Plagerizing Plagiarism, and the Plagiarists Who Plagerize Them

Yes ... I know "plagerize" isn't a word, but

image link
As you may or may not have heard, Time magazine, where all dutiful Americans turn for information on what the government and others think we should be eating, has done an about face.  Eat Butter they say ... in a cover article written by one Bryan Walsh.

What?  Not Nina Teicholz you ask?  Nope, not Nina.  But it sure sounds like her.  Or does it?

Teicholz was all over Twitter several days ago, egged on by many who tweeted along in support.  These ideas are just too new and original to have come from anywhere other than The Big Fat Surprise.  


Here is the full Time article (thanks CharlesG).   Given the media deluge of Teicholz these days, it's hard to recall a time when it was others that were making many of the same arguments .... for years now.    But her ideas are not new.  They are not even all that new to her ...

When I first highlighted this post by Seth at The Science of Nutrition -- FAT IN THE DIET AND MORTALITY FROM HEART DISEASE: A PLAGIARISTIC NOTE -- I didn't realize that the first example he used, from Nina Teicholz, was from back in 2007.  Seth linked to an NBC "reprint" of an article dated October 10, 2007 in Men's Health:  What if Bad Fat is Actually Good for You? For decades, Americans have been told that saturated fat clogs arteries and causes heart disease. But there's just one problem: No one's ever proved it.

Good Calories, Bad Calories hit the stands for the general public Sept. 25, 2007.  

I see no mention of Gary Taubes, nor his (then) hot-off-the-presses new book in Nina's article.  Do you?
Suppose you were forced to live on a diet of red meat and whole milk. A diet that, all told, was at least 60 percent fat -- about half of it saturated. If your first thoughts are of statins and stents, you may want to consider the curious case of the Masai, a nomadic tribe in Kenya and Tanzania.
In the 1960s, a Vanderbilt University scientist named George Mann, M.D., found that Masai men consumed this very diet (supplemented with blood from the cattle they herded). Yet these nomads, who were also very lean, had some of the lowest levels of cholesterol ever measured and were virtually free of heart disease.
The Masai nomads of Kenya in 1962 had blood-cholesterol levels among the lowest ever measured, despite living exclusively on milk, blood, and occasionally meat from the cattle they herded .  {Taubes, Gary (2007-09-25). Good Calories, Bad Calories (Kindle Locations 850-851). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.} 
I found this "lowest ever measured" characterization to be rather interesting as I haven't seen it in the literature or other references to it (particularly the saponin references in this post).  It is one thing to describe the Masai as having lower cholesterol than predicted by their diet, or even to have low cholesterol levels, but "lowest ever measured" seems a bit of a stretch not to have been routinely incorporated in some manner into the literature.   In one study, looking at whether absorption might be a factor, the average cholesterol was around 155 mg/dL, they say simply:  "Maasai have low levels of serum cholesterol (2)".  Elsewhere in the paper they use the term "relative hypocholesteremia".   It seems odd that two people would simultaneously and independently arrive at "lowest ever measured".

Now, let's not forget the quote Seth called her out on:
At the time, plenty of scientists were skeptical of Keys’s assertions. One such critic was Jacob Yerushalmy, Ph.D., founder of the biostatistics graduate program at the University of California at Berkeley. In a 1957 paper, Yerushalmy pointed out that while data from the six countries Keys examined seemed to support the diet-heart hypothesis, statistics were actually available for 22 countries. And when all 22 were analyzed, the apparent link between fat consumption and heart disease disappeared.


Many researchers wouldn’t buy it. Jacob Yerushalmy, who ran the biostatistics department at the University of California, Berkeley, and Herman Hilleboe, the New York State commissioner of health, co-authored a critique of Keys’s hypothesis, noting that Keys had chosen only six countries for his comparison though data were available for twenty-two countries. When all twenty-two were included in the analysis, the apparent link between fat and heart disease vanished.  {Taubes, Gary (2007-09-25). Good Calories, Bad Calories (Kindle Locations 713-716)}
Here's my challenge to Ms. Teicholz ... Without shooting the messenger(s) here, can you explain the similarities in the above two pairs of quotations?   Do you consider your failure to credit Gary Taubes as your "source for these arguments" to be plagiarism?   Should Men's Health  revisit work published under your name and whether or not it may have contained plagiarized content?    

It may well be possible that a fair number of the plagiarizers that Seth identifies were actually plagiarizing Teicholz's Men's Health article.  Should Teicholz or Men's Health go after Sadiqua Hamden on the US Wellness Meat's blog?   While Hamden states "Men's Health published an excellent article that explained how saturated fats became known to be so bad", the blog post is undated, there is no mention of the author, nor the date of publication.  Better go after the Palliser Group (Little Organic Strawberry) for publishing her article in full without any attribution whatsoever!  Teicholz's article was reprinted in full on numerous blogs and websites (even with attribution this violates copyright and even the most lenient interpretations of Fair Use), here is only one such example.   

It's a bit of a mess, isn't it, tracking down serial plagiarism of varying degrees.   Not that she'd take my advice, but Teicholz may want to tone down her plagerism (sic) rhetoric aimed at Walsh and Time ... lest Knopf (although apparently Taubes doesn't care) be given reason to look more closely at her own efforts published in Men's Health and by Simon & Schuster.    But speaking of Gary Taubes, he not only doesn't seem to care about being plagiarized by Teicholz, he contributed to her manuscript bearing striking resemblances to Good Calories, Bad Calories.  

Revisiting Seth's post ... What is Plagiarism?

In all the flurry of media excitement and the flat-out journalistic garbage that The Big Fat Surprise is, a major point -- the "plagiaristic note" -- in Seth's post has fallen a bit by the wayside.

What makes the quotes he cites -- and countless more that can be found using a search engine and a few search strings -- plagiarism is that they do not credit the ORIGINAL source of the material.   Consider this scenario:
  • Person A conducts a study, publishes and interprets the results.  
  • Person B reports on this new study citing Person A and perhaps either quoting form the paper or from a press conference or interview.  
  • Person C writes their own synopsis of the findings of Person A, citing their study, but either selective quotes (out of context) and/or puts their own spin on the results.
  • Person D writes an analysis very similar to that of Person C but presents such as original thought and/or attributes the analysis to Person A.
In this scenario, Person A (or rather Persons) are Yerushalmy & Hilleboe.  Seth has made the full text of their study available here.  I'm sure there are many Persons B out there, but in Good Calories, Bad Calories, Gary Taubes was more of a Person C.   

Y&H didn't really challenge Keys on the correlation or chastise him for his supposed crime of assuming causation.  No, instead they challenged how "specific" the association was, and whether he ignored data.

Since no information is given by Keys on how or why the six countries were selected for Fig. 1 [Keys' famous "J"], it is necessary to investigate the association between dietary fat and heart disease mortality in all countries for which information is available.  This is shown in Fig. 3 for males aged fifty-five to fifty-nine years in 22 countries.  It is immediately obvious that the inclusion of all the countries greatly reduces the apparent association.  {blue and red emphasis mine}
Taubes was guilty of his usual biased scientific re-enactment shenanigans whereby "greatly reduces the apparent association" morphed into "vanished".    Where plagiarism comes into play here, as Seth demonstrated with copious occurrences, is when this Person C editorializing was repeated by Teicholz and essentially attributed to Person A.  Teicholz is a "D" here, which would be a very generous grade were her various writings submitted to even a modicum of critical review on their journalistic merits.    This type of plagiarism is easy to spot because Person C -- in this case Gary Taubes  -- was mistaken in their "original work".    If only Taubes had been more accurate in his portrayal of what Y&H really said, those copying him could argue (rightly) in their defense that they were merely citing the Y&H paper.  Even if their phraseology was similar to "was reduced" or even something closer to the original like "the association was greatly reduced", etc., it would be difficult to charge plagiarism.  There would have been more than a reasonable chance that such wordings and expressions could have been arrived at independently based on what was said in the original source.

But GCBC is Taubes' "original work" in that it contains his take on things, and it is often unique in the extent of his "errors".    Teicholz has quite clearly plagiarized him in both Men's Health and her new book The Big Fat Surprise.

Is Bryan Walsh of Time Off the Hook?

Before moving on, I'll briefly address Teicholz's accusations against Walsh and Time magazine.  I don't think she has a leg to stand on.  There's nothing all that unique in this "debunking", and if there were any original work to be defended, it most assuredly is not hers.   She has her own moment in the Person C sun these days with her innumerable references to the 2008 Shai/DIRECT study and claims that it leads the way in providing "proof" that is "definitive", "unequivocal" etc. in the form of an RCT that is metabolic-wardly in its description (see here and previous installments -- my profuse apologies for the run-on sentence!).  Not only does she exaggerate the degree to which a "high fat" diet outperforms a "low fat" diet, but she manufactures superiority of LC over the Mediterranean diet where none exists in the original paper.  Anyone who repeats THAT without citing Teicholz is guilty of plagiarizing her "original work".   So when I finally got to the part of his article that references Shai, I noted that Walsh portrays LC and Mediterranean as being equivalently superior to the low fat diet, and additionally claims the Mediterranean diet was high in fat.  So ... it would be a tough case if you asked me.

Is there stuff in there that she could have written?  Most certainly, perhaps.  Has he repeated some of her "original errors"?  Again, perhaps.   But ... It would probably be best for her to drop this "journalists' code" nonsense and finger pointing, because the three fingers pointing back at her may well be pointing legal scholars to the true culprit here.

The New Plagerism, Same as the Old Plagiarism

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that The Big Fat Surprise is an exercise in plagiarism to varying degrees.  Even 5-star gushers have noted the eerie similarities to GCBC.   Gary Taubes doesn't seem to mind, presumably because his own books have fizzled out and perhaps because he's aware how easy it is for folks to find credible refutations of so much of what he wrote in that book.  Attach the same tired shiz to a new name and all of a sudden (in the spirit of this post I'll credit Kade Storm here, although I've been thinking much of the same things) it kills two birds with one stone:  1. Put a badly needed fresh face on the movement (doesn't hurt that she's an attractive woman), and 2. It appears the number of converts is multiplying and their positions are reinforced by endurance + growth.

screenshot @ Kindle Location 622

In the new book (and such an excerpt for the purposes of educating the public falls WELL within Fair Use guidelines, lest anyone get ideas of shutting me up on that sort of technicality), Teicholz writes, beginning at location 615:
Keys had developed a sizable following among his nutrition colleagues, yet at least one scientist in his audience, Jacob Yerushalmy, was not impressed.   Yerushalmy was the founder of the Biostatistics Department at the University of California, Berkeley; he saw Keys speak at a World Health Organization (WHO) conference in Geneva in 1955. Yerushalmy thought that the data seemed a little fishy.   Right there in Geneva, for instance, the local population consumed a great deal of fat— animal fat— but did not die from heart disease very often.  Like the so-called French paradox (those surprisingly healthy omelet eaters), one could also observe a Swiss paradox. In fact, if you looked at all the twenty-two countries for which national data were available in 1955, such “paradoxes” existed also for West Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark; clearly these were not paradoxes but data points demanding an alternative explanation. [above figure appears after this in the Kindle book]
Yerushalmy’s objection was that Keys seemed to have selected only certain countries that fit his hypothesis. There were other factors that could equally well explain the trends in heart disease in all these countries, he asserted.   In a 1957 paper, Yerushalmy listed some of them: the number of cars sold per capita, number of cigarettes sold, consumption of protein, and consumption of sugar.  These were all associated with one common factor: wealth.  So anything that accompanied a growing midcentury prosperity, including meat, sugar, car exhaust , and margarine, could be causing heart disease.   As for fat, when Yerushalmy and his colleague, Herman E. Hilleboe, plotted the data for all twenty-two countries instead of just the six that Keys had selected, they observed that his correlation nearly disappeared. Only a random Jackson Pollock–like splatter of data points was left.  That mess of data points did not go over so well with Keys.
This is sourced to Yerushalmy and Hilleboe, not Gary Taubes.   I contend that "nearly disappeared" -- a more nuanced version of simply "disappeared" in 2007 -- is still closer to "vanished" than "greatly reduces the apparent association".  This is more than a matter of mere semantics.   As Taubes portrays things, and Teicholz plageristically parrots, the reader is left with the *original thought* that Y&H were critical of even Keys' assertion of a relationship.  They were critical of the extent or specificity thereof, yet offered no statistical analysis of their data to justify any wording implying that there was none.   Indeed, rather than Jackson Pollack-like, their data shows a clear positive correlation that reached statistical significance.   

We'll Always Have France (and Switzerland) ...

As the plagiaristic parade marches onward ... I have to point out something I noted and tweeted a little while back.   Keys is always accused of cherry-picking to further his agenda.  While the second (or third, etc.) country cited varies from iteration to iteration, the point is consistent:  Keys ignored data that would have refuted his hypothesis, and France was data point numéro un Keys apparently ignored.  In my above excerpt, Teicholz makes it out that Yerushalmy pondered paradoxes while munching on fatty foods with the Genevan populace.  This Keys data was *fishy*.  Here is a quote later in the book with an annotated Y&H plot.

My apologies that my color codes don't match up with the highlighted text, but ...
  • This notion that "low fat" diets were anathema to human consumption, even in the so-called Western world and/or developed nations is a total farce.  The red 30% line finds over one-third of countries surveyed  (8) at or below it in 1950.
  • An additional five countries -- bringing our total to 13 or roughly 60% of countries -- at or below 33% that the US has "dutifully" cut its fat consumption to.  
France is listed at 28-29% fat.  Let me repeat.  There is NO paradox in the Yerushalmy and Hilleboe data.  NONE.  Or do we now question the venerable skeptics of Keys?  Further, Switzerland, while over 30%, is no big paradox at what appears to be ~33% fat.  In the Uffe Ravnskov overlay, it's not far off the scatter.    Oh ... and 33% fat is what the US is now dutifully following as a *cough* low fat *cough* diet.  

Keys can perhaps be accused of many things, but not including France and Switzerland for fear that their high fat consumption and low heart disease mortality rates would have thrown his graph into disarray?  That was not amongst them.

A note on spelling.  Yeah, yeah.  I make mistakes too.  Imagine the shitstorm spelling asinine with a double s will cause.  Oh wait, you don't have to, we know. 

Meanwhile, a journalist misspelling plagiarize?   

I know.  It looks strange.  I often check if it's been a while ... because I know there's an "i" in there and plaigarize seems to make more sense.  A foreigner learning English would phonetically sound out the proper spelling quite differently.    Forget the "s" vs. "z" thing, that's not always consistent.  

There's no "e" in plagiarism.  There is, however, an "e" in team.  This latest onslaught does, indeed, appear to be a team effort.


charles grashow said…
This guy's LCHF diet is REALLY working isn't it!
"According to information in Jimmy’s book (from what I remember) – if you have high cholesterol, but have a ZERO heart calcium score, (meaning no calcium buildup in your arteries) your high cholesterol really doesn’t matter. A Zero calcium score would indicate no inflammation.

So on 1/20/14 – I had a CT Heart Calcium Test done. The results of that test were not favorable. It turns out that my score of 287.1 put me in the 90th percentile for men my age, meaning less than 10% of men my age would score higher! This bit of information only reinforced my decision to go LCHF, as clearly eating a “healthy” diet."

SO - What does this idiot do - he takes the advice of Jimmy Moore and his "experts"

"For 6 months straight I have started my day with 3-4 eggs (which if scrambled or made as an omelette will have cheese, avocado and sour cream added), 5-7 pieces of bacon, and a cup of coffee with coconut oil added. I have also consumed 65-70% of my calories from fat."

What happens - his TC AND LDL-C increase! His TC is now 387 and his LDL-C is now 305! With HDL of 64 his non HDL-C is now 323!

But - he doesn't care!!
charles grashow said…
Alan Smithee said…
Once again, not even a single mention of Plant Positive, who was the first to talk about all this, in an article about plagiarism no less. Between this and your hypocritical defense of the Perfect Health Diet, I'm out of respect for you.
Reasonably intelligent people are hoisting up this cover shot to claim the death of the lipid hypothesis. Perhaps these comedians need to learn the difference between lipid and diet-heart? Nah!
Defence of PHD? Are you delusional?
Wuchtamsel said…
Even with differentiating beetwing the lipid-"hypothesis" and diet-heart, butter is probably one of the least adequate examples to discredit the latter. Flushing 50 years of science down the toilet with the help of a few lunatics? Yeah, AMERICA! I somehow even wished people would start to eat like in the 40s and 50s again. When CVD starts to rise in 20-30 years then we might be able to end this ridiculous
debate forever...
carbsane said…
In this blog post, I came this close →← to addressing Plant Positive's comments/claims on Seth's blog post.

Let me make it abundantly clear: I do not follow PP nor have I watched the vast majority of his videos. I have seen some, and mostly those have been linked to here on this blog AFTER I have opined on a similar topic IN MY OWN ORIGINAL WORDS AND WAY. I have read the transcripts of one or two more of his videos, and if I ever were to use one as a jumping off point on a topic, you can be damned sure I'd credit him. But this has never happened to date.

Plant Positive is, to the best of my knowledge, a "Person B" above. I say this giving him the benefit of the doubt that he accurately conveys the content of the peer review research he highlights. If 1000 others were to produce similar critiques, he'd have a hard time claiming originality and/or infringement rising to the charge of copy-catting let alone plagiarism. That's just how it is. If PP can compile a list like Seth just did now in the featured comment -- or like the two examples in my post -- then he'd have a case against whomever was the perpetrator.

Arriving at similar conclusions or discussing a similar combination of research articles is not plagiarism. Rest assured that if PP were to alert me to a particular paper I had not yet discovered I would credit him as I always seek to do. As Seth mentioned in his responses to PP, he can't prove he didn't see/view something of PP's first, and neither can I. This "you didn't mention Plant Positive in a post on plagiarism" crap is getting old and stale already. Seth didn't, and I didn't, because (and I speak for myself, but echo Seth's responses in comments on his blog) neither of us saw/read anything from PP prior to writing our own pieces on the topic. That just is what it is.

Here's another little tidbit for you. I rarely -- and this has been a practice for a while now -- read the takes of others "of like mind" on a particular topic before I get a chance to compile and publish up my own thoughts. Because you can't unring a bell, and it also stifles independent curiosity and whatever paths that may lead me down. Inasmuch as PP and I appear to be "on the same side" of some issues, I'm not inclined to delve through his archives before blogging here. This isn't peer review after all ...

If your purpose is to goad me into citing and promoting Plant Positive, you have failed.

My hypocritical defense of PHD? ... SIGH ...
Bris Vegas said…
The easiest way to catch a plagiarist is to put deliberate typos or false references in your bibliography. If these 'mistakes' are copied you have proof of plagiarism.
Bris Vegas said…
Cordain is an exercise physiologist. They have a similar training in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry as MDs. EPs have far more training in nutrition than MDs and often teach nutrition subjects at university.

Many exercise physiology departments are located within medical faculties. Some of the leading exercise physiologists such as Tim Noakes are also medical graduates.

In Australia exercise phsyiology is a fairly common premed course for those intending to study a postgraduate medical degree.
carbsane said…
Typos won't catch most these days as auto spell and grammar checkers would catch them. Now the second thing ... Hmmm ... that would certainly catch the plagiarists if it gets that far, but you wouldn't last long before such false references would land you in hot water!
carbsane said…
That's why I said Cordain *maybe*, but I was thinking his degree was Exercise Science not EP. Still, his BS in Health Science was in healthcare management. For his MS he was required to take human physiology and sports nutrition and his PhD coursework was limited to advanced exercise physiology. It's fair to say he is likely well versed in physiology of the musculoskeletal system and could pass Hartwig's ISSN certification w/o studying because he has taken a "for majors" nutrition class.

So yeah ... paleo nutrition expert ;-)
Alan Smithee said…
All of this is way too fishy for me to buy. You claim that you independently arrived at the same conclusions at Plant Positive. But in your previous blog post "The Demonizing Of Ancel Keys: Laying Some Groundwork," you linked to Denise Minger's article on Keys, which states:

"(Note: This post was inspired by the “Ancel Keys” section in a recent series of paleo-challenging YouTube videos, which I may critique in the future. The anonymous videomaker “Plant Positive” highlighted some important misconceptions about Keys…"

Did you not watch the "Ancel Keys" section of those "Paleo-challenging YouTube videos," even though Minger included a hyperlink to it, and if so, why? Why would someone so vehemently opposed to Paleo as yourself not even attempt to watch those videos? You seem to have viewed every other anti-Paleo piece on the internet like Alan Aragon's Powerpoint presentation, Christina Warriner's TedXTalk, and James Fell's "Paleo has jumped the shark." Heck, you even share them on your social media sites. Your friend Seth Yoder/The Science Of Nutrition has an equally tall tale: he "thinks" he saw one of Plant Positive's Ancel Keys videos prior to writing on the matter for himself, but that "it was after [he] had already independently investigated this whole thorny issue" so he didn't need to credit Plant Positive. Not buying it. I think both of you learned about the LC community's lies about Keys from those videos, then exploited Plant Positive's research without giving him his due. In your case, you may very well have been afraid to credit Plant Positive because of his feud with your megalomaniac friend Colpo.

BTW, you wrote:

"If 1000 others were to produce similar critiques, he'd have a hard time claiming originality and/or infringement rising to the charge of copy-catting let alone plagiarism."

That's just it, Carb Sane. This is a very esoteric issue. It's not a ubiquitous pop culture legend like "don't go swimming until an hour after you eat" that 1,000 people WOULD produce critiques of, although it sadly might be if people like Teicholz continue their misinformation campaigns. What are the odds that you and Seth would independently arrive at the same conclusions as Plant Positive on such an obscure topic when both of you admit to being aware of his channel at least as far back as 2012 and 2013 respectively? In your case, it's especially hard to believe since you cited an article with a flippin' hyperlink to his video "Primitive Nutrition 36: The Infamous Ancel Keys? Part I." I'm not asking that you promote his channel in general, just in this case, because I'm confident you saw that video. You don't want to be guilty of what you're accusing Teicholz of doing, now do you?
carbsane said…
The FOODS that make up a PHD are generally healthy. The "basics of the content". That's what I meant. Many diets are based on gimmicks and whatnot but can be healthy in composition nonetheless. I suppose the Zone might be another example there.

I guess you could say that while I believe you could include many foods PHD excludes, what is "allowed" is perfectly healthy albeit not at the macro ratios they suggest.

Sorry I don't have time to expand on that further and explain myself. If you wish to think me a hypocrite, so be it.
billy the k said…
Charles--muchas gracias for the link to the Time magazine article! Greatly appreciated, as the magazine distributor for all of Tucson Arizona went out of business 2 weeks ago, and so the "Eat Butter" issue is nowhere to be had.
carbsane said…
The screenshot
carbsane said…
the screenshot
carbsane said…
ughh the screenshot isn't showing. Sorry ... it was the 3 points about the Y&H paper.
Bris Vegas said…
Spellcheckers won't detect minor changes such as DOI references, page numbers or names of authors (eg Smith AB vs Smith AC).

It is extremely unlikely that anyone would check every reference in a mainstream book. If you did get caught you would simply say it was a deliberate copyright trap. [It is normal practice for mapmakers to put false streets or localities in their maps to catch copyright offenders.]
Bris Vegas said…
How many peer-reviewed nutrition papers has Evelyn Kccur published? None.

How many peer-reviewed nutrition papers has Loren Cordain published? Dozens.

Publications are the ONLY qualifications considered as expertise in science. The courses you studied at university are considered totally irrelevant for academic promotion.

By any objective academic criterion Loren Cordain is considered an expert in nutrition by his scientific peers.

By your logic Watson and Crick knew nothing about DNA because neither had studied any undergraduate biochemistry (Watson was an expert on bird nesting, Crick was a physicist.)
My point was that the only way someone would interpret such hypocrisy from her obvious views--based on comments and the post you referenced--is if they're actually looking for something to take out of context in order to have issue where no issue exists.

Even in the past, where Evelyn has referenced Paul as a voice of reason in the community, it has been a reference in relative terms. A good while back when that pathetic safe starches debate took place, she even called it a 2 against 1.5 handicap in favour of the anti-starch rhetoric since she accurately cited the fact that while Paul is more willing to include a wider range of foods, his approach on 'toxic' anti-nutrients and macro-ratios hardly make him a genuine proponent for starches.

Frankly speaking, there is no discernible hypocrisy at play beyond going out of one's way to obsess with details at solely face-value.
Screennamerequired said…
I don't agree with everything written. But yeah, let's be real. If it wasn't for Plant Positives research I doubt anyone would of even had a legitimate look into the old research of Ancel Benjamin Keys.
I'll give Seth the benefit of the doubt when he says he had not had a legitimate look at Plant positives research before his blog post. If that was the case I would presume he got the tip off from comments on blogs who likely referenced Plant Positive's arguements.. I still do find it hard to believe that when he went he went to research the topic before writing about it that had not read/watch a lot of Plant positives blogs/videos. He was the main person who bought some rational talk and research into topic of Ancel Keys and his "cherry picking"

Originally, Denise Minger went in to damage control mode and wrote her Ancel keys blog post directly after Plant positives video's. Around 5 days later I believe. At the time she didn't give plant positive any credit for his research, she also even took a few sneaky swipes at him. This damage control post seemed to me like a massive apology for her employers like Sisson and the rest of their busineness partners. As well as all her other buddies that she has met during her Low carb cruise's.
That's because Seth went straight to the source of Peer Review material rather than look into other bloggers or their take on a subject, which is highly plausible and probable. I definitely give Seth the benefit of doubt as assuming otherwise would be a very powerful positive claim that I couldn't hope to support.

How many individuals, while engaged in research, have bypassed the process of finding out if someone else may have already taken a crack at a given matter? Quite a few, actually. And unlike their plagiarising counterparts, there are legitimate and discernible differences in how the points are pitched and even the story angle taken on by the author, which is something that doesn't transpire when it comes to plagiarists since original creative thought is absent from the authorship.

If anything, more bloggers independently arriving to the same conclusions following a similar and logical trail of research after reading all this anti-establishment material, should--in a sense--create a kind of alternative form of peer review and legitimisation of Plat Positive's work.

Now in terms of what transpired between him and Minger, I believe that's an entirely different matter altogether and the pre-existing animosity, rivalry, interests and biases of certain parties could actually justify speculation about plagiarism.
Alan Smithee said…
"You're being ridiculous to suggest that because I am aware of his existence I must therefore give him attribution."

Straw man much? You need to reread my post if you think that is at all what I stated.
Alan Smithee said…
Disagree there big time. Red meat, saturated fats, and white rice are not healthy by even mainstream standards. It also seems like special pleading to not factor the macro ratio into the "basics of the content" of the diet.
carbsane said…
Ahhh I see. So I should start sprinkling in slightly erroneous Kindle locations ;-)
carbsane said…
If anyone has a bone to pick with Denise, I suggest they take it up with her. This is NOT my fight.
carbsane said…
Let me put it this way, and I noticed the same in Seth's exchange with Plant Positive in comments on his blog. It is impossible to prove a negative -- e.g. you are strongly insinuating that I have not given proper credit for the ideas discussed in this post or in prior posts regarding Ancel Keys, etc., when you wrote this:

>>>Once again, not even a single mention of Plant Positive, who was the first to talk about all this, in an article about plagiarism no less. <<<

I do not use Plant Positive as a source of my blogging material. PERIOD. I didn't even use Denise's save to link to it as I was reminded of the post in a FB discussion. Heck, it wasn't even Teicholz who got me going on this, it was Shanahan, but the Teicholz blitz just brought it to the fore.

You and anyone else who thinks they are going anywhere with this is sadly mistaken because I have a history going back to the 2010 beginnings of this blog of digging up and fact checking the (often ancient) references of Gary Taubes. I'm not about to scour the internet for what someone else has to say about anything before I put together my ALWAYS original thoughts on a matter.

If I go into my draft bin I have a post in there that was similar to Seth's about not being able to store fat without carbs. I didn't call it plagiarism but rather circular referencing where the references eventually led back to Taubes. Seth's take had a unique twist. I cited him and HIS ideas, because I know that he, too, has spent a lot of time compiling his own cache of items for fact checking.
carbsane said…
I clarified what I meant by content, you choose to dismiss that and argue a different point.

We'll have to agree to disagree on the foods, except to say that saturated fats are not foods, they are contained in foods.
carbsane said…
Thank you Kade.
MacSmiley said…
I've never seen this featured comment displayed in Disqus before. Is it a new feature?

Great catch, Seth! You are really on your toes!
carbsane said…
I just noticed it recently, I think I've used it once before to highlight a comment by Charles with some helpful links. I wish Disqus would allow more than one in a post though, which it does not appear to :(
carbsane said…
My you do have a strange interpretation of the American education system, etc.

I do not believe Cordain has ever done any primary research in nutrition. All of his papers are "analyses" of data bases to determine what they think the paleo diet might have been. Unfortunately none of those even seem to include any research into what paleolithic humans actually ate. He has zero expertise in that area, and I'd say less than your average Joe on the street at this point because his version of "facts" is a fairy tale and unsubstantiated by the facts. See, for example his position on legumes.

Cordain's work is also very heavy on PUFA/SaFA content and O6:O3 where there is little evidence to back up either of his contentions. He used to allow and encourage canola oil -- which, BTW, is used in every "paleo diet" clinical trial including the most recent one even though he has now jumped on the anti-canola bandwagon. Thing is, any "new information" he now claims changed his mind is not new.
carbsane said…
>>>I don't agree with everything written. But yeah, let's be real. If it wasn't for Plant Positives research I doubt anyone would of even had a legitimate look into the old research of Ancel Benjamin Keys.<<<

Folks have been asking me since the very beginning what I thought of the first parts of Gary's book. I focused my attention on his obesity sections, but that doesn't mean I never intended to look at the rest. Certainly this Teicholz crap has shown the light on that part of his book and for anyone to claim that none of this would have happened without Plant Positive is absurd. Nevermind that the Uffe overlay has been bugging me since it got passed around in low carb circles with the same "cherry picking" charge. People -- too numerous to mention -- have been pointing out the irony of Taubes charging Keys with this offense.

I realize PP puts a lot of time and effort into his materials, but he doesn't lay claim to the products of others' minds just because he puts a video on YouTube.
MacSmiley said…
Or you could sprinkle with homophones which would not be picked up by spellcheck because they are spelled correctly.

meet - meet
piece - peace
led - lead
You seem to have fallen under the assumption that somehow, appeal to authority-by-proxy-of-credentials can be readily employed to defend the inconsistencies and credential-irrelevant claims made by a given individual.

It fails plainly as a logical fallacy, and even if the logical fallacy were excused in this one instance--that he has credentials and has been published in journals--you've still got the second fallacy, a red herring, of whether those credentials and published material hold up to scrutiny on a subject, and one that is arguably outside the central scope of said credentials.

Now I could go on for quite a bit, but that'd imply that I'm all too eager to give a **** about getting into an e-wanking contest with an alias over the internet. Nah. It can be fun in very limited runs but generally, I find it boring.

So I'll just skip to what stoked my curiosity in your hilarious digression. It seems that you generally tend to favour the 'mainly plant foods; not too much animal protein' and 'easy on the isolated and added fats' line of dietary thinking. Despite this, you also seem awfully committed to defending Cordain--on countless occasions, spanning years--despite the fact that he's flaky and fickle when it comes to his position on matters, fickle in a way that implies the convenience of social face-saving tactics.

In fact, if all of the above-mentioned fallacies were excused, you will still be left with the insurmountable task of explaining his character against the backdrop of professional opportunism where he's shifted opinions and changed positions on core issues, vital to what little relevance his research work can hold, just to avoid becoming a pariah in a dietary scene that has become nothing more than a deranged off-shoot of political-libertarianism manifesting in dietary dogma.

One can't be faulted for being curious about what you might find so special and defensible about Cordain when he can't even keep a straight story. A rather amusing curiosity based upon the fact that he's more eager to defend his popularity in certain circles rather than his original professional position on serious topics.

There must be something really special about Loren Cordain... PhD. Of course, given that you're so much better than all of us, you already know that a PhD--or a name listed among authors of published scientific literature--is nothing more and noting less than an academic title/merit and not an all-encompassing immunity card. So I quite look forward to being humoured about the real reason why you always feel so damned contracted to stick up for this guy, must be some really thought-provoking ****!
StellaBarbone said…
I just found this blog a few weeks ago and Plant Positive yesterday, but in 2010 I pointed out the Taubes' hypocritical cherry-picking in my Amazon review of his book. It's actually obvious to a lot of people that something is wrong with his hypothesis.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
How do you think that will go?

With zero proof he'll aggressively accuse his therapist of stealing from PP and deny the therapist's plain language and aggressively accuse his therapist supporting PHD and speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

sigh ... wish I could post more but can't for a while
David Pete said…
Just what we need, another Youtube messiah!
MacSmiley said…
Shoot @Disqus a tweet or two with a feature request if you'd like. Perhaps they'll take note.
Hello_I_Love_You said…
Cordain is a 3rd rate academic. I would leave him alone if he weren't so shifty. Any moron can get a Ph.D. in a field that's not exactly hard science from a fourth rate university and assume professorship at another 4th rate university. Incidentally, Robb Wolf found him there, Colorado State, and he dropped out of that program apparently because he couldn't exactly cut the mustard. Maybe he'll blame that on his autoimmunity again, like he did for dropping out of med skool.

Do you really think mainstream academics respect the credentials of someone like Cordain let alone an ignoramus like Wolf? Seriously, the guy has no grasp of biochemistry, has no medical background so shouldn't be doling our medical advice, cannot interpret biomarkers. What exactly do you think he researched at Colorado State? I tell you what, he wasn't exactly doing particle physics at that august institution of high edgekation. I would leave these two Paleo nitwits alone if that was all they were doing. That is, laying low. But that's not exactly what they're doing. Cordain, indeed, is not only shifty with regard to saturated fat and canola oil; he's actually the very first person to discuss the effect of hormonal dysfunction in going too low carb. He took a page off Eades and now denies ever having discussed it, even when there are actually pages and quotes from his his prior Web pages that we can invoke to prove that he's been lying.
Screennamerequired said…
Fair enough. I do remember you saying that the first half GCBC was sound and well done, and that you made references to Key's notorious "cherry picking". I think a lot of us were ignorant at the time and even were not immune to the influence of paleo just-so stories. I don't care for these types of arguments to be honest. Plant positive has released an enormous amount of research on the paleo guru's showing the stupidiy and lies of their main dietary tenants. Personally Regardless of the complications between PP, Carbsand and Seth, I just hope this type of history gets a more accurate portrayal and it reachers further and further.
Screennamerequired said…
Maybe not your fight, but Denise is a routinely defender of Sisson and his Primal Lifestlye, (after flying out to Malibu and working with Primal blueprint directive team to devise their book) She is a pawn for that company and often is paid to write blog posts on marksdailyapple defending his dietary reccomendations. She undoublely jumped on plant positives Ancel keys research and published it as though it was her own discovery. Not cool.
Richard Arppe said…
Agree with Alan. I like Carbsane's blog in general but compared to PP's work this is like a bad joke. In paleo terms it's like comparing caviar to tuna.

Plant Positive is THE best kept secret of every single diet-heart denialist fraud there is, Guyenet, Minger, Colpo, Melissa, etc.
Richard Arppe said…
^Well that was somewhat harsh on you Evelyn. You do a good job as well, don't get me wrong. But I cannot laugh at this big dilemma of yours and many others, as if PP did not exist. His work is by far superior to any other's in this business. You probably know it but since you are dealing with paleo whack-jobs equivalent creationists referring to PP is a no go.
carbsane said…
Hmmm ... it's possible I may have said that but hopefully I prefaced that with I haven't looked too deeply at that part. I'm also pretty sure "well written" referred to his writing style more than the content.

The paleos and this are an interesting bunch. Teicholz puts Cordain's book on the screen in the TEDx and says "is that still around" -- funny stuff as "True Paleo" has always been low saturated fat ... but is a misnomer from the get go as it should instead be renamed Hunter Gatherer Smoothie or something.

I dunno ... it's all a big intermangled mess.

I got on this from a somewhat related conversation on FB -- it wasn't about the cherry picking so much or even the scatter in the plot. It was more along the lines of what role Keys played in basically "creating" the low fat diet and some other stuff. When I get to it, perhaps this becomes a moo point ;-)
carbsane said…
What is this a fan club? LOL
carbsane said…
Fraud is a strong word. I do not agree with that assessment.
carbsane said…
I notice that Wolf's claims to being a student of the Great Cordain have virtually disappeared. Someone was asking me just the other day about that. Near as I can figure, there was never a class in paleo ever at Colorado -- Amy Kubal could probably attest to that.

On Oz, Cordain was talking about research in his lab ... Whu? What lab? Wolf is promising a review paper about paleo and autoimmunity from Cordain soon -- how can that even be done when there's no research to review??
carbsane said…
Are you serious? I've only been in and around academia my whole life and from every angle, but keep blathering about what you know nothing about.

Of the 67 papers that have Cordain's name, are ANY of them primary research? I'm genuinely curious but not inclined to waste my time looking.

JB MIller arguably the world's leading authority on carb metabolism? How's that glycemic index going ... Oy.

You don't much like text books or formal education much I see. Perhaps that's the problem with a lot of these folks in that they haven't had much. This much is obvious based on the vast majority of what supposed experts write.
David Pete said…
You know the more I look at it, I think Ancel Keys may have plagiarized Plant Positive too!!
carbsane said…
LOL He is a time traveler!
carbsane said…
LOL He is a time traveler!
carbsane said…
OK is my picture not showing again? Going to wait an hour and it will miraculously appear ... hopefully.
Seth Yoder said…
I can promise you that I never heard of Plant Positive before looking into this. PP and his acolytes obviously don't believe me, but I researched this topic completely independent from hearing anything about him or by him.

Unless PP plagiarized from someone else that we don't know about or he has some sort of superpowers, it's pretty clear that one can come to the conclusion that many of these low-carbers are hacks without someone else spelling it our for you. Especially when that is the conclusion that is supported by the evidence.

I'm actually quite stunned that PP (and fans) gave me (and CarbSane) so much grief over it, too. I could care less if someone is inspired by my blog and decides to write something derivative of it without giving me attribution. I wouldn't even dream of going to their blog and demanding links, even if they claimed they didn't know I'd done something similar. In fact, I don't even think I'd care if someone literally copy-pasted an entire post without crediting me. Especially if I was trying my damndest to remain anonymous like PP. It just doesn't make any sense.
Lighthouse Keeper said…
I for one prefer tuna, but that aside Plant Positive and Carbsane are the best two critics of low carb/paleo out there but bare no comparison and are quite different entities. Carbsane has a fluid and reactive blog ( hence the rapid Nina Teicholz response) whereas Plant Positive puts out excellent but time spaced magnum opi. Carbsane takes a position against dietary dogma and rigid dietary regimes and extremes - Plant Positive endorses a low fat whole food plant based diet and thus is arguing from the opposite corner to low carb/paleo.
Carbsane must have spent hundreds of hours dissecting and analyzing the work of Taubes and shredding him to smithereens long before Plant Positive got stuck into him in his third series (16 consecutive videos on Taubes) . He hardly mentioned him in the first two series. Did he touch on anything in these 16 videos that was perhaps first mentioned here in this blog?
MacSmiley said…
Just for fun!
PP himself has actually deferred to this blog and commended it author when addressing Taubes.

By the way, I am not sure if PP is actually in favour of very low fat diets. More on the low-to-moderate fat (depending on what the individual needs), but low SFA intake.
MacSmiley said…
Wouldn't take as long as 20-30 years. The way Americans just add insult to injury, they'll just slather on extra butter on their junk carbs and fast food and speed up the current process.
Good point and honestly, this was just my view going by what was stated in one of the videos that he isn't against any one given macronutrient. Based on the statement, I assumed that he isn't entirely of the McDougall or Esselstyn persuasion when it comes to very judicious fat restriction and more towards a slightly flexible, Joel Fuhrman-style plant based approach. Substantial servings of nuts, seeds, olives and avocados could help one to get about roughly 20%-30% of their calories via fat.
jlt2303 said…
Since he's spammed his links "everywhere", surely you can provide me with a few examples of him doing this. Also, users you suspect are him don't count unless you can actually provide some proof.
carbsane said…
This is the last of this nonsense I let through. Do you have anything to contribute to the conversation? No? Then goodbye.
carbsane said…
>>>Why don't we keep the focus on discussing the science & leave the drama for the soap operas?!?<<<

Amen to that!
Screennamerequired said…
I have a printed copy of the Jaminet PHD book at home. It discourages all grains besides white rice. They also inform us of the dangers of legumes and oats.

"Toxins" seem to be a real concern, although they are not too bothered with them when the recommend farmed fish and certain vegetables.
Screennamerequired said…
As far as I am aware, plant positive hasn't promoted his video's at all. He is only one person that spends a lot of his time refuting a lot of the gibberish the "paleo" community generates.
Screennamerequired said…

"One of the, well-deserved, knocks on Ancel Keys is his cherry-picking of evidence. A little while back Chris Masterjohn posted a bit of an admonishment to those who might fall prey to Keys' error."

A lot of us have fallen for paleo gibberish and just-so stories.
carbsane said…
I'm not enthused to be arguing about PHD at this point ... it's complicated, and I just don't have the time. However you are being absurd to suggest that 30BAD would be consistent with PHD. Nonsense talk, plain and simple.

I fail to see the problem with your quotation above. Unless folks want to nit pick.
carbsane said…
And I've mentioned before, his obsession over toxins is ... well ... obsessive. In interviews he goes even more bonkers about infections ... everything is some infection ya know!
carbsane said…
Yes ... did you read the rest of the preamble to that August 2011 post?

>>>> A little while back Chris Masterjohn posted a bit of an admonishment to those who might fall prey to Keys' error. In that post Chris presented the "evidence" of Keys' cherry picking from Uffe Ravnskov's The Cholesterol Myths.

In the interest of full disclosure, I've never really bought into cholesterol scares and I can't really tell you why. My folks had a number of nutrition books in our home growing up and my maternal grandfather was a bit of a "health nut" so I picked it up from here or there. Thus, the dietary fat type issue per se or LDL hysteria was never much of an interest to me and I've not done a lot of recent reading/research in that regard. I'm not well versed in Ancel Keys' work though the cherry picking is legendary. However, I was a bit surprised to read the following in Chris' post:

"Keys had presented data from six countries, purporting to show a clear linear relationship between the amount of fat consumed in a country and its incidence of heart disease. This graph is shown on the left below. The one problem was that data was available for 22 countries at the time, and including that data demolished the relationship."

I would hardly say that adding the scatter to that curve "demolishes" the relationship. Does anyone know if a regression on all 22 countries has been done? Pardon me if I'm asking the obvious from some well known blog or treatise on this. As I've said, it's not something I'm all that intimately familiar with. Still, I see a clear positive relationship, it's just not nearly as definitively "perfect" for the line Keys drew. <<<<

I count TWICE where I stated that I wasn't well familiar with it all. My apologies to Dr. Keys for perpetuating a myth because I took it on faith that scientists like Chris wouldn't level such charges without merit. However to be fair to Chris and all the others, what Keys did back in 1953 does *still* appear to be cherry picking to some degree. It's not to the legendary level with the convoluted timeline and conflating the 1953 presentation with Seven Countries, and whatever the "transgression", the ramifications of it have been blown way out of proportion, etc.

Well, we now all know that there was regression analysis done by Yershalmy and Hilleboe, and we know that thanks to Denise Minger who transcribed a lot of that data on her blog.

I'll be fleshing out my thoughts on sat fat, cholesterol and heart disease in the hopefully near future.