Ryan, with respect, I think you're overstating your case. I say this not as an expert - that would be you - but rather as a well-informed consumer of scientific information. Is thawing in the fridge best? Of course. One can even hasten the process by using a cold water bath, as you mentioned in Post #229. But it's not faster (as you originally claimed) than using warm or hot water. The issues are whether whether speed thawing is safe and whether it adversely affects texture. The funny thing is that I don't actually have a dog in this fight, as I rarely cook from frozen and never by speed thawing.
Still, whenever I hear an expert criticizing something as outside best practice, I'm inclined to ask how serious the risk of second best. Bear in mind, as I'm sure you know, there are plenty of food scientists (used to be more) who won't have anything to do with sous vide because it isn't best practice. In particular, they fret over the fact that doing it safely requires careful attention and accurate instruments. Speed thawing is the same, as far as I can tell. The multiple "ifs" you mention in Post #248 aren't all that daunting. Not best method doesn't equal unsafe. As for texture. a very different issue, I tend to agree (which is why I rarely cook from frozen and never by speed thawing), but surely that's a matter as to which individual cooks may draw their own conclusions.
By the way, beating up on McGee because his degree is in English (just a bachelor's, as I recall, not a Ph.D) rather misses the point. He's been reading and writing on food science for over thirty years now. That's no different from how you keep your knowledge up to date. Not saying he's infallible, but he's not just some schlob who somehow got a gig writing articles for the NYT. And, in my observation, McGee tends to be somewhat conservative on food safety issues (e.g., he's the one who called out Ruhlman for claiming reheating stock stored at room temp is sufficient to make it safe).