BMI and the Argument from Antiquity Fallacy

by | Sep 11, 2013 | News, Psychology, Research, Science, Skepticism | 0 comments

Last year I wrote an article about widespread criticisms of the BMI measurement, and in that piece I included the following paragraph:

Another criticism is that the BMI was developed over 150 years ago, and its longevity somehow discredits it. What would become the BMI was developed around 1850 by a Belgian statistician named Adolphe Quatelet, and has been used more or less since then. This is, of course, flawed logic: if anything the fact that the BMI has been widely used for so long is actually evidence that it works-not that it doesn’t work. To use only one example of many, germ theory has been around since at least 1815 (when Agostino Bassi did experiments showing that the etiology of disease could be traced to germs), and no one suggests that germ theory is “outmoded” or incorrect merely because it’s been around for nearly 200 years.

A reader took me to task for it, though I’m not sure the criticism is valid; read it HERE and decide for yourself!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *