Oh Nevermind ..... (Taubes and G3P)
Poor Gary Taubes is embarrassed by his whole glycerol phosphate debacle, and since that was just too difficult a subject for dummy laypersons to understand anyway, he just left it out of his upcoming book. So let's just forget about that one folks and move on. He takes the opportunity to set the record straight in an interview, had time to post two long blog posts rehashing his latest spin on carbs and such, but hasn't addressed this issue in print despite at least one commenter asking about it. He "hopes" to be able to get to such heady topics at some future point. I'm not holding my breath!
But I think Mr. Taubes should have his feet held to the fire on this issue and not be allowed to get away with a simple "oh nevermind" on a key aspect of his theories.
One can listen to his latest (James Kreiger bashing **more on this at the end of this post) interview HERE. It's a bit of a tough listen with audio difficulties and such, but the issue I want to address comes around the 51:30 mark where he addresses his "bone headed" mistakes in GCBC.
Listen to that and now go back and listen to his mea culpa at around the 41:30 mark in his interview with Jimmy Moore HERE.
- In the Jimmy interview he says the G3P claims were "skewed" in the lectures but this wasn't in the book. In the latest interview he's asked specifically about the book but doesn't make the distinction again. Not that this is a huge quibble, but perhaps someone reminded him that #3 of the "four facts [that] had been established beyond reasonable doubt" by the mid 60's was: "Dietary carbohydrates are required for excess fat accumulation"
- In the Jimmy interview he says that the young biophysicists (now identified as Hall and Chow) told him he was wrong about G3P, but that insulin so fundamental to fat accumulation as to render this point moot. I've yet to find any evidence in their writings and metabolic models to suggest they believe this, indeed the word insulin doesn't even appear in the 10 pages of text in The Dynamics of Human Body Weight Change, which is perhaps why he left this qualifier out of his H&C correction in the latest interview. Still,
- In the Jimmy interview he goes on to correct that dietary carb is not required to store fat, but he doesn't refute the rate limiting part. He states that it's all still true that the more carbs, the more G3P the more fat you store. Well, now we get a different version of how Hall and Chow set him straight on G3P. Did you hear? Nine months ago (e.g. pre-Jimmy interview) they told him that there's always enough alpha glycerol phosphate available through other avenues that raising blood sugar through dietary carbs wouldn't directly alter this. Repeat: there's always enough around. It's NOT rate limiting folks.
But oh, this just happens, it's only important to folks on the internet who don't like me and are convinced I'm just in it for the money ( awww shucks!) yada yada, it's a crazy world out there, this isn't a religion it should be a science. I think the fact that Taubes still has doesn't fully want to accept this himself tells us a lot about who is being "religious" on this issue. It appears that we get the truth out of Taubes when he speaks extemporaneously on such topics. He doesn't seem to have the greatest recall of things that he's said and written. So not only is he lying that the texts circa GCBC would say what he did in the book, but he lied in his interview with Jimmy when he says the only error was that carbs were required to store fat but all the rest is still true. Now he tells us Hall and Chow set him straight on the whole of the G3P theory months ago.
Whatever has prompted Taubes to fess up fully on the G3P issue, considering the numerous times he repeated it in all of those lectures in support of his theory and for the purpose of changing minds, I think more than just dropping the subject is in order here. He's now blaming all the readers who believed him and perpetuate this notion to this day for his errors rather than owning up fully. I don't know about you all, but every time he discusses this we get the prelude "this is technical" in a condescending drone. What is so complicated about a molecule -- one that goes by many names but not one of which is even hard to pronounce -- combining with three fatty acids to form a triglyceride? I'm glad he will not be perpetuating this error in his upcoming book, but I think the excuse as to why he's leaving it out is lame.
For the record, I do not use the word lie lightly. It is with much considered thought that I have come to this conclusion. The evidence is damning. There was never any evidence in the first place for his G3P theory to be found in his references, Newsholme & Start in particular even lays out the case against that theory. That didn't stop him from making it up! He, not his followers, repeated the made up theory over and over in his lectures that I'm sure garnered a tidy fee. Only the truth caught up with Taubes and yet he still clung to some vestige in an attempt to save face. Now, finally after all this time we get the "oh nevermind" brush-off, and it's just those geeky science bloggers with an ax to grind that it matters to anyway. He's just too busy to be bothered with this side job. As if anybody buys that GCBC franchise" is just something he does in his spare time or something. Yah! Does anyone really believe this? We all have lives and families and jobs and whatnot outside of this, but certainly for Taubes this IS a huge part of his job/finances and it is disingenuous of him to insist otherwise.
** I would like to take the opportunity to address the James Krieger bashing in that interview. James was supposed to participate but had throat/voice issues so could not. They took the opportunity to mock the name of his website and the quality of the science presented on his blog. If Taubes' first two blog posts are any indication, he could take a page or two from James. The irony of the other guest bashing science blogs while Taubes is now disseminating "science" on one of his own is not lost on me. I'm fairly sure I was amongst the unnamed other bloggers Taubes expressed his disdain for. A silly nuisance not worthy of his precious time to address no matter the substance of the criticism. No, silly interviewer, I don't believe GT makes money for every pound his readers gain, but he sure as hell does make a good living in book sales and lecture fees and the like. Anyway, I do not know James personally. I had read a bit on his former blog (something Detector or something like that). He's been kind enough to provide me with some articles I didn't have access to, contributed to this blog in the comments and linked to it to spread the word on certain posts, etc. All of which I'm thankful for. But there's no history or conspiracy here. I do not appreciate, however, these jerks (that's a kind description of their behavior) mocking the name of his website as if he's some fly-by-night schlock selling gimmicky diet advice. Unlike Taubes, James has actual experience with treating obese people as well as having performed actual scientific research and published in peer review journals. In discussing James, GT mentioned emails, a request for phone conversations, private communications, etc. Sound familiar? It should! GT seems to have a boilerplate response to criticism ... and don't forget the "ad hominem" charge. The tactic is to take it to a private venue where others can't see the silly and juvenile arguments he makes all the while never addressing the substance of the criticisms and noted errors in his works. Folks, it takes just as long if not longer to correspond in private than to post in public for all to read. And if it took any extra effort, one would think GT would make it in the interest of spreading the truth, no? So in any case, my Insulin Wars series was not intended to defend James specifically, but I'm happy that I have some time at the moment to address some of the criticism of his work at a time when his time constraints don't permit a firsthand rebuttal. James may not be 100% correct on everything in his Insulin Series, but he's a helluvalot closer to the truth than Taubes' blinders would ever allow him to get.