I think I agreed with him... out of courtesy. Color, as the photograph above shows, didn't wreck much... provided that there was something to wreck in the first place. These chatty girls (M6TTL, Hexanon, Ektachrome ISO 400) wouldn't look good in monochrome. Try it yourself...
I can see where color works and where monochrome looks better, but I don't see them as direct opposites or, worse yet, mutually exclusive. However, I must admit that I have a different attitude when I shoot color and when I load monochrome. In the shot above, both ways would work well... but I like it in color as it adds a bit of familiarity to the scene (Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, with an M3, Summicron 50 and Ektachrome 200). In monochrome... the observer probably would do a double take before figuring out what the image shows.
And here we have a case for color: these chairs in a now defunct store from Esmond, IL, really had to be photographed in color (with my M6TTL and trusty Hexanon 35mm). The wood under the light and the general cast are pleasing... at least to me, and the effect (hanging chairs, kind of a weird image) would get lost in monochrome.
Did I settle the controversy? Of course not! However, if color came and stayed, why fight it? It does help... or else, what would life be like without it?
Next time, monochrome.