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While it's a nice sounding idea to imagine that it's possible to design the perfect study, it's not how clinical research actually works.

Being that I've done my own research, am married to a bright, creative, knowledgeable, extremely responsible scientist, and have spent my professional years doing in-depth reporting on the rich research of some of the best and brightest -- and darn well know how to separate the good work from the poor, and the good reporting from the poor..... I have a pretty good idea of how clinical research actually works.

And no one is talking about "the perfect study." Taubes pointed to the aspects commoon to the great bulk of research in nutrition that are decried by all intelligent people in the field. He's talking about eliminating design aspects that corrupt the data, so a more accurate picture will emerge.

The Pinball Effect.....a handful of examples of discoveries that have been made almost serendipitously while a totally different line of study was being pursued. So, not only is it a bit presumptuous to imagine it to be possible, trying too hard to control all variables (or eliminate flaws) might not actually be the Good Idea that it looks on first blush.

Serendipitous discoveries have zero to do with allowing conventionally flawed research designs to continue. They occur because unexpected things happen. AND--equally important--they are reported because someone has acknowledged the observation, and thought about it, and didn't simply dismiss it as a fluke, or as something having been done wrong in the study. I've certainly interviewed my share of such scientists.

Trying to eliminate known flaws from study design is good. What the results will be? Hopefully, we'll find out.

I wasn't so much condemning him for what he might do in the future as referring to his track record and what he does in the here and now.

But you used what you see as his track record in the here and now to assume that if these hoped-for studies show data that conflict with his theories, that he'll ignore the data, and thus to speak dismissively of him for what you're sure he'll do in the future. Even though he clearly acknowledged that if this research is done, there's always the possibility that the results may not support his theories.

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