False Science: The Comparative Anatomy of Eating by M.D. Milton R. Mills

I am not an expert on the topics “diets”, “anatomy” and “evolution” – but still I know how real science works and hence I can discard false science such as the article “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating” by M.D. Milton R. Mills. Creationists (Intelligent Design) have also created many such articles that claims to be scientific research – but real scientists can easily spot that they are wrong. There is no scientific evidence to support the hypothesis “human are herbivores”, so please stop corrupting the real science by spreading false science such as the article by M.D. Milton R. Mills. That is just vegan propaganda:

  1. No recognised scientific institution has published the article into e.g. a scientific journal – i.e. no significant body of experts believes that it is correct.
  2. As the article is not published in a scientific journal, no one has spent time to do a proper scientific peer review on it. In other words: no group of scientists has thoroughly checked whether it’s claims are justified.
  3. There are no references to existing publications and no are experiments conducted – i.e. it is neither based on existing research nor on creating new research. So there is no evidence to prove its claims.

This alone should be enough to stop believing that the article is science.

However, if we really need more dirty details, then a background check on the author reveals that: 1) he is not an expert on the topic and 2) he is biased by being involved with pro-vegetarian organisations.
1) The author is M.D. (from Stanford University link), but that only makes him a doctor, not an expert on this particular topic. I have tried to look for research conducted by him, but neither Google, Google Scholar nor PubMed yielded any relevant results. (Only pubMed actually had an article from him and that was not relevant: PubMed publication) Without having published any relevant research on the topic, M.D. Milton R. Mills is not an expert on the topic – in fact he just works as an outpatient doctor. He is just as much an expert on this topic as an average physics teacher is an expert on Quantum Physics without having published scientific articles on that topic.
2) He is involved in multiple vegetarian propaganda organisations:
Speaking at NY Vegetarian Expo
Advisor for Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society
Member of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which has strong connections with PETA: PCRM and PETA
Speaking at Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2007 with many comments about animals even though he is just a doctor which deals with human.

The “background check” section was rewritten to reflect feedback from comments, thank you.

25 thoughts on “False Science: The Comparative Anatomy of Eating by M.D. Milton R. Mills

  1. Well I have read the first link and I must say that that is rubbish also . This link suggests that milk in the diet prevents osteoporosis and there is groing evidence to suggest that the opposite is true. So I will not read further. I think you are just trying to justify your right to eat meat which is another story. It may not be scientifically proven but the anatomical evidence around you in the animal kingdom certainly is compelling despite your bullet points young man. If you want to play Russian Roulette with your health by eating meat full of antibiotics,fat etc causing proven stroke, colon cancer,heart attacks etc etc fill your boots
    http://milkmyths.org.uk/health-nutrition/osteoporosis

    • the study show that although some is healthy too much can make bones more brittle so really your both wrong

  2. Can you refute any specific claims of Dr. Mills, or are you just going to dismiss his information prima facie with no research or evidence? I’ve researched The Comparative Anatomy Of Eating and most of it is true. Here are some specific claims he gets wrong:

    • Certain herbivores do have a wide mouth in relation to their head size (hippopotami for example)
    • Human stomach is acid has a pH of 1.35 to 3.5, rather than 4 to 5 as he claims.

    Other than that his information is accurate, and points to the fact that humans should eat a plant-based diet. I wouldn’t be so quick to slag the PCRM. Most members are highly credentialed and respected physicians who have conducted peer reviewed research, including T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, John McDougall and Neal D. Barnard. The inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver, Henry Heimlich also belongs to the PCRM. If you want to talk about propaganda, just look at allopathic, government-centric sites you’ve provided, two of which are run by the same person.

  3. Michelle, Nick:
    Please focus about my points 1), 2), 3) which are my main points. The background research was just a quick web search and not really important as PCRM is not a recognised scientific journal on Anatomy anyway. I have removed the background research part, but it does not change the fact that PCRM has had close links and financial support from PETA for years.

    My initial sentence was “I am not an expert on the topics ‘diets’, ‘anatomy’ and ‘evolution'” so unfortunately it makes no sense to debate the anatomy details with me. If you are actual experts in the field of Anatomy (and not just www-researchers) and believes that Dr. Milton R. Mills is right, then I suggest that you rewrite the article with proper references and get it published by a recognised scientific publisher in the field of Anatomy. Or maybe there is already a better article out there? That would truly be awesome. However, as the article is written now it triggers all warnings on my false-science-radar.

  4. “A background check on the author of the article reveals that he has not conducted any research that could justify the claims in his article. The author claims to be a M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) – but he does not state from what recognised institution that he earned that degree.”

    http://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Milton_Mills

    Ad hominem logical fallacy: “Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason: Debaters should avoid ad hominem arguments that question their opponents’ motives.”
    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/ad-hominem#ixzz1yS2FcRM7

  5. Thanks for the link Mark, I have rewritten the background check section. I believe that it is relevant to point out that Mills is strongly biased towards the vegetarian movement. As an example, should we listen to a doctor that told us to keep smoking if that doctor was highly involved in the tobacco industry? I would say no.

    • Since when is the movement against animal abuse an industry? Sure the groups that support this movement need funds but by stating the facts surely that is enough to get an informed opinion rather than suggesting that the author is not independent and should therefore not be trusted.

  6. no problem Anders. btw, you have hit the nail on the head but are aiming in the wrong direction. the one’s that are biased are the meat and dairy industries who make billions each year off of the horrible suffering of both non human and human animals. believe it or not, in the 40’s many doctors used to recommend smoking because they were paid to do so by big tobacco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCMzjJjuxQI&feature=player_embedded

    “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. “

  7. You are just another meat-eater addicted and hooked on animal products who tries to “justify” eating those without any arguments and by pointing (lame) fingers towards people who are informed and know what are they talking about. There is no arguments for eating meat and animal products: they destroy the health, the animals and the planet. PERIOD. Only you and people like you try to invent excuses because you don’t want to admit that you are greedy and you want to prove that you are doing it because you “must”, because of your “proofs”. BULLSHIT, you have nothing and you just embarrass yourself.

    About criticizing Milton Mills: the fact that his comparison was not published into a journal is irrelevant. What he says there is obvious, visible and clear, it must not be published in a magazine for that. You would agree that you head is round and not a triangle only if a magazine would say so? Would you say that you have 5 fingers at your hand only if a “scientific institution would published the article”? That is crap and it is time top wake up:
    – It is a visible, clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have flattened nails or blunt hooves whereas meat-eating animals have sharp claws. Unless you are an idiot, you can see this without a „journal to publish” that.
    – It is a visible, clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have long intestines whereas meat-eating animals have short ones.
    – It is a visible, clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have long, complex colon whereas meat-eating animals have simple, short colon.
    – It is a visible, clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have extensive chewing whereas meat-eating animals don’t chew, but directly swallow food. It is a visible, clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have broad, flattened and spade shaped teeth (including canines) whereas meat-eating animals have long, sharp, pointed and curved teeth (including canines).
    – It is a visible, clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have small mouth opening vs. head size whereas meat-eating animals have large mouth opening vs. head size.
    – It is a visible, clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have side to side jaw motion whereas meat-eating animals have only up-down jaw motion.
    – It is a visible, clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have carbohydrate digesting enzymes whereas meat-eating animals have no carbohydrate digesting enzymes.
    – It is a visible, clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals are naturally repulsed and horrified by seeing blood, intestines, bones etc., whereas meat-eating animals are naturally atracted to that.

    Should i continue? I think i made my point and i think it is time that you recognize obvious facts, even if they don’t suit you or your addiction to meat. Dr.Mills is pointing out the obvious and that’s it. You are a plant-eater, designed and born as one, so do yourself a favor and be vegan.

    Read the best book ever on health through nutrition, „China Study” and see the documentary made after it, „Forks over knives”.

    If somebody comes with „false science”, that somebody is you. Congrats for Michelle and Nick for being informed and educated on what we should eat…

    • The point about stating scientific facts is that they make no sustainable argument beyond anecdote if they are not backed up. Thus if you write a book or article that endeavours to prove scientifically that humans are not meant to eat meat, then you need to back that science up with reference, qualification and/or peer review.

      Indeed, a line of argument that continually uses the statement “It is a visible, clear and obvious fact ” is just the kind of argument that should be thrown out without being read, irrespective of whether it talks sense, because without justification, it could just as well all be made up.

      Even references, when they in turn are not themselves backed up academically, are a waste of time, hence the inadvisability of going on Wikipedia to diagnose a medical condition or indeed to find out whether humans should eschew meat.

      This is why people look for peer review and qualifications before judging whether an argument means something. Otherwise, it becomes just a grade-school essay, which may or may not be in any way reliable.

      • Appealing to ‘science’ when we need to justify our personal views, is just childish: “My muscles are stronger than yours so, I am right!” Science, it is a great discovery by the human brain! But, which science? That of jesterday, today or tumorrow? Sir George Cayley in the late 1800 was marvelling to the fact that the technicians and scientists of the time were strongly discretiting the idea of human mechanic flight when he had PROVED it. So? true science is based on bench test, and this Dr. Mills, DID IT! Can it be proved the contrary? Or we are facing another kind of faith? That of the faith in the science of the past?

  8. Seems like your being pretty biased yourself with no type of medical background yourself. The reason these articles are not in a medical journal is because there is no profit for the pharmaceutical industry if everyone were to just have a healthy diet. Pharmaceutical insures that such information should not be published; they would lose millions if not billions or dollars in revenue if they stopped providing insulin and diabetes medications.

  9. I can chew meat more effectively than a typical carnivore, and personally think this prevents me from needing the massive amount of sleep most carnivorous creatures require. Also, my flattened nails allow me to use tools. Most of the short comings about stomach pH (which is 1.35-3.5 actually from what i have read), length of intestine, vitamin detox, were solved prehistorically with fire.

    Gorillas have large sharp incisors. This list is not conclusive for the reason that it assumes a lot of creationism. Form always following function, the same function. It ignores adaptation as a human luxury for survival. The muscles of a human will store triglycerides as muscle fuel when the body is use to 80% fat on a regular basis.

    There are a lot of physical similarities between humans and herbivores. This list does not include the effects of a sustained ketotic state, such as that of the Inuit. I don’t expect it to mind you, the author is very persuaded towards the vegetarian community. I don’t dismiss his claims on this, and i have no proof he discovered this before his involvement. I think this chart proves what amazing adaptation we are capable of, and this is a large reason we have as a species come out better equipped for the wide bouquet of environments at whatever distance we are from the equator.

    You could with the same logic say we were build to live as close to the equator as possible, due to a lack of fur, but skeletons of our ancestors had both large jaws and fur. It is my lack of claws that allowed me to spear down furry animals and wear their skins for warmth in much colder weather. It was my thumbs that allowed me to use tools to cut smaller chunks of meat and cook it to side step the frost, and not need so large a jaw structure. Feral children have been known to play naked in the snow despite furlessness. Adaptation is a wonderful thing. It’s much easier for an “herbivore” like a human to eat meat than it is for a carnivorous creature to chew leaves. We’re a great shape for adaptation:)

    • When you discuss the term adaptation you’re assuming that evolution is a truth rather than fact, you are assuming that creatoin is fact rather than a truth. Let’s look at truth and fact. Truth is something that you can logically see understand and believe without persuasion or bias. Fact is something that has been accepted as truth over period of time and supported by many aggreances.
      Consider that most of our beliefs have been taught to us. We are creatures of least resistance.
      Not to get into a heated debate about evolution and creation rather obvious to assumptions. We are all beings that require fuel to operate. Animals as well as humans; truth or fact? How bout we give both a check, just for sport… Now as each is developing it is being equipped with all of the tools for using the fuel to operate optimally. As well as specifically to it’s type. Adaptation in my understanding would be present at birth or soon after during development of teeth coordination ect. Ie acquiring diet independent of parents so to speak. Where are humans physical adaptations? Where are the hunting adaptations which allow us to locate track and dismantle our “food” digest and utilize the “fuel” outside of our natural state? ie claws tearing teeth heating or cooling adaptions? I have not seen nor heard rumors about any such thing ever. However animals are adapted to eat whatever they eat naturally. Thats truth. Not only that they don’t become sick unless they eat or drink something not designed for their consumption. On the other hand Humans are constantly sick why? Because on average 90 +% of humans ingest a multitude of foods not suited for our optimal operating system.
      Simple science look at truth technology is not an adaptation. It’s something outside of our natural state. We could not nor cannot ingest much of our diet choices without technology?
      Where do we create fire from on or in our natural bodies?
      We have been given our diet as fact over time and after our elders are gone we have accepted these idesa as true without question. To put this in perspective most of us (people) and I mean most of us are full of crap; literally and figuratively. So we gravitate toward what sounds good with the least resistance. The evidence is there not the science the evidence. We are not at all adapted adapting or developing adaptations our physiology is the same and if you argue that let’s consider what it is presently. Can you show any natural evidence to suggest that we could as a species consume animal flesh innards or oils without outside technology?
      In my conclusion I am aware that this “unconventional thinking seems backward boring and unexciting to the pallet” but our perceptions form our realities but the fact of the matter is we are not using our intelligence to make life better for all beings rather we are committed to our own selfishness desires regardless of the consequences or impact on others including our own species. It has been believed that for every action there is a reaction. Just something to think about

  10. Also, I think “what color is the sun?”
    Is amusing. Yellow is the pop culture color, but if science had to dwindle it to one color on the spectrum of human visibility, it would be white.

  11. May I suggest that you look into the publications of Prof. Dr. Claus Leitzmann? He is an acknowledged authority in nutritional sciences and has been the director of the Institute for Nutritional Sciences at the University of Gießen, Germany. As such, he may have the expertise you seem to be missing in Dr. Milton R. Mills.
    In his publications, Leitzmann makes pretty much the same comparison between carnivore and herbivore anatomy. From the comparison, he concludes that humans are opportunistic omnivores, who can digest animal products such as meat, but don’t necessarily need excessive intake of animal products to keep a balanced diet. He also states that a predominantly plant based diet is appropriate to and healthy for human beings.

  12. Well now Florin, did someone take a piss in your wheaties this morning? Or are all the evil carnivorous humans out to get you?

    I didn’t bother to research much of this guy’s “discovery” because as the author of this article mentioned, it has not been published in any peer reviewed journals. Enough said.

    As someone who has studied animal science (as an ag major in college) I can refute some of these claims quite easily. The one about the colon is false. You only have to look at the pig, an omnivore (like humans). It’s colon is longer and more complex than that of a human. So it is an herbivore as well? Nope.

    Mouth Opening vs. Head Size: Small, large, medium? Sorry but real science uses quantifiable comparisons, not qualitative. You would use a numerical ratio here.

    Many omnivores also have incisors similar to us (gorillas for example). Many herbivores do not have upper incisors.

    We also do not have a rumen to process large quantities of vegetative matter that many herbivores possess. Not all herbivores are ruminants, however herbivores must spend large periods of time eating in order to get enough nutrients (something humans do not do).

    I could go on and on, but whats the point when this is not published in a peer-reviewed journal.

  13. The writer of this blog does a lousy job debunking Dr. Mills. In fact the aurthor cannot even use proper English. Therefore this blog is rubbish.

  14. As a vegan, I want to say that I agree that it is inaccurate to say that humans are herbivores. Humans are frugivores. We share essentially every taxonomically significant characteristic with frugivores, beings with a fruit-based diet like our closest relative the bonobo.

    What few realize is that the mainstream scientific community is extremely biased by their cultural upbringing. A cultural upbringing that tells them that we need another specie’s breastmilk to grow strong bones
    and another species muscle fibers to build muscle. These are ludicrous ideas that were bought and paid for by the meat and dairy industry. They have lobbied to get their hands in the creation of the food pyramid and every other mainstream health education resource for decades of not hundreds of years.

    I wouldn’t doubt they have their hands in the formulation of the idiotic idea that meat made our brains grow so exponentially, as well. If such an idea were true, our brains certainly wouldn’t have shrunk so drastically in the last 200,000 years while meat consumption has only gone up.

    Frugivores have larger brains for a reason. It’s the steroid inhibiting, developmental window lengthening, complex fruit biochemistry, not the steroid precursor, developmental window shortening, basic mammalian biochemistry containing meat.

    Scientists seemingly purposely ignore the mountain of data that points in the direction of fruit-based diets for humans and pretends that we are at the peak of evolution due to barbecuing. Absolutely preposterous.

  15. The China study clearly shows that a plant-based diet is the healthiest one to avoid the main modern diseases. Adding meat and dairy brings the diseases right back. This article is more of a pro-meat propaganda piece.

  16. 1. The absence of supporting documentation in scientific journals is not in and of itself a definitive argument to counter what Dr. Mills has presented. I refer you to the article by Percy Bysshe Shelley titled : “A Vindication of Natural Diet” 1813, London, UK. The argument of meat versus plant has foraged science, religious fanatics, plant fanatics, etc. for a very very long time. You are not the first comer to raise his paws against the claims of whole-plant based diets.

    2. As for no group of scientists has banded together to counter argue the facts presented by Mills is akin to saying that because science has not countered with fact-based evidence the belief in god that several billion people should abandon this un-scientific based belief. The evidence presented by Mills is not knew. The facts are there and the physiology speaks for itself. We are indeed herbivores and if we can remove the religious and scientific fanaticism about it we should all agree human beings are plant eaters, NOT meat eaters. We could also say that because no science-based evidence supports human beings as “rational and irrational thinking beings”, that we, as the humans involved, should abandon all thought and become robots, with no feelings, no heart felt romance, and for which science cannot provide an explanation but through simplistic reductionistic assumptions that fail to provide a synergistic understanding of human beings as a living organism made up of trillions of cells working together in concert and in sympathy to one another to produce the beauty of human beings.

    3. I bring your attention to the claim of science that man evolved from the great Apes. There is only anecdotal evidence to support such a ridiculous claim. The so-called missing link that science claims has not yet been found is an outright lie and it simply does not exist, it is a tool used by scientists to save face. It is not the first time and shall not be the last time that science and people of all types of character shall lie and mislead the public and consumers. Science is fraught with arrogance and fraud.

    4. What I see presented by Mills is for the most part a rational,statement of the facts regarding physiology of our species and the animal kingdom. The physical anatomy evidence brought by mills is rejected by you on what basis? It has not been published in scientific journals!! Poppycock. Au contraire, there is a huge amount of scientific papers regarding the physiology of animals and humans. A comparison is a legitimate practice and it does support the main contention that human beings are herbivores and are NOT carnivorous but out of survival needs only.

    5. If we continue to pretend to be omnivores, it is because of the multi trillion dollars at stake from the likes of McDonald’s, Burger King, the cattle and dairy industry, the industrial Guantanamo complex of porcine enhanced growth prisons, the massive chicken jails where chickens never see day light.

    I also remind you that over 75% of all antibiotics used are consumed by farm animals drugged to the max by the industry itself to enhance growth and to try and kill off disease because the growth conditions are so extremely stressful to the animals that they are constantly sick and hence humans are sick from eating them; equal pay for equal work – that is to say make me sick and you will be sick in return – the balance of nature.

  17. Well I have post grad qualifications in a biological science and I can confirm Dr Mills’ work conforms perfectly to the extant science. I am also currently conducting a great deal of research into the articles on paleoanthropology, human anatomy and human nutrition and the overwhelming evidence is that humans are herbivores and certainly NOT omnivores. In fact there is nothing in human anatomy of physiology which can confirm that humans are omnivores as opposed to herbivores.

    I can also confirm that Dr Mills may be “only an MD” but pretty much all doctors receive no training in nutrition and so-called nutritionists study material which is funded and organised by the various animal product and pharmaceutical industries! What are your qualifications to contest Dr Mills’ work or views?

    Feed humans animal products all their lives and they eventually come down with a range of disabling and life threatening ailments and conditions – most of which are a result of accumulated toxicity of many kinds, disastrous forms of fat and, nutrients which counter bioavailability – and this is ALWAYS evident in old age. In fact our very conception of old age normalises a diseased state which is a result of a life eating the wrong diet: a diet containing animal products.

    When humans were evolving, our predecessors made a big mistake: they took up meat eating and passed this atrocious toxic behaviour on until eating that rubbish became part of what humans are. Withdraw animal products from a person’s diet and all those conditions are reversed: study after study and countless lived experiences establishes this as a fact. Human appetite for animal products is the most dangerous and destructive force in the environment, ridden with the most callous of cruelty and totally destructive to human health. Organisations which stand against this madness are the very ones which a responsible doctor (human even) would align themselves with.

    Your carnist propaganda in this article is nothing but a failure and I’m glad I’m using an ad blocker so that my visit did nothing to improve your bank balance.

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