SEVERAL YEARS AGO, Dr. Boli offered his readers “The Darwin Diet,” in which he explained his discovery that evolution had provided us with a sense of taste in order to guide us to the foods ideally suited to us. As he wrote at the time:

To eat a perfect diet, we must eat exclusively food that tastes good.

As an illustration, observe the following two lists:

Things that taste good:

Fresh blueberries
Yunnan tea
Stilton cheese
Stayman apples
Rhone wine
Home-grown tomatoes
Whole-grain bread

Things that don’t taste good:

Sewing machines
Plastic bags
Light bulbs
Aluminum siding

Now observe that we could, without altering the lists at all, change the headings above the lists to “Things That Are Healthy to Eat” and “Things That Are Not Healthy to Eat.” The correspondence is perfect. Things that taste good are things that are healthy to eat. It follows, of course, that the things that taste best are the healthiest to eat.

Today a correspondent from Australia, who has also published a nutritional program called “The Darwin Diet,” takes issue with Dr. Boli’s claims:

This is plainly balderdash! Chips taste good as do ice cream sundae and sticky date pudding, but they will all make you fat. Whoever wrote this garbage has no knowledge of nutrition. Thank you for letting me reply. J. Duncan McNeill, author of “The Darwin Diet: Survival of the Leanest” and numerous articles on nutrition that have been published internationally.

First, please allow Dr. Boli to say how envious he is that his correspondent lives in a country where sticky date pudding is common.

Second, Dr. Boli is suitably impressed by his correspondent’s Web site, which has nearly four thousand words on the home page alone, along with numerous illustrations of fat people with bad posture and slim people with good posture. Clearly Mr. McNeill has devoted many more words to the study of nutrition than Dr. Boli has.

Nevertheless, Dr. Boli takes issue with the unqualified claim that eating sticky date pudding “will make you fat.” Many people have eaten sticky date puddings repeatedly and not got fat. Obviously, one would not want to eat sticky date pudding for every meal of every day, and one would want to get up and do something between meals. But a reasonable amount of sticky date pudding would be good for the soul, and it is well known that psychological well-being is one of the most important predictors of bodily health.

Dr. Boli worries that Mr. McNeill may have fallen prey to the fallacious puritanical assumption that earthly pleasure is contrary to heavenly virtue. Creation may be tainted by our sin, but it is still “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Dr. Boli still stands by his two lists. He hopes that Mr. McNeill does not expect us to live on a diet of kerosene and aluminum siding.

Incidentally, Dr. Boli clearly has a prior claim on the name “The Darwin Diet,” having used it in this Magazine three years before Mr. McNeill’s book was published. He does not wish to cause his correspondent any inconvenience whatsoever, and it is of no consequence to him whether Mr. McNeill uses the name; he merely wishes to prevent any misunderstandings that might lead to the involvement of attorneys.