Evolutionists who have had problems with being overweight and/or obese

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PZ Myers

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

Below is a list of evolutionists who are experiencing or have experienced problems with being overweight and/or obese (see also: Atheism and obesity):

  • PZ Myers - In 2010, Myers had health problems related to his heart.[1]
  • Richard Leakey is an anthropologist, evolutionist and atheist.[2] A 2008 picture of an overweight Richard Leakey can be found HERE. Other pictures of an overweight Richard Leakey can be found HERE and HERE and HERE. In October 2010, he appeared to have a healthy weight.[3] However, a May 2012 picture of Leakey featured HERE in the USA Today' had a picture of him where he was once more overweight.
  • Ed Brayton is an atheist blogger at freethoughtblogs.com. His blog Dispatches from the Culture Wars is a prominently featured blog at freethoughtblogs.com. He is also the co-founder and president of Michigan Citizens for Science and co-founder of the pro-evolution blog The Panda's Thumb. Pictures of an overweight Ed Brayton can be found HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. A video of an overweight Ed Brayton at the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District trail can be HERE. A video of the overweight American atheist Ed Brayton mocking the fit Christian martial artist Chuck Norris can be found HERE. According to Chuck Norris, most obesity in America is the result of hedonism (see: Chuck Norris on the topic of obesity). Many Christians believe that a hedonist lifestyle is a causal factor of atheism (see: Causes of atheism).[5] Other videos of an overweight Ed Brayton can be found HERE and HERE.
  • Aleksandr Oparin - A biography of Oparin declares: "Ill health dogged Oparin in his final years, and his death in 1980 was probably the result of a heart attack."[8]
  • Erasmus Darwin - "His love of food (particularly fruits, sugar, cream and butter) was matched by his dislike of exercise, and by the age of 46 he had grown so corpulent that a semi-circle had to be cut out of his dining table to accommodate his girth at meal times."[9]

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists.[11] For a list of overweight and/or obese notable atheists please see: Atheism and obesity

Given the pseudoscientific nature of the evolutionary paradigm, it not surprising that overweight and obese prominent evolutionists/atheists ignore or take lightly the recommendations of nutritional science, exercise science, and medical science in terms of the harmful effects of being overweight (see also: Evolution, Liberalism, Atheism, and Irrationality).

Creation Ministries International points out that some evolutionists unreasonably claim that human evolution supposedly has contributed to obesity.[12]

Vehemently pro-evolution New Atheism leaders and health practices

See also: New Atheism leadership's problems with excess weight

Given that medical science research indicates that being overweight causes brain impairment and that Daniel Dennett has had issues with being overweight, it is ironic that Dennet's book Consciousness Explained is beloved by those who deny God in favor of a pseudoscientific naturalist philosophy of the mind.[13] [14][15]

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

New Atheism is a form of militant atheism. The term New Atheism which first appeared in the November 2006 edition of Wired magazine, is frequently applied to a series of six best-selling books by five authors that appeared in the period between 2004–2008. These authors include Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Victor J. Stenger and Christopher Hitchens.[16] The New Atheist leaders claim to be pro-science, 3 out of 5 of these atheist men have had issues with being overweight as can be seen HERE and HERE and HERE As noted earlier, PZ Myers is also a leader within the New Atheism movement and Myers has had problems with being overweight as can be seen HERE.

According to medical science, there are a significant number of physical and mental health related problems associated with being overweight. In the late 1990s, Dennet had coronary artery bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass surgery reroutes blood around clogged arteries to enhance blood flow and oxygen to the heart).[17][18] In 2010, as noted earlier PZ Myers had health problems related to his heart.[19]

Hippocrates was an early advocate of the health benefits of exercise and nutrition (see also: Nutritional science).[20] On the other hand, PZ Myers and a significant amount of other New Atheism leaders, seem to lack a full appreciation of the importance of nutritional science, exercise science and the latest findings of medical science (see also Atheism and obesity}. As of May 2011, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have not publicly commented on the significant problems the New Atheism leadership has experienced in terms of overweight members.

New Atheists are known for their vehement advocacy of the evolutionist pseudoscience. Also, given that being overweight causes brain impairment and that Daniel Dennet has had issues with being overweight, it is ironic that Dennet's book Consciousness Explained is beloved by those who deny God in favor of a pseudoscientific naturalist philosophy of the mind.[21] [22][23]

Medical problems associated with being overweight and/or obese

Medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[24]

See also: Atheism and health

Some of the medical conditions associated with obesity include: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, arthritis, cancer, sleep apnea, reproductive problems in women and varicose veins.[25] In addition, medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[26]

According to the Mayo Clinic some of the symptoms associated with obesity can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pain in your back or joints
  • Excessive sweating
  • Always feeling hot
  • Rashes or infection in folds of your skin
  • Feeling out of breath with minor exertion
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists.[28] Concerning the issue of depression, atheists do have higher rates of suicide than the general population.

Obesity and Alzheimer's disease

See also: Obesity and Alzheimer's disease

A PET scan of the brain of an individual with Alzheimer's disease reveals a loss of function in the temporal lobe.

In 2005, WebMD published:

People with diabetes are at particularly high risk of Alzheimer's disease. But now there's strong evidence that people with high insulin levels -- long before they get diabetes -- already are on the road to Alzheimer's disease.

As the body becomes more and more overweight, it becomes more and more resistant to the blood-sugar-lowering effects of insulin. To counter this insulin resistance, the body keeps making more insulin...

Insulin Triggers Amyloid Buildup

High insulin levels are known to cause blood vessels to become inflamed....

One dangerous effect of this insulin-caused brain inflammation is increased brain levels of beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is the twisted protein that's the main ingredient in the sticky plaques that clog the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

"What was striking was the magnitude of the effect," Craft tells WebMD. "Inflammation can be a result of amyloid elevations but can also create an environment in which amyloid is made more readily. Inflammation can be both the result and cause of amyloid production."[29]

A 2009 health report on a medical study indicated:

They compared the brain scan of 94 people in their 70s who were obese & overweight. They found that the obese had lost tissue in the frontal & temporal lobes areas critical for planning & memory. Declines were also seen in areas used for attention & executive functions, long term memory & movement

A neurologist Professor Paul Thompson said, “That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain. But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control.”M[30]

Health effects of Alzheimer's disease

See also: Effects of Alzheimer's disease on the brain

An animation of a human left temporal lobe (right is side similar).

(photo obtained from Wikimedia commons, see: license agreement)

Alzheimer's disease is "characterised by loss of neurons and synapses in the cerebral cortex and certain subcortical regions. This loss results in gross atrophy of the affected regions, including degeneration in the temporal lobe and parietal lobe, and parts of the frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus.[31] Some of the primary symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are: memory problems, mood swings, emotional outbursts, brain stem damage which impairs function in the heart, lungs plus causes disruption of various other bodily processes.[32]

An abstract of the medical study entitled Measures to Assess the Noncognitive Symptoms of Dementia in the Primary Care Setting by Brent P. Forester, M.D. and Thomas E. Oxman, M.D. inidcated "Noncognitive symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias include psychosis, mood disturbances, personality changes, agitation, aggression, pacing, wandering, altered sexual behavior, changed sleep patterns, and appetite disturbances. These noncognitive symptoms of dementia are common, disabling to both the patient and the caregiver, and costly."[33]

According to the Center for Neuro Skills:

Kolb & Wishaw (1990) have identified eight principle symptoms of temporal lobe damage: 1) disturbance of auditory sensation and perception, 2) disturbance of selective attention of auditory and visual input, 3) disorders of visual perception, 4) impaired organization and categorization of verbal material, 5) disturbance of language comprehension, 6) impaired long-term memory, 7) altered personality and affective behavior, 8) altered sexual behavior.[34]

See also

Other related articles:


External Links


  1. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/08/thats_not_a_heart_its_a_flaili.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scienceblogs%2Fpharyngula+%28Pharyngula%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
  2. Richard Leakey(1983). One Life: An Autobiography (p. 38)
  3. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Richard_Leakey.jpg
  4. http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2010/02/12/news/doc4b74e09a7bd04837552734.txt
  5. Why do atheists hate God?
  6. http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2007/02/professor_steve_steve_new_pict.php
  7. http://bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca/~lamoran/me.jpg
  8. http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/famous-scientists/chemists/alexander-ivanovich-oparin-info.htm
  9. Darwinism: it was all in the family
  10. http://www.stephenjaygould.org/people/richard_goldschmidt.html
  11. http://creation.com/smithsonian-evolution-top-10-consequences
  12. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/old-material-dennett-and-mind
  13. http://creation.com/brain-chemistry-and-the-fate-of-the-personality-after-death
  14. http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/battle.html
  15. http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dennett06/dennett06_index.html
  16. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4484
  17. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/08/thats_not_a_heart_its_a_flaili.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scienceblogs%2Fpharyngula+%28Pharyngula%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
  18. http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/pe/exs190web/exs190history.htm
  19. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/old-material-dennett-and-mind
  20. http://creation.com/brain-chemistry-and-the-fate-of-the-personality-after-death
  21. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=symptoms
  22. Obesity and Alzheimer's: High Insulin Levels Linked to Alzheimer's
  23. Obese people are more at risk of Alzheimer’s
  24. http://www.news-medical.net/health/Neurodegeneration-in-Alzheimers-and-Parkinsons.aspx
  25. http://www.dementiacarecentral.com/node/559
  26. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC419385/
  27. http://www.neuroskills.com/tbi/btemporl.shtml