Dr. Atkins

You know, I didn’t want to address this, but I am tired of reading about it, so I will. Recently, rumors have resurfaced about Dr. Atkins having had heart disease, or being significantly overweight. Instead of rebutting these points individually, I would like to point out that it doesn’t matter. I would also like to snottily paste a few relevant definitions that I think would be helpful in elevating the level of debate about nutrition. First, the reason that we should not really care about Dr. Atkins’ personal health:

Fallacy: Attacking the Person
(argumentum ad hominem)


The person presenting an argument is attacked instead of the argument itself. This takes many forms. For example, the person’s character, nationality or religion may be attacked.Alternatively, it may be pointed out that a person stands to
gain from a favourable outcome. Or, finally, a person may be attacked by association, or by the company he keeps.

There are three major forms of Attacking the Person:

(1) ad hominem (abusive): instead of attacking an assertion,
the argument attacks the person who made the assertion.
(2) ad hominem (circumstantial): instead of attacking an
assertion the author points to the relationship between the
person making the assertion and the person’s circumstances.
(3) ad hominem (tu quoque): this form of attack on the
person notes that a person does not practise what he

Second, a suggestion for something we might try, going forward, to discover the true risks and benefits of the Atkins diet and others:

Main Entry: scientific method
Function: noun

principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses

Just a thought. Crazy, I know, but it’s been pretty successful in other areas of concern.