theory deniers have experienced an uptick in their numbers during the COVID-19 era.

They believe that bacteria is a symptom of a disease, not a cause. They also assert that viruses are incapable of passing from person to person. They, just barely, believe in disease, but feel that a condition called toxemia is its lone manifestation. And this, the deniers say, is the fault of the afflicted for having made poor nutritional and lifestyle choices. In their universe, disease symptoms are merely a ravaged body’s attempt to detoxify itself.

Their solution is to overload on fruit and avoid just about anything else, to include meat, dairy, eggs, breads, pasta, soy, nuts, oils, potatoes, garlic, onions, cereals, salt, coffee, and drugs, be they recreational or medicinal. Vaccines, antibodies, and doctor visits are also verboten.

To a denier, the promotion of vaccines and medicine is part of a cover-up. This is another reminder that the defining point of most conspiracy theories is that any contrary evidence is part of the conspiracy. The SkepDoc, Harriett Hall, tells of a raw food enthusiast she encountered who declared that vaccines were unable to prevent disease and existed only to enrich pharmaceutical companies. Any statistics showing a decrease in disease when vaccines are administered were fabrications aimed to hide the truth.

Hall also related that she knew a chiropractor who felt disease was caused by spine misalignment. He refused immunizations and felt keeping his spine in check made him immune from all disease and sickness.

Many such theorists subscribe to a litany of alt-med practices that supposedly relieve the body of toxins. Which toxins are being removed and the method by which this happens are unexplained. They also commit a correlation-causation error by arguing that those who see the doctors the most often are the sickest. This is usually true, but only because people by and large go to the doctor when they are sick. They don’t go when healthy, only to be made ill by the appointment.

Meanwhile, it’s a matter of reasoned debate as to whether the deniers’ stupidity is the cause or a symptom of their condition.


“Inflamed issue” (Anti-inflammatory diets)

The Alternative Medicine Holy Trinity consists of boosting the immune system, detoxing, and decreasing inflammation.

As to the first point, except in extreme cases like late stage cancer or treating AIDS patients, boosting the immune system is neither possible nor desirable. An elevated immune system is characterized by autoimmune conditions such as lupus, celiac, and multiple sclerosis.

Meanwhile, detoxing is only genuine if a known toxin is being removed by a medically-understood process. An example would be a person exposed to a dangerous level of arsenic being treated by a toxicologist. Of all the “natural detoxing regimens” being touted, the only legitimate one is having a working liver and kidneys. And if those are shutting down, you need the ER, not an acai smoothie or mineral salt footbath.

Now onto the idea of reducing inflammation, which will be the bulk of this post. The usual idea is to avoid foods that will cause inflammation and subsequent unpleasant conditions, though exactly how they are doing that and what is being inflamed is often unexplained.

Indeed, there is no science suggesting that disease is caused by inflammation, that inflammation needs to be avoided, or the food avoidance would accomplish that.

While alt-medics wish to boost the immune system, which would be harmful were it possible, they wish to decrease inflammation, which could likewise be detrimental. One manifestation of inflammation is redness and swelling, which results when the body heals from injury or battles an infection. As Skeptoid’s Brian Dunning explained, “The capillaries dilate, allowing more blood to flow through, and also stretching open their pores, allowing white blood cells to escape the capillaries and inundate the damaged area. Inflammation is your body’s natural, healthy immune response to some problem.”

In most instances, alt-med proponents would welcome an all-natural, immune system-based response, but here such a solution is dreaded.

It should be noted that inflammation is not always the body’s way repairing tissue or fending off infection. It cases like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma, it can worsen the conditions. But this does not mean that there are specific foods that can help the patient reduce the inflaming.

Dunning cited the SkepDoc, Harriett Hall, who informs us that inflammation is a complex response involving many different physiological processes and is not a single phenomenon that could be addressed by a uniform response.
In those instances when inflammation is detrimental, there are anti-inflammatory medicines that can help with this, but are there any food that would do the same? Not according to anything that food scientists have uncovered. However, it should be noted that many alt-med websites focus more on what foods to avoid rather than ingest to combat inflammation. And here, they may be right, but nor for the reasons they think. That’s because avoiding all foods through fasting may have some impact.

Dunning explains: “When you fast, there’s a slight increase of lactic acid in your blood, along with beta-Hydroxybutyric acid, which is associated with ketones. These trigger some chemical reactions that turn off inflammasomes.”

Adopting the other extreme, gorging, will likewise increase inflammation. “If your gigantic meal is high in saturated fats, this effect is greater,” Dunning wrote. “The increased inflammation is associated with your body’s overdrive effort to metabolize this giant meal, and it subsides once the food has been digested.”

In summary, inflammation in a healthy person is the immune system’s way of fending off disease or tissue damage. Trying to fight that is both counterintuitive and futile.

“Vax facts” (HPV immunization)


Some people paint anti-vaxxers as misinformed and misled, seeing them being driven by fear rather than ill intent. But I assume a more hardened approach. Those operating from a mistaken but well-intentioned position would refrain from doing what has been done to the family of Riley Hughes. When he died in infancy from whooping cough, which he was too young to be vaccinated against, his parents turned their unimaginable grief into productive action and launched a campaign to spread awareness of the vaccine’s importance. For this, they were accused by anti-vaxxers of having murdered their son and trying to cover it up by inventing the whooping cough angle. Others denied the child ever existed, and other grieving parents have been subjected to nonstop doxing, abuse, and slander. These are not the actions of good people.

Contrast that with the approach of those in the pro-vax crowd. Here in Moline, a child just entering high school died three years ago from Acute Disseminated Dncephalomyelitis. (ADEM). Anti-vaxxers convinced the mother that the HPV vaccine her son took earlier in the year caused the death and persuaded her to join their ranks. Despite his mother making the situation public and becoming an anti-vax campaigner, I will not mention her or her child by name out of respect and sensitivity.


Writing for the Skeptical Raptor, law professor Dorit Rubinstein Reiss noted that the no epidemiological factors exist to establish a link between the vaccine and the death.


The deceased suffered from a headache but that mundane malady quickly transformed into something much more serious. He had to be hospitalized and become unable to breathe on his own. Meanwhile, his left side became paralyzed and his brain swelled. Based not on evidence or science, but on what they wanted to believe, anti-vaxxers pounced and connected the situation to the HPV vaccine. However, there is no evidence supporting a link between HPV vaccines and ADEM, which is characterized by a brief but widespread inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. ADEM often follows viral or bacterial infections, and occurs infrequently after vaccination for measles, mumps, or rubella, but not for HPV. Several large studies have found no connection between HPV vaccines and ADEM: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29280070/M.


Inevitably, when you vaccinate large numbers of people, you will have some bad things happen after the vaccines, or any other activity. But it is post hoc reasoning to tie the incident to having a vaccine, eating Rice Krispies, or running a half-marathon.

There are other reasons to doubt a link. First, the child’s ADEM manifested 40 days after the vaccine. In a large study of ADEM and vaccines, such a time period would be at the farthest reach possible for there to be a connection.


Second, the few cases of ADEM reported after HPV vaccine administering occurred after the second does and the child received just one.


Finally, his mother has initially mentioned that he also had a viral illness in the weeks before showing symptoms of ADEM, and infections are much more associated with ADEM than are vaccines.

“Stock footage” (COVID claims)


There is more information available today, and accessible in more formats, than ever before. While this proves desirable in some instances, it also creates an opportunity for a person to select which of these pieces of information he or she chooses to believe and use it to seemingly confirm preexisting opinions.


With regard to the pandemic, this can mean that medical expertise, professional advice, and years of high-quality research are brushed aside for an uncle’s anecdote, right-wing Twitter outrage, and YouTube rants. In an example of the latter, Dr. Dan Stock assails an Indiana school board about the putative danger and shortcomings of masks and COVID-19 vaccines.


Writing on the Deplatform Disease blog, Edward Nirenberg describes the Stock’s speech as a Gish Gallup. This refers to a proponent rattling off a bunch of points in quick succession. Most or all of the points may be wrong, but the content is so voluminous that few persons will commit the hours needed to research and refute each argument. For the speaker, a Gish Gallop confers the additional advantage of a listener thinking that if only 10 percent of the points raised are sound, that’s sufficient reason to doom the issue being attacked, be it evolution, GMOs, or pandemic control.


Stock claims COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses are small enough to go through your mask. Like many anti-vax arguments, this represents a grain of truth in a bushel of bunk. While a single particle is small enough to make it through a mask, that is not how viruses travel. They do so inside aerosols and droplets, which masks do stop.


Stock further states that all respiratory viruses wait for the “immune system to get sick in the winter,” an assertion which lacks even the aforementioned single grain. But the people who seek out this information, such as the half dozen who littered my Facebook feed with it, are never going to look into this. They are content to consider watching this video “their research,” which is a corruption of the concept of research.


Nirenberg conducted genuine research on the matter and he explains that, “The seasonality of respiratory viruses is a complex matter dependent on many factors, many of which have nothing to do directly with immunity. For instance, when it’s cold, people gather indoors for prolonged periods close together in poorly ventilated spaces. Humidity is lower which also affects virus transmission, as it allows aerosols to remain suspended for longer and mucociliary clearance may be impaired.”


Stock throws out another mistaken notion, alleging that vaccines serve to derange the immune system. He offers no proof to support this extreme claim, and fails to even explain what would constitute deranged immunity.


The Gish Gallop kicks into top speed as Stock rattles of a laundry list of viruses that have no vaccine. While this is true, his non sequitur conclusion is that virologists will therefore be unable to control COVID. What is hampering the arrest of COVID are the likes of Stock, who put of public disinformation, and the minions who swallow it all without question, while ironically labeling those with the opposite opinion to be the sheep.


Stock then declares that breakthrough infections prove the vaccine is ineffective. But Nirenberg notes that many respiratory viruses are enjoying a seasonal resurgence, likely because or relaxed mitigation measures. Further, CDC data shows the vaccine has been nearly 90 percent effective against symptomatic outbreaks and there have been virtually no hospitalizations or deaths from COVID among the vaccinated population.


Stock discusses antibody-dependent enhancement, which he mislabels “antibody-mediated viral enhancement.” Nirenberg counters that Stock defines ADE incorrectly by suggesting it is exclusive to vaccines. Moreover, he mixes up ADE and VAERD, which are distinct entities and ADE does not have to be caused by a respiratory infection. It is also unrelated to how pathogenic a virus is. If ADE were happening, reinfections would be both common and more severe with COVID-19.


On a related note, Stock references the Barnstable County outbreak and, in a post hoc reasoning error, says this proves the vaccine to be ineffective. But Nirenberg wrote that if 100 vaccinated persons are in a room where an aerosolized virus is introduced, a few may get sick, but however many people fall ill, 100 percent the stricken will have been vaccinated. The way to gauge the vaccine’s efficiency is by comparing the percentage of vaccinated persons who get seriously ill from the virus with those who are sickened while being unvaccinated. Right now half of the country is vaccinated against COVID and hospitalized coronavirus patients are more than 95 percent unvaccinated.


Stock further claims no vaccine ever stops infection, which is untrue, and besides, a vaccine need not prevent infection for it to halt transmission and provide robust public health benefits.


Stock then references a mumps outbreak and claims the outbreak was caused by vaccinated persons shedding the virus onto the unvaccinated. Besides being mistaken, this crosses into dangerous territory since an unhinged believer may act on this falsehood and attack medical workers and mask-wearers.


In yet another erroneous claim, Stock states that the combination of vitamin D, ivermectin, and zinc has successfully treated 15 COIVD patients. This is unbacked by any data, and as Nirenberg points out, with a sample size this minuscule, a proponent could find any activity and falsely label it a cure. For example, those 15 could watch Mr. Beast three hours a day, with none of the group developing serious coronavirus complications, and we could then conclude that bingeing on quirky philanthropist videos will end the pandemic.

“Fine Young Cannabis” (CBD medicine)


As cannabis becomes more acceptable socially and legally, the ingredient within which does not get the user high is being touted as a cure for many ails, and is available in a diverse range of products. There are cannabidiol oils, lotions, pills, teas, drink supplements, gummies, tinctures, vaporizers, creams, and probably even transmission fluid by this point.


Some purveyors go beyond CBD’s putative health benefits and endorse a conspiracy angle by touting cannabidiol as a panacea that terrifies Big Pharma. 

This makes no sense, as if there is money to be made by selling a cure or mitigation, the pharmaceutical industry will be all over it. Right now, that is limited to the prescription drug Epidiolex, which treats some epilepsy disorders. If CBD is proven in double-blind studies to have other medicinal uses, that would titillate, not terrify, Big Pharma.


Such evidence isn’t there yet, but that has failed to rein in the enthusiasm with which some persons promote and buy CBD products. This usually means over-the-counter sells not backed by standards, safety, research, or known efficiency.


While only THC will get users high, CBD remains an active ingredient, meaning it can impact the body. Just how much impact claimed depends on who is hawking the product. Skeptic leader Brian Dunning wrote that mercola.org lists this cattle-call of conditions it says CBD can alleviate: COVID-19, migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders, brain and mood disorders, high blood pressure, muscle spasms, nausea, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, opioid addiction, and animal cancer.


Claims like this take advantage of persons and family members desperate for a mitigation or cure. 

Genuine medicine treats a specific condition and doctors and scientists understand the method behind how the active ingredient works. The proper dose is determined in the laboratory and patients dispense the right amount in a resultant pill, syrup, or lotion.


Assertions that virtually any condition can be cured by an unspecified amount of a solitary product without a given timetable for success is a pseudo-science giveaway.


To avoid fraud charges, companies and advertisers use vague or meaningless terms like “clinically tested” or they post anonymous anecdotes testifying to its rousing success. Dunning notes that everyone has mood swings and some hours, days, and months are better than others. Our senses are prone to error and inconsistency and everyone has selective memory. This is why anecdotes are useless from a medical research perspective and why repeated double blind studies are necessary to determine a prospective medicine’s efficiency.


Further, the CBD products are not only mostly unproven, but their dosages and purities vary wildly and could therefore never be part of a meaningful treatment plan. Moreover, since it’s a pharmacologically active, CBD may have deleterious side effects in large doses and could pose drug interaction dangers
.

“Broken string” (Catgut acupuncture)

In a post for Science-Based Medicine, Jann Bellamy mined multiple sources to come up with 32 forms of acupuncture. She noted there are almost certainly more, since “acupuncture is not based in reality but is instead a collection of pseudo-knowledge” to which anyone can apply a new concept.”

This includes catgut, whose primary uses are for stringed instruments, tennis racquets, and surgical sutures. In this instance, it has also been coopted as a specific form of quackery.

Bellamy splendidly describes acupuncture as a “theatrical placebo” that assumes never-proven notions such as qi, meridians, and blocked energy. As to how a portion of the ukulele came to be unfairly associated with pseudoscience, catgut is embedded in acupuncture products. Selected “points” are stimulated until the treatment is deemed sufficient. In reality, this usually means the ailment has ran its natural course or the subject moves onto another form of medicine, be it legitimate or phony.

Most catgut applications go for one to two weeks, the reasoning being that doing it for two weeks is better than for two hours. This points to acupuncture’s lack of authenticity. No one would conclude that if two Advil are good for pain relief, then two bottles must be fantastic. Since acupuncture treatments involve no active ingredients and has no actual impact on the body beyond discomfort at the sticking point, an overdose is impossible. So, too, is proper dosing and medical benefit.

In typical alternative medicine tradition, catgut acupuncture enthusiasts tout its ability to cure or mitigate a broad range of conditions, from autism to acne, from facial paralysis to diabetes. Genuine medicine will impact a specific ailment, with scientists understanding the etiology. Doctors can explain to patients the curative mechanism and its impact on the body. By contrast, a hodgepodge list of unrelated conditions able to be cured is almost always a pseudoscience giveaway.

“Wrong number” (Human Design)


Human Design is a form of numerology made up by Alan Krakower, who heard a voice telling him how it works, with the voice apparently encouraging him to charge others for access to the information.


Consumers input their name, precise minute of birth, and time zone born in. In return, they receive a hodgepodge of numbers, symbols, and shapes, along with a nine-item list that allegedly describes the person. The items are vague personality attributes, not testable claims or specific facts. They contain no precise details, such as dates and locations of education or employment, which would give the graph credibility.


Still, some people embrace Human Design and its promise of easy life answers sprinkled with eastern mysticism verbiage. Skeptoid’s Brian Dunning noted that while those who embrace such notions have an affinity for the Appeal to Antiquity fallacy, it is not absolute. He wrote, “Compare two concepts of the human body: First, the four bodily humors, which nobody believes in today; and second, qi, which is widely believed today.”


The difference, Dunning continued, is that one is physical, the other metaphysical. The latter is more vague, while the former could be searched for physically, not found, and therefore be disproven.


Therefore, physical claims are dismissed and metaphysical claims embraced, especially when they purport to provide a blueprint for success without any accompanying effort.

“Jumping to conclusions” (Learning preferences)

In first grade I would entertain my classmates by jumping off my desk when the teacher left the room. By my senior year in high school, I had attained a similar level of popularity by being easily the most garrulous participant in the civic teacher’s preferred Socratic Method. Some days consisted entirely of a dialogue between the two of us, and as long as conversation kept going, the teacher would refrain from giving his boring lectures.

My two learning styles in these environments could be described respectively as nonexistent and highly participatory. But according to one hypothesis, learning can be described in one of four ways: Visual, Aural, Read/write and Kinesthetic. Students answer 16 questions about their learning preferences and a computer program spits out which learning style would work best for them.

The follow-on step is to give hands-on lessons to those who those who learn best that way, lecture to those who prefer presentations by subject matter experts, and show videos with pleasing graphics to the more visually-oriented. The idea seems sound and the intent is admirable.

But Skeptoid’s Brian Dunning has highlighted some studies that show the idea is not near as effective as advertised. He cited a study published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, which concluded, “There is no adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning-styles assessments into general educational practice.

Dunning added, “Any reasonable review of just a small percentage of the academic work on learning styles gives you the same answer: there’s no evidence that they work.”

Here’s why. First, respondents end up divided into disparate, absolute categories. They are introverted or extroverted, absorb visuals or deflect them, prefer one speaker to several. In reality, few people fit snugly into a particular group. Given an either-or option of listening to lecture or reading a graphic-heavy textbook, the person will answer. But perhaps the preference is a very slight one – yet it will end up being favored 100 percent in the calculation. It also leaves no wiggle room for evolving preferences or working best with a mix of the styles.

Another issue, Dunning noted, is that preference won’t necessarily equate to aptitude. You can like something without being very good at it, as a number or weekend golfers can attest.

“Ankle rankle” (Sprain treatment)

I find myths and misconceptions intriguing and pondering how they came to exist and why they still endure. Big Ben brings to mind the giant London clock, but the alliterative moniker actually refers to the bell inside the tower which houses the oversized timepiece. The Immaculate Conception is often assumed to refer to a Christian savior’s birth, but it is actually used to describe Mary being born without the stain of Original Sin. Peruse may be the word most mangled from its original meaning. It is often thought to mean skimming a manuscript when it instead is defined as to pour over it thoroughly.

The world of health has its share of myths as well, to include the idea that a sprain should be iced. The twisting of lower ligaments is are among the most common medical misfortunes, meaning a million people or more each year are likely tending to it the wrong way.

The SkepDoc, Harriett Hall, reviewed Dr. Paul Offit’s book Overkill, which focuses on medical myths, most specifically on supposed cures. Per Hall, a frigid fix came to be associated with ankle in 1978 when Dr. Gabe Mirkin wrote a book about sports-related injuries in which he recommended ice along with rest, compression, and elevation, forming the acronym RICE. But Hall wrote that these ideas stemmed from “intuition rather than evidence.”

Since then, research and studies have consistently shown that icing does nothing to speed recovery. Hall cited a 2012 Dutch review of eleven studies which found no evidence to support the RICE hypothesis. In fact, the regiment could even aggravate the injury. What did work, researchers found, was early movement.

A 2013 Taiwanese study showed that strenuous exercise damaged muscle tissue by causing increased creatine kinase levels and myoglobin in the blood. The supposed cure, ice, led to even higher levels of such damage. Further, patients treated with ice experienced more fatigue.

Offit wrote the key to healing is inflammation. While painful, inflammation increases blood flow, which transports immune cells to the damaged body part. Also, warmth can be applied and gentle ankle exercises can be done without weight-bearing.

Conversely, anything that decreases blood flow will lengthen the time of healing. And rest, ice, compression, and elevation all cause this decrease; so everything traditionally recommended for ankle sprain recovery actually makes them worse. To his credit, Mirkin now says RICE is the wrong way to go. So if you twist an ankle while walking up the stairs to see the Big Ben bell because you were perusing a tourist guide, go with heat and moderate activity instead of their opposite numbers.

“Stoned Age” (Protohuman psychedelics)

FF

There are various hypothesis as to how humans became the dominant species. Perhaps the least-known and least-supported of these is the suspicion that our distant ancestors used natural psychedelic compounds that led to societal advances and bodily adaptations.

To the best of my knowledge, the idea has zero support among anthropologists and archeologists. It seems limited mostly to psychedelic proponents, the most prominent of whom is Terence McKenna, who outlined the idea in his book Food of the Gods.

Specifically, he wonders if as we became bipedal and made our way from the Horn of Africa to the savannah, we consumed psilocybin, which formed naturally on the ground. According to the tale, this fomented an ability to think abstractly, to develop toolmaking and fire-building skills, and fostered the first use of rudimentary language. As to why the likes of gazelles, primates, and other animals who had equal access to the compound had no corresponding advancements is left unexplained.

On another topic, McKenna attributes the tripling of brain size that took place in upright hominids over three million years to regular ingestion of psilocybin. He does this while claiming science offers no other explanation. First, even if that were true, it would merely be a secular variant of the god of the gaps fallacy. Secondly, anthropologists and archeologists have a good idea of why this trebling of the cerebrum and related parts occurred. 

They attribute it to the evolution of the opposable thumb and to cooking food, which made the victuals more nutritious. Skeptoid’s Brian Dunning noted, “Anthropologists have cemented these ideas with the expensive tissue hypothesis, which provides a metabolic and biochemical explanation for how protohumans were able to afford the greater energy requirements of a larger brain on the same basic energy budget, by reducing the relative size of the gut which became possible once food was being cooked to make its nutrients much more bioavailable.”

The brain and digestive systems require the most energy to function, and we see the results of this is humans and other animals. There exists a negative correlation between brain and gut sizes. As one shrinks, the other grows, and vice versa.

Dunning used the cow as an example, noting that our bovine buddies “consume only grass, a terrible diet virtually devoid of nutrition. So it needs four enormous stomachs and a great long digestive system, all energetically expensive tissue, leaving it with a tiny brain.”

We, by contrast, eat a far more energy dense diet – including a lot of cow meat and milk – and this enables the human digestive systems to be small and fuel-efficient. That leaves plenty of energy to fuel the brain, which is why it is of ample size to see the folly in a hypothesis predicated on stoned apes.