Quotations: Taubes on Pathological Science
INTERVIEWER Marc Hellerstein thought that the obesity epidemic was caused by people being sedentary?TAUBES He believed that the key is whether you’re sedentary compared to how you used to be. When I told him about the Pima and the Sioux Indians and this 1981 study of obesity in oil field workers, he had an excuse for everything. So the Pima and the Sioux Indians, they lived on reservations, so they could be obese because they were relatively sedentary, at least more sedentary than they used to be. And the oil field workers, well, they're Mexican-American, so they have some kind of "thrifty" gene going. You know this is what pathological science is: a field in which you can find a reason to explain away all negative evidence. In pathological science, it’s no longer possible to refute the hypothesis. Remember, science is about trying to test your hypothesis and refute it, but in a field like this, if you test it and come up with a counter-example, the counter-example is just explained away with whatever comes to mind. Negative evidence never means anything. So you have an obese person who's sedentary, that's proof of my hypothesis. If you have an obese person who's very active — at least, compared to most people today — the Sioux Indians, for instance, who were so poor they had to walk down to the river to get their drinking water; who had no televisions, no cars; they had to walk outside to evacuate their bowels — those people are obese because they used to be more active than they are now.
~ Gary Taubes, January 2008
Leaving aside Gary's example here, and focusing on his discussion of science, I contend that low carb "science" has long since passed into the realm of the pathological.