I have an anecdote, and again it has nothing to do with diet.
One of my dearest, first friends in reenacting -- gone from us now -- was a history TEACHER as so many are, before he changed his job to an even more hard-core history career. He became one of the main organizers of the reformulated museum, when the Oklahoma Historical Society got its big new building. Like many reenactors, he spent his work-days immersed in history, his hobby was history, his vacations became busman-holidays through visiting sites of historical interest, he read himself to sleep at night with books on the subject, and for all I know he dreamed history every night.
The only difference of opinion I ever remember having with Murphy involved the etymology of an important historic WORD, and I was right -- I can document it with an indisputable LINGUISTIC source. His reason for believing his version was a volunteer at some historic venue who told him a bogus story. Surely they had their facts straight! ...? Hmph.
In language, this happens ALL THE TIME -- people use their imaginations to try to figure out where a word or expression came from, and the more clever and creative it seems to the modern ear, the more likely it is to be flat wrong. The Oxford English Dictionary was written by folks who had a passion for language, profound knowledge, and a lot of resources to hand, and if they can show when a word first showed up and how it traveled through time, they ARE to be trusted.
Now i'll seem to change the subject, but i'll refer back later. ;-) I loved that show, Connections, back in the '70s....
When the foolishness of my RWNJ contacts on facebook get me down, I scoot on over to twitter, where those people are not on my contact list. There, I read the output of people like Eades, Johnson, Kindke and Lagakos* ... and they never post Grumpycat memes! ;-) One link I followed and enjoyed featured three different researchers talking about how the microbiome "news" has been dealt with by the media and their scientific sources.
All three agreed that it's way too early to intelligently apply what has been learned thus far -- it's TOO COMPLICATED to really know HOW to best use this knowledge. Certainly, the advertisers of the information have spread it around in too simplified a form.
Compare this point of view to the wild-eyed promoters of prebiotic starch and fiber! We MUST feed our pet (thanks to Galina for this analogy) gut-bugs, o' they gonna DIE!
Nope. They survived through famines of the past, and they'll survive now. What is MOST damaging to their populations is what most of US avoid unless absolutely necessary: clean-sweep antibiotics. WE don't need to eat so as to specifically feed these pets ... unless we WANT to. Some people really seem to want to have a good excuse to eat potatoes and other "carriers" of bacteria-food.
That's fine. If they want to, let 'em. But this is like Sisson saying YES you MUST eat vegetables -- the science doesn't support it. Some, maybe most, people LIKE this advice, but the beneficence is NOT universal. Don't tell EVERYBODY that they MUST eat _____ ... <-- insert YOUR favorite carbohydrate here. I don't even tell people they must eat liver any more. ;-)
This is just like Murphy's stubbornness in insisting that some piece of sophistry he heard from a self-enlightened "expert" was true, despite it being demonstrably NOT so. Because you LIKE a hypothesis is not evidence in its defense. It may be far more intricate than your understanding of it may imply. Getting an authority to agree with you in generalities doesn't make it true as you understand it.
It also comes back to DETAILS in the studies they cite so supernumerously. ;-) Extrapolating uncritically from mouse studies to human application is bad enough, but consider how even human-study subjects are not often clean-eating, toxin-avoiding, or nutrient-replete individuals. Who cares if some college boy subsisting on beer and pizza doesn't have the same gut-bugs as Hadza HGs -- shit, I don't have the same ones he does. MY gut-bugs are adequate to handle my preferred diet, which is not: 1) beer and pizza, OR 2) high-fiber African tubers ... AND I haven't had a course of antibiotics in decades.
EVERYTHING tends to be more complicated than people are inclined to think ... including all of us armchair-scientists. The devil is in the details. And the details are exactly what get skimmed past when reading journalists' articles and study abstracts.
The word Murphy and I disagreed on was GOSSIP. Some dumb-ass tour-guide announced that it derived from the words "go sip" which was what you did in the tavern, which was where everyone used to go to pick up the latest juicy news. No. It goes back through Middle English gossib, to godsib, to the OLD English godsibb, which meant basically a sibling in God. Your gossip (noun) was your good buddy with whom you gossiped (verb) -- thus making the shared news "gossip" (back to noun).
See? ;-) More complicated than you expected.
* it was with grief that I removed Bill from my blog list -- it seems that something about his site was causing MINE to be objectionable to virus-detectors. :-(