Hi Carb Sane,
I hope you don't mind me taking the liberty of e-mailing you. Jimmy Moore told me that you might be going on his show, which prompted me to try to read a few of your latest blog entries. Occasionally, friends have suggested I read and respond to your critiques (attacks?) , but whenever I try I find them tough going. Your descriptions of what I wrote or said or argued never quite seem to mesh with what I actually wrote or said or argued and your certainty that you are right and that I'm a dishonest sleazeball have made me hesitant to spend time and effort trying to convince you otherwise.
No problem emailing me. It is better than hearing from you second hand through Fred Hahn for example. Can you provide me with one example of where I have mischaracterized what you wrote or said?? As to my opinions of you and your motivations they have developed over time reading and listening to you. Whether or not you feel compelled to convince me otherwise is up to you. I'm just another blogger on the internet after all. Critique v. attack is a fine line. When I discover something that is intellectually dishonest (as I find your omission of glyceroneogenesis in GCBC to be, for example), I'll call it as I see it.
In this case, though, you asked me a simple question, to "name names", as you put it, once again implying that even on such a simple subject as this I'm bullshitting the innocent public. So, the "biggest expert in the country" (I hope I didn't phrase it like that, but doing a radio show is a different business than writing, so if I did... sigh) was indeed Richard Hanson. If you look in the acknowledgements of GC,BC you'll see Hanson among those thanked for reading the book and critiquing it in draft. You can e-mail him and ask him, if you'd like, although when I contacted him in March after my NIH lecture, he said he was dealing with cancer and would get back to me shortly. He didn't, and I didn't push it for the obvious reason.
Thank you for naming names. It seemed odd to me that you so frequently (one could say almost universally) do so in your book and lectures that it came across as odd that you would not do so with the young biophysicist(s) on at least two occasions, and now Hanson. FWIW, the way you phrased your assessment of Hanson was spot on in my view, we agree! I just have a hard time believing he would tell you that, circa 2007, your section on G3P was accurate.
The two young NIH biophysicists were Kevin Hall and Carson Chow. You can pull up Kevin's papers by searching "Hall kd adipose" in Pubmed. The English guy who agreed with Hall and Chow's take was Keith Frayn at Oxford.
Thanks again for these. I must say that my suspicions on the "English guy" were wrong. Hence my thinking of why you might not wish to name him at this point. Still, you now say you were corrected in 2008. Why did it take until the most recent lecture to leave out what you knew was obviously wrong from the lectures, and to finally admit you got it wrong in your interview with Jimmy? Your excuse that you don't have a blog or a platform doesn't pass the smell test. You've "taken questions" and responded to Dr. Eades' readership before, I've seen him share communications from you on his blog, as have others (e.g. Josef Brandenberg). If I used a default template I could have had my blog up and running here in 5 minutes, and you know for sure that you would have a hundred followers in a matter of hours. I'll be looking into Hall and Chow's research to see if it warrants a conclusion that the G3P issue doesn't matter because insulin is such a controlling factor in it all.
Feel free to ask any further questions. As I suggested to James Krieger in an e-mail exchange a few months ago I'm all for critical assessments of the evidence and my interpretations. And I make this point in the epilogue of GC,BC. It's absolutely necessary. Science doesn't function without it and I wish the establishment would care as much as you do about shooting me down. (Far more pleasing than being ignored, although ideally they would do more intellectually honest job of it than you do.)
Excuse me? Where have I demonstrated dishonesty - intellectual or otherwise? I have addressed problems with your theories with evidence. Where did I go wrong in my analysis of Shai for example? If it seems like I and others care a lot about "shooting you down" it is because you have a large and loyal following that deserves to know the truth, not separated from more of their money in a desperate search for answers. To that end I don't think you should be instructing medical professionals in theories when you have neither the background nor the qualifications to do so (again, my opinion). If you aren't going to volunteer to correct your errors, others will have to raise the noise level. I see nothing wrong with this. Actually, in the interest of science, don't you think those of us possessing evidence counter to your theories are obligated to share that? So again, why the two year lag? Can you see where that lag alone, aside from the facts, doesn't cast you in a good light? It seems only when enough evidence was posted demonstrating that not only were you wrong, but you should have known that you were prior to the publication of GCBC, did you finally decide to speak out.
If I can help you criticize my work, and do a better job, I'm happy to help. I just ask that you do a better job of describing correctly what I actually wrote and said and argued.
Again, please provide details specifics of where I have described what you wrote or said inaccurately.
As it is you're getting a failing grade and the glass house you're living in when you write your critiques seems awfully fragile.
Oh ... was I being graded? Who is grading me? LOL. Please show me the graded exam Sir. Which critiques are on fragile ground? SPECIFICALLY.
Also the ad hominem shit is beneath you and doesn't help your case any. You seem compelled to attack me for what you perceive as dishonesty and venality (taube$) when scholarly incompetence, time-pressure, stress and the limitations of one admittedly fallible individual would be far more reasonable explanations.
Ooooh ad hominem! She made an ad hominem!! Sheesh. This is a familiar pattern I've seen with others in your circle of friends. Just saying is all. I won't waste time distracting from the facts by addressing my occasional speckling of posts with my opinions and speculations on your motivations, etc.
Since I have your ear, perhaps you can specifically address the issue I raised in Glyceroneogenesis v. Taubes. That being how you could have still written what you did in light of the fact that the 2003 Reshef paper (Hanson coauthor) was among the references in GCBC, and the content thus known to you well in advance of publication.
Frankly, I consider financial interests to be a relatively understandable explanation for your behavior relative to your other proposed alternatives. After all, you have to make a buck right? Kids, as you mentioned a few times in your latest interview, to put through college. It is forgivable that you let GCBC go to print with known errors because you had a large advance that was no doubt spent doing all of your research. The same goes with honest mistakes that may or may not have been compounded by stress and time constraints. But to not correct the record in the intervening years?
Would you REALLY prefer I charge you with scholarly incompetence? Actually that would be an explanation had you not hit on at least a few references that already refute many of your theories. But if you claim this as a defense, what on Earth are you doing lecturing (educating) others?
Your work would be more compelling and would certainly be taken more seriously if you left your presumption of motive -- something you can know nothing about -- out of it.
Perhaps. I'll let my readers decide. Seems I'm taken rather seriously just being me. I think my readers are smart enough in their own right to know that I'm venting/speculating my opinions. They're free to draw their own conclusions. Again, is there some explanation for the Reshef/G3P contradiction I'm missing?
It’s as though you’re dedicated here not just to proving that you’re smarter than I am, but that you’re morally superior as well. The first ambition is diminished greatly by the second. You say you fear cyberstalkers in your life, and yet you come across like someone who has devoting their life to stalking me.
Sorry, I'm back now. I think I have the laughter under control. Is your ego really that out of control that you are accusing me of devoting my life to stalking you? Do you have a clue just how silly that sounds? As of receipt of your email my blog contained 169 posts only 11 of which were tagged GCBC fact check, and a handful specifically addressing your work directly. (That total count doesn't even include probably at least half that many additional posts lying in my draft bin waiting for finishing touches while I tend to what sparks my interest on a particular day). I did really start my blog (and continue to post regularly on everything from fatty acid contents of foods to in depth analyses of studies to posting links and abstracts for future reference) to organize and share my research. Since I'm interested in getting the science right, you've been on my radar screen as a prominent voice who has gotten a lot wrong. I don't care if anyone thinks you're smarter or I'm smarter or what. That's just childish. As for moral superiority? I make no claims there either. But I'm sure not the first blogger on the web to express an opinion or to speculate on dishonest behavior when I see it.
As to my concerns re: cyberstalking these are specific to the nature of personal issues I've shared. I'm already concerned that you seem to be aware of this concern using that particular term, as I've only ever used it in my emails with Jimmy (re: our upcoming podcast interview). I don't think Jimmy intended to betray a confidence, but this kind of thing can happen too easily for my comfort. Frankly, I don't really care if folks on the internet know everything about me so much as I do not want real life acquaintances to know as much about me as I've shared on the personal blog. I think most of my readers would understand that or at least have no interest in wasting time on malicously pursuing me. I still share the information in hopes that it might help others who see a bit of me in themselves ... in the hopes that my journy out of binds I've been freed from gives hope that others can gain freedom too. But, on the internet you never know if there's someone out there with malicious intent, so I maintain anonymity for my own protection. If anyone reading this feels I'm somehow less credible for it, let them judge for themselves and find another blog to read, perhaps. There could be no reason other than malice to attempt to "out" me. It certainly would add nothing of substance to the discussion. In the end, I'm not selling anyone anything. I write on a free blog site and nobody needs ever read a word I write. I could weigh 100 or 800 lbs and eat Pritikin or drink 4L of Coke a day or survive on coconut milk and jerky, and it still doesn't change the serious inconsistencies I've uncovered in your work. Your work being published for profit and referenced ubiquitously in the LC community as a "definitive" work. If you're going to present yourself as an expert, you should be prepared to answer to critical reviews of your work. I'm all ears if/when someone finds an error in my research or interpretations of data. THAT will lead to constructive discourse. Not crying "ad hominem" any time someone criticizes your work on the basis of the evidence. And certainly not accusing your detractors of stalking! I'm not following you around the country heckling you at lectures or delving into your personal life. Even if my blog were All GCBC Critique All the Time, that still wouldn't be stalking any more than the various websites that exist solely to pay homage to your book are.
Reporting the facts or the strict nature of the disagreement between us would suffice and would actually benefit both your readers and mine. Disagreeing with my interpretation of the facts and the evidence I marshal to support my argument is perfectly valid.
My writing style is what it is. I think the bulk of my work is reflective of evidence-based arguments.
I might even learn something from your work (although from what I've read so far, I doubt it.)
Just a thought: When offering advice to others on their writing style, it behooves one to refrain from doing that which they're accusing others of. If scholarly ineptitude is really your defense, I might suggest you start by reading the various posts I've made under the Insulin Resistance tag so as to correct that flawed theory in your book as well. Please do report back when you haven't learned a thing.
Assuming that you know what I was thinking while I wrote and that my motives are less pure than yours, other than from what I might have stated explicitly in the book, is not necessary and will be counter productive should any serious reader try to follow your arguments.
Again, I'll let my readers decide for themselves the value of the information I present and whether or not sharing my opinion alters its value. I don't presume to know what you think, I am speculating based on the evidence available to me. The 2003 reference to Glyceroneogenesis in your book doesn't add up. And there is more to come as I have discovered some inconsistencies with other references that are even more glaring.
I hope this helps.
All the best,
PS. If you want to post this e-mail, feel free. I just ask that you post the whole thing and not part of it. If you want to keep it private, that's fine with me. I'm CC-ing Jimmy Moore, since it was Jimmy who spurred me to try once again to read your posts.
I think both of you could benefit from reading more of them.
Quick Edit to Add the brief note I sent with the full email:
I've replied with my point by point responses in italics. I will gladly share your responses in their entirety on my blog, or you can respond in the comments to the post where I've shared this email: http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2010/10/update-gary-taubes-email-my-response.html