SWJ has some great discussions on disruptive thinking and the challenges of implementing change. It seems disruptive thinking mostly derives from challenging assumptions and what JFK called myths. I offer this example from the health profession as a minor contribution to the discussion by providing an example of an emergent paradigm shift that challenges conventional wisdom concerning long held assumptions about diet. This type of thinking is what many of us are pushing for in the field of irregular warfare. It is written clearly; not masked in philosophical lexicon.

“For the greatest enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought” John F. Kennedy (June 11, 1962)


Can we trust anything we think we know about nutrition?
What if our dietary recommendations are based on bad science?
What if one reason Americans are getting ever fatter is because we’re actually eating what we’ve been told to eat?

“For years, most scientists and clinicians interested in obesity made some basic assumptions. Recently, scientists around the world have reawakened interest in pursuing research into the effect that dietary constituents might have on caloric intake, energy expenditure, and body weight. These studies have turned up findings that are not easily explained by previously assumed scientific paradigms.

Scientific paradigm shifts occur only when standard dogmas are questioned and tested, but finding financial backing for such studies can be most difficult. The Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI) is an example of a group of committed scientists, clinicians, and committed citizens interested in rigorously testing how dietary constituents can influence body weight, and the mechanisms underlying those effects. Groups like NuSI play an extraordinarily important role in science since the standard funding systems can become dominated by “experts” who consciously or subconsciously resist studies that fall outside the accepted dogma.”

David Harlan, M.D.