The FACT is that there is no proof that the Howell's enzyme theory of nutrition has any legitimate basis.
The fact that there is no firm consensus as to what defines what is, and what is not, raw.
What we DO know is that different foods have different sensitivities. Lettuces are a lot more delicate than nuts, for example. To hold them to the same temperature standard makes no sense. Another issue that raw foodists don't talk about is time/temp. If I expose a cocoa bean to a temp of 120F for 1/100 of a second does that denature all the enzymes in the bean? Of course not. In fact (and this is a test I've done personally), you can subject an intact cocoa bean to a temperature in excess of 300F for a considerable time (minutes) and not raise the surface temperature of the bean inside the shell above 110F. One reason is evaporative cooling. Think about the volume of a bean if 0.5% of the mass of the bean hits 118.01F and stays there for 10 minutes but 99.5% of the bean stays below 118.0F I think it's silly to say that all the enzymes in the bean are dead.
There's also contact time. There is research that shows that many enzymes survive in aqueous environments above 150F for extended periods of time - hours even.
I have been studying this subject for years and not one raw foodist (in the chocolate world or not) has ever been able to show me one credible scientific study (and no, Gabriel Cousens is not credible) that supports the enzyme theory of nutrition and any scientific basis for picking one temperature over another as the maximum.
THAT SAID, the idea that minimally-processed food is better for you is something I buy into, but it has to be done on a food by food basis - not at an arbitrary cut off that is the same for all foods. There is evidence that broccoli is better for you if it's lightly steamed - better in the sense that more nutrients are more bioavailable.
There is also scientific proof that cooking can create beneficial compounds not found in the raw food. A good example is the antioxidant levels of roasted coffee are far higher than green coffee.
One day, I wish the "raw chocolate" segment of the market would fund a study that proves their claims. Not one company has done the analysis. Having made the claim, the burden is on them to prove their claims - the usual response is, "Prove us wrong." That's not the way it's done.
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/