Maybe it's just me, but there seems to be a common theme with the anti-Taubes argument. The theme goes, Taubes is too simplistic and ignores a mountain of contradictory evidence. And I say, how's that any different to the conventional wisdom that says it's all about calories in and calories out? I mean, that's the basis for all the other stuff derived from it. For example, eat less and exercise more, or control portion size, or skip breakfast, or don't eat after 6 PM, etc. If we've read Taubes' GCBC, we clearly see that the conventional wisdom ignores a mountain of evidence too. If the same argument can be used to refute both sides, then the argument is effectively rendered nul and void.
On the one side, we have the conventional wisdom saying it's all about calories. But on the other side, Taubes never said "it's all about carbs", in spite of what opponents say. So we have another argument that goes, the anti-Taubes argument is too simplistic such that it misinterprets Taubes' own argument. You can't win a debate if your argument is a strawman, and exposed as such. However, this particular strawman is useful in case you want to draw attention to other factors. And that's exactly what's happening in the blog post and the comments. Processed seed oils, sleep, TV, etc. It's useful, but unnecessary. The same counter argument can be made without making a strawman. Here, I'll try.
"While I agree that carbs might be the primary driver of obesity, we must not forget all the other factors that also seem to be involved such as chronic low-grade inflammation, pathogens, epigenetics, drugs and many others."
But you see, it doesn't have the punch of the counter-argument that starts with a strawman. Anyway, Taubes does not ignore a mountain of evidence. On the contrary, he includes all evidence. Here's one example of that. Taubes often says low-fat diets work for the same reason low-carb diets works - they cut carbs. It's easy to see, it's almost childish. It goes, low-fat diets already contain so little fat, so when we cut total calories, the bulk of calories cut invariably must come from carbs. But since low-fat diets still contain more carbs than low-carb diets, they are less effective, and that's exactly what experimental studies show. If Taubes really ignored a mountain of contrary evidence, he wouldn't even look at low-fat diets, he wouldn't even look at evidence that looks at low-fat diets. I mean, seriously, how could Taubes have ever come up with a hypothesis in the first place if he'd never looked at all the evidence he could?!? And if we look at all the research that followed Taubes' original NYTimes article, we could conclude that it's not just an argument, it's a compelling argument. In fact, compelling enough that really big names wrote multi-page counter-arguments and rebuttals just to try and shut him up. Heck, we're still discussing it today, more and more, and some with an almost hateful fervor I might add. On a side note, I'm playing a game called Inquisitor and I can't help but draw a parallel between heresy and compulsion. The Taubes argument has often been called heresy, often by Taubes himself. But here again, I can't help but see a parallel, heresy is inherently anti-authority. In fact, that's one of the arguments from the NuSI website - anti-authority. If it wasn't compelling, we wouldn't go that far in our characterization of it, would we. We'd just shrug and laugh, and go on our merry way. We can't blame Taubes the man for the compelling aspect, I listened to many of his lectures and if anything, he's not particularly seductive. It must be what he says, the evidence he presents, not the way he presents it. Heck, Taubes is called "too simplistic and boorish" in one of the comments, that's totally not indication that he's compelling. Yet, by all appearances, his argument is.