Dr. Garth Davis, after having—probably blissfully confident—posted comments in the original Forks Over Knives thread I blogged about (Doctor FAIL: Garth Davis, Bariatric Surgeon (and China Study Balderdash)) basically did the same blissfully confident, dismissive commenting on that post. Such as this:
This is one of the funniest yet saddest commentaries I have ever seen. You guys are ridiculous. Actually I started as a big time meat eater. I wrote a book in 2007 called “The Experts Guide To Weigh Loss”. In that book I actually wrote a section on diet that basically supported a zone diet. My thought was patients need as high protein as possible. My diet for patients was eggs for breakfast. Turkey and veggies for lunch. Chicken and veggies for dinner. Problem was after reviewing thousands of patients I was finding problems with cholesterol levels and weight gain over time.... [it goes on, devoid of proper paragraph breaks]
"Funniest." Nice, lazy dismissal. Well, we'll just see who brought it and who didn't. Read on, if you want to see pure, unadulterated doctor/surgeon impotence.
....Oh, "as high protein as possible?" Wow. And you wrote a book recommending that? Hmm. He goes on in his comment to basically use the old "been there done that" shtick, without being willing to explain himself or qualify (Campbell does similarly...grew up on a dairy farm...where I guess dairy famers and their children drop like flies). For example, he conflates Blue Zones with 7th Day Adventists—not even conceding that one of the longest living Blue Zone populations—the Okinawans—eat more meat than the traditional Japanese...which would be pork, and that their traditional cooking fat is lard.
...One commenter even felt sorry for him over my treatment in the post. But she proved to be irredeemably irredeemable, in spite of all efforts. The thing is, comments on my blog are both devastating and fucking brutal if you don't have your shit strait, or can't defend your ideas. Intentional. No place in the Paleosphere even comes close. We put Socrates to shame and Hegel in short pants, here. There's no catechismal dispensation here on Free the Animal. You put up, or...
"This is one of the funniest yet saddest commentaries I have ever seen. You guys are ridiculous."
And why, exactly, are we ridiculous?
"Unlike you guys who get your science from blogs I go to the source sitting through lectures and reading journals."
Ah yes, the whole tired old bloggers don’t know real science and mathematics schtick. Because no paleo-type bloggers have ever read or wrote about any scientific papers or understand that correlation does not equal causation, or have any sort of inkling of what real Science is, right Doc?
"I will never be set in my ways. If there is some ground breaking science that shows me there is a different way then so be it."
I find your self assessment of open-mindedness pretty difficult to take seriously, coming from someone who repeatedly uses appeal to authority as an argument.
Dr. Doug McGuff (stating the facts, and only the facts, ma'am):
“Taking a statistics course does not make you a statistician” - ad hominem attack
“The actual china study was printed in Nature, one of the premier scientific journals….” - argument from authority
“Her opinions were published on her blog, not a journal” - argument from authority
“The problem is that lay people just cannot understand the difficulty of statistical significance and therefore will believe anything anybody tells them.” - Nice combo of argument from authority and slippery slope analogy.
“The Weston Price Foundation is one of the least scientific organizations I have studied.” - Unsubstantiated, narcissistic ad hominem attack.
“Why would people believe Minger over physicians and epidemiologists?” - Oh, the same people that gave us heart healthy margarin? - argument from authority.
“You cannot take raw data and make conclusions like she does.” - But you can use the raw data to show how epidemiologists are manipulating statistics to support their pre-determined beliefs. The entire basis of evidence based medicine is an emphasis on raw data as opposed to statistically derived data.
There's tons there, 115 Comments as of now. After a bit, I began pounding him, including his incomplete and false information about the Masai, not to mention cholesterol and other stuff, including the Okinawans.
While he didn't address anything I wrote, he did come in with another comment.
I can’t believe all the inflammatory words. You guys are an angry bunch. Doug I can’t believe your comments especially. What kind of doctor are you? I spend my whole life studying diet. I run a very big weight management clinic where we do medical and surgical weight loss and research into the cause and treatment of disease. Denise may be intelligent but any scientist who reads her work can tell she does not know how to analyze data properly. She made huge errors in her critique that even a junior med student should notice....
I had explained to him that Denise did exactly what Campbell did in The China Study in terms of isolated variables (to be more accessible), but that her formal critique included all the multivariate analysis she'd already done from the outset.
“The ridiculous commentary by the Minger is laughable to anybody who understands statistics. You cannot look at raw data and make conclusions, as Denise did, without controlling for confounding variables.”
She addressed this. She actually did numerous MV regressions before publishing her first critique, but wanted to keep it simple and basic for readers (just as in The China Study book). In her formal critique of 30 pages or so, she includes the MV analysis.
Also, it’s as though you didn’t read this post you’re commenting on. I included a number of links to Ned Kock, a statistician who performed a number of MV regressions on the same and different data sets (China Study II) and came to the same findings as Minger.
Memo to Dr. Garth Davis:
Cat still got your tongue, sir? Well, here. Find me a study that contradicts any of this and factors in the nutritional cost of avoiding or eliminating whole animal foods from the diet.
Again, look at the numbers at the tops of the bars that are off the chart in order to judge the real relative comparison. As with our other nutritional comparisons, here’s how these meals stack up:
- 850 Cal (5 pounds) Mixed Raw Fruit: 127% USRDA (4 of 21 nutrients over 100%)
- 850 Cal (about 8-10 oz) Omivorous Meal: 440% USRDA (12 of 21 nutrients over 100%)
Yes, indeed, in the fruit meal there are only 4 of the 21 nutrients that provide 100% or more of the RDA, but 3 of those 4, just barely (vitamin C being the only one off the scale). So in essence, a single nutrient at 1,500% of the RDA skews the whole analysis pretty badly. If we were to take vitamin C out of the equation and just average the other 20 nutrients, the fruit meal provides only 57% of the RDA. As you can see, however, we do not have nearly this same problem with the omnivorous meal, because 12 of the 21 nutrients are over 100% and of those, 5 are off the scale. Just removing vitamin C as we did in the fruit meal changes nothing at all, because the general nutrition is excellent and widespread.
No response, as we had already been accustomed to for days. My notice to him:
Dr. Garth. Well, what do you think? Inn’t interesting that pure layman are quoting studies to you? You’ve yet to respond to mine, or any of the others.
You stepped in shit. Didn’t you? You should very well know that I am going to blog your comments and your total failure to respond to valid responses if you don’t—and when I do, it’ll be far more Googlishly devastating than this post. I take no prisoners, but I’m a sucker for redemption.
…Yep. You did. You thought everyone would run and hide because you read studies all the time (but have yet to cite one—perhaps you’re afraid of how we’ll tear it to shreds?). We do too (and a number have been cited by myself and others).
Isn’t it wonderful? You have zero power. You have to earn your respect and you know what? You suck in this thread, compared to what others have posted….and everybody knows it. This blog gets over 100,000 visits per month. Thousands of people over years who are curious enough to look at comments are going to see who you relly are. Authoritarian. That’s about it.
And here’s another thing. OK, I can accept that a surgeon with an interest in nutrition eventually tires of the debate. But that’s only because there’s no real debate. This is clearly not the case, here. Very clearly. You have been challenged by your own standards, and you are silent, which of course speaks volumes.
At a point, I debated with myself whether my treatment of you in this post was justified.
Now I know that it was. I’ve been at this for a long time. My judgment of character is pretty spot on.
I remain a sucker for redemption.
Alright, so I kinda had let my warning to to the good Doktor slide; back of my mind and...back of my mind. Enter Stabby! Long time commenter, always keeping me honest, but always being honest himself. Comment from him last night.
Hey Richard, haven't seen you in a while, just dropping in.
I can’t believe he would reference the EPIC trial. The other trials he cited are inane too, but the EPIC trial didn’t even show that vegetarians lived longer. They had a moderately lower risk of cardiovascular disease, although correlation isn’t causation. But there was no difference in all-cause mortality.
So yes he is a moron about The China Study but he is also a moron about the EPIC trial. And even if vegetarians were significantly healthier than omnivores, that wouldn’t mean much because then we would have to discuss the potential reasons why—and it wouldn’t look pretty for the “meat kills you” side. But oh no, let’s just cherry-pick epidemiology instead of having a real conversation. We just want a “gotcha”...hey, my correlation says this.
And if he’s going to cherry-pick like a knave he should at least learn how to be a good knave.
So there you go. Thanks for the resurrection and motivation, Stabby.