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-   -   Don't believe in Paleo because... (https://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=40807)

Ben Chapman 12-28-2008 01:36 PM

Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Ok, I will preface this thread with the statement that we need to be careful. I'm going to broach a topic that could easily descend into personal attacks and some heated, possibly unfriendly debate. I also caution people to not steer it towards religion, it is not the point of bringing this up.

First of all I will state that I think there are some real merits to the paleo diet, people see results with it and I am hugely in favor of consuming foods at their most natural level. Having said that, I am not a paleo believer free and clear. Why? Because one of the prefaces for the paleo diet comes from the concept of millions of years of human evolution. I don't believe in evolution in the sense that most others do; at least not in the sense of descent with modification; or speciation. I was a biology major in college and whenever I requested some evidence from the fossil record or otherwise to show true descent with modification, I came up not only completely dry, but devoid of anyone having examples that THEY had heard of (these are PhDs in zoology, ecology and microbiology). That being said, I have nothing against someone who believes it. I believe that its a THEORY (still a theory, yes) that has support in its favor, but also has some glaring holes and some often swept under and ignored support that is NOT in its favor.

This is all to say, or inquire to any other paleo non-believers out there. I believe that people see results from the diet and that it can work, but mostly because of other reasons: i.e. the hail back to very natural foods of wide variety. For the reasons above though, I do believe that some of the paleo no-nos are still open season for me: certain grains, like rices, oats and some very specific types of corn, I believe that human history is short enough and also intelligent enough that these foods played a role all the way through and are not something to simply be discarded.

Feel free to discuss, you can see how this might descend into a religious topic, which admittedly is where my overall starting point comes from. However, I think that I can talk on a logical and scientific level about it as well.

Agree? disagree?

Robert Callahan 12-28-2008 01:44 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Ben Chapman;480468]I believe that its a THEORY (still a theory, yes) that has support in its favor, but also has some glaring holes and some often swept under and ignored support that is NOT in its favor.[/QUOTE]

Examples would be useful here :)

Joey Powell 12-28-2008 02:19 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
I actually lost a client because of this. The concept behind it was to much to swallow in relation to his religious beliefs. I did not even try to change his mind. Wasn't going there.

Amber Mathwig 12-28-2008 02:28 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Ben - you didn't really pose a question here. But, I think you and I are on the same side of the evolution thing, so here is why I DO believe in paleo.

When asked to explain what I do eat or how I cook, I simply say that if my great grandparents couldn't have made it, I don't either. Yes, they had flours and the like, but if you think about it - my farming family depended on meats (the by products) and veggies most of the time, the food created by them out of the barn and garden. The crops were not always dependable sources of food.

Although Taubes book, Good Fats, Bad Fats is quite possibly one of the most difficult reads I have picked up in awhile, the first couple of chapters where he explains the fallacies of the American diet makes a ton of sense to me. I recommend it. Short version is that the researchers who first started the whole high-carb/low fat thing manipulated their studies and/or made the wrong correlations because of "this happened first, therefore this MUST be the result (there is some fancy latin term for this, I can't remember it now, someone help me).

Paleo is not really a theory to me, just a way of eating. A way that makes me feel good. It's skipping the aisles of pre-fabricated foods, and filling up with more natural, more delicious options.

I would liken your eating habits to perhaps a lacto-ovo vegetarian (a mostly vegetarian who still ingests eggs and milk products). You are likely following most of the "rules" of paleo - lots of meat, vegetables and fruits, healthy fats; yet adding your own stuff in as you like and can tolerate.

Wild rice is awesome and there will always be a small suppy of it in my kitchen. As well as whole milk and the occassional cheeses.

Matthew Stafford 12-28-2008 02:36 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Ben Chapman;480468]I believe that its a [B]THEORY[/B] (still a theory, yes) that has support in its favor, but also has some glaring holes and some often swept under and ignored support that is NOT in its favor.
[/QUOTE]

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Ben Chapman 12-28-2008 02:40 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Nice Princess Bride reference.

Scott Clark 12-28-2008 02:41 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Joey, that sucks that you lost a client over it and I can see how religious people would take issue with Paleo if it's presented in a certain way. In what manner did you explain it?

Moreover, what scientific evidence exists that proves that Paleo man was supposedly free from disease on the scale that the more boisterous proponents claim? I see it as a turn off when presented in that sort of fashion. It would make more sense to espouse the benefits of natural foods based on their nutritional density and not niche theories about how cavemen were the model of perfect health, which is the popular presentation of Paleo.

Ben Chapman 12-28-2008 02:49 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Robert Callahan;480473]Examples would be useful here :)[/QUOTE]

Like I already said, the quite absent fossil record that is so greatly hailed as evidence, but speciation should show literally millions of intermediary specimens at significant populations numbers, for the modification to happen, it would happen one modification at a time, obviously modifications like that haven't even been observable in current history, hence the incredibly long timeline that evolution requires. The iterations demonstrating the descent with modification would need to be astronomical in type, but also in volume, large populations of intermediaries would need to be produced to eventually get the genetic diversity to cause the modifications. So far, no one can point to any of these, and believe me, I've looked.

The other contrary evidence I would offer is the concept of irreducable complexity, addressed initially by Michael Behe. Behe was a biochemist doing research on flaggelar motors. The whole concept of irreducable complexity poses the impossibility of a complex structure arising out of the coming together of individual parts. Meaning it even one item is missing, the product is useless. Look it up for a more detailed explaination. So far the only refutation I've seen for it is a bunch of what ifs, no real research or unbiased commentary. Behe came to his conclusions during the course of his research, being neutral and an evolutionist to begin with. So there are a few examples.

Tate Rivera 12-28-2008 02:56 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
This is something that I have been thinking about as well, as I too do not believe in evolution. But after much reading from this site and many others I have found myself eating paleo foods. To me it just makes sense to eat the foods that have been around for hundreds or thousands of years rather than the crap that has just been 'invented' this last century. I am interested to hear other's thoughts on this topic as well.

Lela Kaunitz 12-28-2008 03:04 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Amber Mathwig;480499]... because of "this happened first, therefore this MUST be the result (there is some fancy latin term for this, I can't remember it now, someone help me).[/QUOTE]

[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc"]Post hoc ergo propter hoc[/URL] [wfs] -- "after this, therefore because of this".

Brad Davis 12-28-2008 03:41 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
I'm with you Ben. I eat mostly Paleo, but just because it seems to work. When someone can do a good job explaining away irreducible complexity and the Cambrian Explosion, then I might be a little more open minded toward macro-evolution. I don't claim to know how we were created, but from what I know about evolutionary theory, it seems pretty darn weak to me.

Robert Laken 12-28-2008 04:12 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
The other contrary evidence I would offer is the concept of irreducable complexity, addressed initially by Michael Behe. Behe was a biochemist doing research on flaggelar motors. The whole concept of irreducable complexity poses the impossibility of a complex structure arising out of the coming together of individual parts. Meaning it even one item is missing, the product is useless. Look it up for a more detailed explaination. So far the only refutation I've seen for it is a bunch of what ifs, no real research or unbiased commentary. Behe came to his conclusions during the course of his research, being neutral and an evolutionist to begin with. So there are a few examples.[/QUOTE]
Flagella Myths
[url]http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-08-20.html#feature[/url] (wfs)

Robert Callahan 12-28-2008 04:34 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Ben Chapman;480518]Like I already said, the quite absent fossil record that is so greatly hailed as evidence, but speciation should show literally millions of intermediary specimens at significant populations numbers, for the modification to happen, it would happen one modification at a time, obviously modifications like that haven't even been observable in current history, hence the incredibly long timeline that evolution requires. The iterations demonstrating the descent with modification would need to be astronomical in type, but also in volume, large populations of intermediaries would need to be produced to eventually get the genetic diversity to cause the modifications. So far, no one can point to any of these, and believe me, I've looked.[/QUOTE]

I do not know how complete of a fossil record you are looking for here but what is out there is pretty darn good. You have to understand that the vast majority of living things will not fossilize when they die. In order for fossilization to occur there needs to be special circumstances that are not ordinarily found. Most creatures when they die are completely 100% recycled in the environment.

Either way who says evolution needs to occur in one tiny change at a time leading to millions of intermediary species. Evolution occurs when random mutations turn out to improve the survivability of a species. Those mutations do not need to come one at a time, or in small doses.


[QUOTE=Ben Chapman;480518]The other contrary evidence I would offer is the concept of irreducable complexity, addressed initially by Michael Behe. Behe was a biochemist doing research on flaggelar motors. The whole concept of irreducable complexity poses the impossibility of a complex structure arising out of the coming together of individual parts. Meaning it even one item is missing, the product is useless. Look it up for a more detailed explaination. So far the only refutation I've seen for it is a bunch of what ifs, no real research or unbiased commentary. Behe came to his conclusions during the course of his research, being neutral and an evolutionist to begin with. So there are a few examples.[/QUOTE]

The infinite complexity of our universe is a good argument for the presence of a God, but a bad argument for why evolution is wrong. Just because something is so small and so complex that it seems beyond comprehension by man does not mean that it could not have arouse from evolution, that would be imposing our limitations on the rest of the universe. What it does do is demonstrate the divine mystery in life and that there are bigger things than us at work :)


Bottom line, since what I say will probably have very little impact on what you believe, you have to admit that human beings have at least been around for a couple hundred thousand years. In that time frame there was a time when agriculture had not yet been invented, or at least was not practiced wide spread. That means that for a long time people survived as Hunter/Gatherer societies. This is what the Paleo diet is based on. It is within the time frame of either evolution or creationism or whatever else you may believe :)

-Robert

Frank Dennis 12-28-2008 04:38 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Ben Chapman;480518]Like I already said, the quite absent fossil record that is so greatly hailed as evidence, but speciation should show literally millions of intermediary specimens at significant populations numbers, for the modification to happen, it would happen one modification at a time, obviously modifications like that haven't even been observable in current history, hence the incredibly long timeline that evolution requires. The iterations demonstrating the descent with modification would need to be astronomical in type, but also in volume, large populations of intermediaries would need to be produced to eventually get the genetic diversity to cause the modifications. So far, no one can point to any of these, and believe me, I've looked.
[/QUOTE]

I almost didn't post this, but I'm hoping that everyone takes it the spirit of academic discussion, not as an attack on the merits of the paleo diet (which it isn't). I'm not really out to :stir:, just making a couple points and (hopefully) adding a new and interesting element to the discussion...

Yes, the fossil record is incomplete, in the sense that there are probably millions of species which are absent from it. It is, however, so astoundingly unlikely for a dead life form to leave a fossil impression that the record is as complete as one could expect it to be. Unless you're questioning the dating methods for various rock strata (which some certainly do), or the processes by which those fossils we do observe are formed, why is the paucity of fossils evidence against evolution, when the age of the fossils which do exist, and the reason for their rarity, fit the required timeline and model of geologic processes?

Also, regarding species development; there have been occurrences of speciation within the span of recorded history. In most cases, this is because of our deliberate influence, but there have been some naturally occurring cases, as well: (the following aren't links, as I don't have access to JSTOR or any other similar databases, however if anyone desires these are findable)

Dobzhansky, Th., and O. Pavlovsky, 1971. "An experimentally created incipient species of Drosophila", Nature 23:289-292

Mosquin, T., 1967. "Evidence for autopolyploidy in Epilobium angustifolium (Onaagraceae)", Evolution 21:713-719

Stanley, S., 1979. Macroevolution: Pattern and Process, San Francisco, W.H. Freeman and Company. p. 41

Mayr, E., 1970. Populations, Species, and Evolution, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press. p. 348

Sharman, G.B., Close, R.L, Maynes, G.M., 1991, Chromosome evolution, phylogeny, and speciation of rock wallabies, Australian Journal of Zoology, Volume 37(2-4), pages 351-363.

I found many more references than these; this was yielded by about two minutes of searching online. Given that we can impose speciation with artificial selection pressure, and we can observe it naturally occurring in the world as well, why is it unlikely that these pressures over large timescales could create the observable diversity of life?

I'm not saying that there aren't still some gaps in the model of evolution, but it does seem that lack of speciation and paucity of the fossil record aren't among them.

For anyone interested in better understanding the current model of evolution, may I suggest [URL="http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Watchmaker-Evidence-Evolution-Universe/dp/0393315703"]The Blind Watchmaker[/URL] (WFS). Dawkins is highly opinionated on the subject of religion and the concept of gods, however if your sensibilities can abide his abrasiveness, he does explain the processes of mutation and selection in better, easier to understand terms than almost anyone else I've read.

This is where everyone will probably tear me a new one ;) But, I think it works as an example of self-imposed selection pressure.

If you think about it, the paleo diet is technically a hindrance to our evolution. This isn't to say that it's not a healthy diet choice, it certainly is, and I've started following it myself. But evolution results from successful adaptation to selection pressures and "successful adaptation," in evolutionary terms, means making it easier as a species to survive, procreate, and increase population.

Uniquely in the case of our species, we can create artificial selection pressures to achieve these goals in parallel with creating the environment in which new traits are advantageous; we preserve individuals with poor eyesight, missing limbs, etc., and create value for traits which make people good at non-physical work like computer programming. One of the most brilliant minds in history is confined to a wheelchair and speaks through a machine. and in a world of non-self-imposed selection pressures, he would be a failure in evolutionary terms.

In this case, the ability artificially selected for is the ability to thrive on a diet composed of foods which, through artificial refinement, are maximized in energy density and cheapness of production, allowing for a longer useful lifespan for the food, greater portability, and high volume production.

With our current global population, it's unlikely that we could feed the whole world on a paleo diet, even if we found a morally acceptable way to impose zero population growth. So, more energy dense foods are required. At the moment, these neolithic foods are the source of dietary diseases, but if we just kept up our bad habits, eventually we'd adapt to the changes in our diets. Even though millions, possibly billions, of people in the meantime would be dying of heart disease and diabetes, those with a genetic makeup resistant to this would become more likely to pass on their genes. This is especially true with the increasing occurrences of childhood diabetes reducing the likelihood of individuals procreating before death.

I know, it's a [B]horrible[/B] thought, isn't it? But that's how evolution works. Ideally, from an evolutionary standpoint, which again means making it easier as a species to survive, procreate, and increase population, we would eventually reach the point where our digestive tract is unnecessary, and nutrients are just taken intravenously. Then all the energy and resource which goes into agriculture would be used elsewhere.

Of course, we could influence our dietary adaptations to remain as they are; most people on this board choose that route. However, to effect such a stagnation (I use the term with no pejorative meaning, simply in its literal sense) on the development of our whole species, we would have to create other artificial selection pressures; population controls, increased competition for resources, etc.

Hope this wasn't too controversial, like I said I'm [B]certainly[/B] not advocating that anyone imposes an unhealthy diet on themselves. I'd rather be strong and healthy than help accelerate our evolutionary change. :D

Scott Clark 12-28-2008 05:06 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Robert Callahan;480575]Bottom line, since what I say will probably have very little impact on what you believe, you have to admit that human beings have at least been around for a couple hundred thousand years. In that time frame there was a time when agriculture had not yet been invented, or at least was not practiced wide spread. That means that for a long time people survived as Hunter/Gatherer societies. This is what the Paleo diet is based on.[/quote]

Right, but it's the claims that Paleo man experienced no cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc. that is the muscle behind the diet. It's those claims that are hard to verify scientifically and why I chalk Cordain's book in with The Zone, Sugar Busters, South Beach, Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, etc. due to HUGE claims while offering little to no peer-reviewed evidence.

I don't care about the whole evolution side of things, I just want non-biased peer-reviewed studies done before I take the health claims with anything but a grain of salt.

Robert Callahan 12-28-2008 05:49 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Very nice post Frank! Provocative and well articulated :)

[QUOTE=Scott Clark;480590]Right, but it's the claims that Paleo man experienced no cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc. that is the muscle behind the diet. It's those claims that are hard to verify scientifically and why I chalk Cordain's book in with The Zone, Sugar Busters, South Beach, Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, etc. due to HUGE claims while offering little to no peer-reviewed evidence.

I don't care about the whole evolution side of things, I just want non-biased peer-reviewed studies done before I take the health claims with anything but a grain of salt.[/QUOTE]

Well it is difficult because as western civilization expanded they colonized and drastically changed the way of life for the hunter gatherer societies they enveloped. And because peer reviewed journals are a more recent development there has been limited opportunity to study the effects of "traditional diets" in their natural environments. That being said there are many anecdotal accounts from missionary doctors who kept records in tribal towns of the rate of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The common thread in all of these accounts is that the occurrence of these diseases was virtually non-existent until the introduction of a westernized diet.

One such missionary doctor was Albert Schweitzer. He received a Nobel Prize for his work. Another example was the work done by Vilhjalmur Stefansson on Eskimo diet and its health effects.

I highly recomend you grab a copy of "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes as it will address many of your questions :)

-Robert

Amber Mathwig 12-28-2008 06:18 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Lela - Thanks!

Robert - Another thanks for correcting the title of the book I mentioned earlier. Coincidentally, I also have Good Fats, Bad Fats but it is a different author (and even more difficult for me).

Frank - I think if the world had stuck to a more paleo diet, over population might be less of an issue for the simple reason that "survival of the fittest" may have played a bigger part and population growth would not have been so severe. Therefore, we would be able to sustain a more gradual population growth with paleo foods (this is where my personal beliefs come into conflict with modern day sciences).

Honestly, a lot of the science talk is going over my head :confused: Maybe someday grains will become "better" for us through adaptation, but seeing as they have already been around for a few thousand years and many people still seem to have difficulty with them, how long would it take? Will our scientists continue to create and support drugs and supplements to sustain our bodies through this adaptation process?

Clay Jones 12-28-2008 06:33 PM

Well then, don't
 
[QUOTE=Ben Chapman;480468]
This is all to say, or inquire to any other paleo non-believers out there. I believe that people see results from the diet and that it can work, but mostly because of other reasons: i.e. the hail back to very natural foods of wide variety. For the reasons above though, I do believe that some of the paleo no-nos are still open season for me: certain grains, like rices, oats and some very specific types of corn, I believe that human history is short enough and also intelligent enough that these foods played a role all the way through and are not something to simply be discarded.
[/QUOTE]

So Ben, forget about the issue of evolution. Long story short, does the diet work? If it works, that should be reason enough to follow it. You can follow it (because it works) without having to think about/agree with the underlying theory.

I don't think anyone out there is claiming Paleo man had no cancer or CV disease. I think the claim is that present-day cultures that follow a Paleo regimen have few incidences of cancer or CV disease.

As others have mentioned, you owe it to yourself to read Taube's book.

And as an aside, irreducible complexity is at it's foundation a religious or theist argument. That's all I have to say. :)

Take care.

Wade Smith 12-28-2008 06:59 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
I'm actually surprised a MOD hasn't stepped in to warn this thread of its potential in stepping over the line and its possible ultimate demise. This can likely be attributed to a mature and respectful conversation thus far; something that these boards can be proud of.

Because one or more insecure (and/or immature) types either side, either extreme, could knock this thread down with one vitriolic comment, I wanted to add my 2cents beforehand.

Though I am NOT a believer in evolution, I DO believe in the adaptation of species to their changing environments as well as the changing of environments by various species. Because of this, I have absolutely no problem acknowledging that our forefathers' forefathers way way back (how ever far that goes) ate quite differently than we do in modern America.

Call it Paleo, call it [I]clean[/I], or call it what Michael Pollan calls it in his book, [U][I]In Defense of Food[/I][/U]. Ultimately, it would behoove all of us to get back to eating [I]only[/I] food that our grandparents' grandparents would recognize. I'd suggest this Pollanesque observation is something we could all agree on regardless our personal belief(s) in religion or the lack thereof.

[COLOR="Silver"]Edit: I do understand that true Paleo followers would eschew, so to speak, dairy and grains and that clean eaters, a la Pollan, might not. I'm just trying to find the common ground.[/COLOR]

Jamie J. Skibicki 12-28-2008 07:04 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
For everyone that says evolution is just a theory, remember, so is gravity, all laws of thermal dynamics, quantum mechanics, Newton's and Keplers laws, etc.

Scott Clark 12-28-2008 07:07 PM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Great post Wade.

I'm a big fan of Michael Pollan and the Weston A. Price foundation. Price's studies are monumental and showed that Neolithic foods can be very healthy when prepared properly and when they come from great sources. Of course there are those with intolerance to gluten and dairy, and for those I would say that Paleo is as good as it gets.

Joey Powell 12-29-2008 04:53 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Scott, I did not present the concept. I recommended the book for further modification and understanding of the diet I had been working on him with. Upon reading the book, how much I don't know, I got a phone call. He was aggressive towards the concept.

He was offended to his very core. So we agreed to disagree. He was not going to be a regular client, so I saved what I could of an relationship, patted him on rear, and sent him on his way.

I guess I had viewed it that even from a Biblical perspective...Eden was sort of Paleo, and after "The Fall" Adam and Eve's diets changed because they "worked the land" and "toiled in the dirt". So regardless of outlooks, it was a sound approach to eating.

Tirzah Harper 12-29-2008 07:13 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
I think the theory of evolution is pretty likely and I STILL don't swallow the Paleo diet hook, line, and sinker as the be-all, end-all of nutritional perfection. :D

There are, in my observation, some people who feel great eating paleo-style and some people who do not. In my mind, that means this dietary theory is great for some and not for others, and if it works for you, DO IT.

I'm all about doing what actually gets you the results you want, not what looks like it's supposed to work in the meantime but actually gets you ****-all in the end. This applies to everything in life, come to think of it...

Brad Davis 12-29-2008 07:30 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Joey Powell;480769]...He was offended to his very core. So we agreed to disagree. He was not going to be a regular client, so I saved what I could of an relationship, patted him on rear, and sent him on his way.....[/QUOTE]
I had something like this happen also. A couple of years ago, I pointed one of my friends to a Paleo Diet website and he was pretty ticked off by "evolved for millions of years" that is put forth by Cordain as if it's a fact instead of theory. Why would Cordain not measure his words out a bit better here? "Adapted for" serves the purpose as well as "evolved for." He needed a marketing guru on board to keep him from POing a substantial chunk of potential diet followers.

One problem is that the Old Testament has the word "bread" in it countless times. God actually *gave* bread for the people to eat in one form or another in a few places. Cordain would have everybody believe that God is giving food to the people that's terrible for them?! The idea that bread is bad, period, flies in the face of The Bible, at least in some people's opinion. People take their Bibles pretty seriously.

Andy Shirley 12-29-2008 07:36 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Oh man. Now this is a topic almost worth getting banned for.

Almost.

Dawkins and others have refuted irreducible complexity quite completely in several different publications(specifically Behe's flagellar argument, and the usual eye argument).

Matthew Stafford 12-29-2008 07:40 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Ben Chapman;480511]Nice Princess Bride reference.[/QUOTE]

Hah, glad you caught it.

I'm staying out of this discussion for the most part, but the co-opting of the word theory bothers me. A theory is is a well substantiated explanation while a hypothesis is a wild guess. A hypothesis does not become a theory until the discrepancies between the hypothesis and evidence/observations are resolved.

As Jamie mentioned, gravity, relativity and wave-particle duality are all theories, theories that are used daily to provide us with things like GPS, high speed communications and space flight. Evolution is also a theory, albeit one that generates more controversy than relativity. If you disagree with evolution, please refer to it as a [I]flawed[/I] theory, attack it on its merits, or decry that it was ever promoted from hypothetical to theoretical rather than insinuate that theory means something different than it actually does. Otherwise, it cheapens the word and promotes anti-scientific/anti-intellectual sentiments.

Dylan Miley 12-29-2008 08:07 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Wade Smith;480637]I'm actually surprised a MOD hasn't stepped in to warn this thread of its potential in stepping over the line and its possible ultimate demise. [/QUOTE]

Why would a mod step in? Because someone DARES challenge the paleo diet?

Jason Scheffler 12-29-2008 08:14 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Dylan Miley;480858]Why would a mod step in? Because someone DARES challenge the paleo diet?[/QUOTE]

Cool your jets Dylan.

No not because someone asked questions about the paleo diet but a mod no doubt is keeping a close eye because of the religious parts folks are carefully and quite nicely skirting.

Frank Dennis 12-29-2008 08:27 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Dylan Miley;480858]Why would a mod step in? Because someone DARES challenge the paleo diet?[/QUOTE]

No, because an apparent underpinning of whether or not the paleo diet is valid based upon the premise of evolutionary adaptation is inextricably tied to what you accept as the explanation of the origins of life.

However, as many have pointed out already, that's not really a factor; [I]whatever[/I] the origin of life, it's demonstrable through a great deal of anectodal evidence, and some scientific evidence, that eating foods as closely as possible to their natural state yields better health than eating highly processed foods.

As for what should or shouldn't be included (dairy, grains, etc.) there are lots of ways to approach that, from either the perpective of inclusion or exclusion in an ancient diet, which make sense. Unfortunately, until someone cracks time travel, there just aren't any sources of evidence to give definitive answers. For instance if you accept evolution then, yes, it's unlikely that ancient man consumed any milk beyond infancy, certainly not that of another species, until after the advent of agriculture and animal domestication.

However, it's not beyond possibility that even while in a nomadic, non-agricultural phase communities kept small numbers of domestic animals, or that milk may not have been harvested from animals killed while hunting. Modern hunter-gatherer tribes use organs, blood... why not the milk?

The same thing goes for grains; at some point before agriculture became widespread, man must have discovered that those grains were a potential food source. So, for at least some time, they were probably included in a paleolithic diet.

If you don't accept evolution, then there was still a transition, as has been pointed out, from the original biblical diet and what our ancestors ate after The Fall. Still, records aren't exactly complete and what should be included, and what shouldn't, could be argued from both sides. Especially since the lists of foods specifically forbidden by sacred commandment have changed over the centuries.

However, for myself, I've felt better and had more stable energy levels since ditching grains. There are those who'd say my diet isn't really paleo because milk and eggs are still on the menu, but that's OK. Milk and eggs are great (unless you're lactose intolerant), and I still feel good.

Edit: Jason got there first... and was less wordy than me. But, you know... everyone is less wordy than me. :D

Robert Wolf 12-29-2008 09:05 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[quote=Ben Chapman;480518]Like I already said, the quite absent fossil record that is so greatly hailed as evidence, but speciation should show literally millions of intermediary specimens at significant populations numbers, for the modification to happen, it would happen one modification at a time, obviously modifications like that haven't even been observable in current history, hence the incredibly long timeline that evolution requires. The iterations demonstrating the descent with modification would need to be astronomical in type, but also in volume, large populations of intermediaries would need to be produced to eventually get the genetic diversity to cause the modifications. So far, no one can point to any of these, and believe me, I've looked.

The other contrary evidence I would offer is the concept of irreducable complexity, addressed initially by Michael Behe. Behe was a biochemist doing research on flaggelar motors. The whole concept of irreducable complexity poses the impossibility of a complex structure arising out of the coming together of individual parts. Meaning it even one item is missing, the product is useless. Look it up for a more detailed explaination. So far the only refutation I've seen for it is a bunch of what ifs, no real research or unbiased commentary. Behe came to his conclusions during the course of his research, being neutral and an evolutionist to begin with. So there are a few examples.[/quote]

All my links are WFS
Ben-
As a biochemist I am truly staggered by the complexity of life. Once you start working with DNA and the seeming chicken and egg issue of DNA replication and the attendendent need for proteins to aid in DNA replication things get complex and interesting indeed...but the issue of irriducible complexity has never borne itself out. We keep finding cellular mechanisms which can perform a given function that was stated "CAN NOT BE MADE SIMPLER". That is one issue. A second issue arrises from some of the work of [URL="http://www.wolfram.com/"]Stehan Wolfram[/URL] and his work on Cellular Automatia. The notion that all of complexity occurs in simple stepwise fasions is inaccurate and greatly obscures many of the mechanisms of extreme complexity such as DNA replication and protein folding. Id also highly recommend the book "African Exodous". I doubt if it will change your mind, but at least you will know what all of us loosers who buy the whole evolutionary biology thingy are deluding ourselves with. It has the best synergy between fossil records and molecular biology I have seen to date.

Also, for the continuity of YOUR argument you need to pick whether you are a new-earth creationist or if you DO buy into evolution (which you are saying is bunk) but with some outside influence. The inteligent design folks FULLY embrace evolution, an old earth and all of that. They are theoretically trying to say life is too complex a thing for it to have happened without outside intervention and have claimed since the early '90's to have a means of analyzing DNA and protein folding in such a way that "proves" this point. They have NEVER generated a scrap of data on this claim and have largely abandoned it.

I saw one of the Honchos from the [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Institute"]Discovery Institute[/URL] speak on this topic at the University of Washington. The notion was compelling, but it has never gone anywhere and they never do any actual RESEARCH. Once you discover that the mission is NOT to uncover facts, but to push an agenda which grows from their [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy"]Wedge Strategy[/URL]...which you gotta love the open-minded mission here: "to "reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions". Once you understand they have absolutely NO interest in science, but rather pushing a political/religious agenda, then things start making sense. But again, these guy accept evolution...grudgingly. This is how they allow their work to kinda pass the sniff test and keep the topic alive. So, if you are in cahoots with these guys you DO in fact "believe" in evolution (albeit via outside influence) or if you are a Young Earth creationist you are in a VERY rarefied club, one which does not play well with the discovery institute. Here is a nice piece in which three Christians (one from the Discovery institute) proceed to rip each other to shreds on the [URL="http://www.discovery.org/a/3601"]topic[/URL].

so, for the continuity of your own argument, I'd pick a camp and run with that.



So, that's all pretty "solid" stuff, this point is much more an observation and much in the realm of opinion: I find it interesting that the only religious entities who find issue with the notion of evolution are those of a fundamentalist ilk. These same entities find concepts of physics and cosmology useful in that they generate GPS systems for weapons targeting, cell phones, atomic bombs and the like but conveniently ignore the anything which MIGHT be at odds with their religious views. [URL="http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm"]Pope John Paul 2[/URL] ( I doubt you'r catholic but I liked this guy a bunch and he was a THINKER) was of the position that so long as evolution does not try to teach that there is no God, there was no problem with it AND that this theory best describes the world around us. Now, for some damm reason, scientists try to weigh in on this topic of "is there or is there not a god" when the issue is one of the supernatural...if there is a god and the supernatural, it may not lends itself well to proof in a test tube! All science can say is "Have not found proof yet..." this is where faith comes in...it just buggars me to see folks draw battle lines in these very interesting places.

Matthew Stafford 12-29-2008 09:39 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Robert Wolf;480898]Also, for the continuity of YOUR argument you need to pick whether you are a new-earth creationist or if you DO buy into evolution (which you are saying is bunk) but with some outside influence. The inteligent design folks FULLY embrace evolution, an old earth and all of that. They are theoretically trying to say life is too complex a thing for it to have happened without outside intervention and have claimed since the early '90's to have a means of analyzing DNA and protein folding in such a way that "proves" this point. They have NEVER generated a scrap of data on this claim and have largely abandoned it.
[/QUOTE]

One of the (many) problems with intelligent design is that it isn't a scientific theory, or even a hypothesis. It offers absolutely no testable ideas, putting it solidly in the realms of faith despite attempts to define it otherwise.

Bob Guere 12-29-2008 10:01 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
I'll weigh in as a pro-intelligent design/couldn't care how it got done evolution or otherwise/ Paleo believer. ???

Basically, if you want the Paleo diet to square with your convictions, simply insert "3000 B.C. man" for Grok. The diet is good for your body either way. Whether our bodies were designed to eat this way or we evolved to eat this way. Still, the same foods fill my plate.

Great discussion.

Jeff Hendrix 12-29-2008 10:16 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Matthew Stafford;480922]One of the (many) problems with intelligent design is that it isn't a scientific theory, or even a hypothesis. It offers absolutely no testable ideas, putting it solidly in the realms of faith despite attempts to define it otherwise.[/QUOTE]

All ideas will eventually come to this. Evolutionists and non-evolutionists alike must at some point give up the search because there will always be found something "smaller," if you will. And, hence, all ideas about the creation of humans, this earth, and the univserse itself must come to faith and, eventually, a prime mover.

But, as this is a nutrition thread and not one on matters of the heart. . . .

I have been trying to follow the paleo diet fairly closely since the summer despite my stance against evolution. I don't think God giving any particular type of food to Israel in the desert is necessarily a good argument to stuff ourselves silly with it. God also gave them quail until it was rotting and making them sick. This was not the time that Israel was particularly in God's favor (regarding blessings beyond freedom from Egyptian captivity and a return to Canaan). Having said that, I don't think the bread (or "mana" in the case of Israel's time in the desert) that our Western culture consumes today is anywhere near the stuff that they were ingesting, even at its best in most cases.

I have had pleasant results on this diet and I will continue to use it until something better comes along (if ever it does). Also, I just flat enjoy eating lots of meat and fat and vegetables! And the fact that it has had no noticeable detrimental effects on my health and has balanced my energy levels and helped my performance is great too! I'm not 100% on it, but I think I would feel even better if I were. Alas, sometimes the best thing for me to do is just stop at Moe's on the way home and grab a huge burrito, or to buy a pizza that I can eat for a couple of days. I'm hoping to fix that in about two years though (read: "once I finish college").

Robert Wolf 12-29-2008 10:46 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Matthew Stafford;480922]One of the (many) problems with intelligent design is that it isn't a scientific theory, or even a hypothesis. It offers absolutely no testable ideas, putting it solidly in the realms of faith despite attempts to define it otherwise.[/QUOTE]

Exactly. When they first hit the scene they made some pretty bold claims of being able to find "proof" in the DNA code for their positions. When pressed for ANY kind of supportive research they dropped these claims.

I was honestly very disapointed when I learned the agenda of the Discovery Institute. I've been a student of religion, spirituality and the Noetic sciences (study of consciousness, paranormal etc) for my years. I thought this was a legitimate attempt at bridging the gap between what people would generally term "science" and "religion" but it was simply an attempt to force home an agenda by people who are feeling marginalized....otherwise they would have defined their mission much differently.

Robert D Taylor Jr 12-29-2008 10:56 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Not for nothing, but disagreeing with a diet because you disagree with the ideology around which it was named is ludicrous. Try it, if it works call it the Chapman diet and drive on.

Scott Allen Hanson 12-29-2008 11:06 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
First, let me say that I adhere to a generally paleo diet. I think it has strong scientific underpinnings and it is effective for me.

I do question one of the basic premises of the Paleo Diet, however, which I have not seen addressed by Cordain or others. The basic premise is that humans have not had time to adapt (or evolve) to consume foods not available to our paleolithic ancestors.

How does this square with the observed phenomenon of Northern European adaptation to dairy consumption (production of lactase) as opposed to Africans and Asians who cannot digest dairy. Is this an evolutionary adaptation or not? If so, doesn't this contradict the basic premise?

Zach Yarges 12-29-2008 11:08 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
I tried Paleo and I felt like crap on it and performed terribly. I still like the idea and concept of Paleo and try to limit my intake of grains and bread to a minimum and have found a happy place that I can work with. I have found that regardless of what diet I am on that water intake seems to affect my performance the most such as drinking mainly anything other than water for a day will translate into a grueling workout and if I am pounding the water I perform great.

Phillip Garrison 12-29-2008 11:41 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
Is someone actually not wanting to go paleo becuase they don't believe in evolution? You could believe in Adam and Eve and still see the benefits of the paleo diet. The people of the ancient world didn't eat like modern man does either. Humans weren't meant to eat giant muffins and coffee all day.

Phillip Garrison 12-29-2008 11:45 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Ben Chapman;480468]Ok, I will preface this thread with the statement that we need to be careful. I'm going to broach a topic that could easily descend into personal attacks and some heated, possibly unfriendly debate. I also caution people to not steer it towards religion, it is not the point of bringing this up.

First of all I will state that I think there are some real merits to the paleo diet, people see results with it and I am hugely in favor of consuming foods at their most natural level. Having said that, I am not a paleo believer free and clear. Why? Because one of the prefaces for the paleo diet comes from the concept of millions of years of human evolution. I don't believe in evolution in the sense that most others do; at least not in the sense of descent with modification; or speciation. I was a biology major in college and whenever I requested some evidence from the fossil record or otherwise to show true descent with modification, I came up not only completely dry, but devoid of anyone having examples that THEY had heard of (these are PhDs in zoology, ecology and microbiology). That being said, I have nothing against someone who believes it. I believe that its a THEORY (still a theory, yes) that has support in its favor, but also has some glaring holes and some often swept under and ignored support that is NOT in its favor.

This is all to say, or inquire to any other paleo non-believers out there. I believe that people see results from the diet and that it can work, but mostly because of other reasons: i.e. the hail back to very natural foods of wide variety. For the reasons above though, I do believe that some of the paleo no-nos are still open season for me: certain grains, like rices, oats and some very specific types of corn, I believe that human history is short enough and also intelligent enough that these foods played a role all the way through and are not something to simply be discarded.

Feel free to discuss, you can see how this might descend into a religious topic, which admittedly is where my overall starting point comes from. However, I think that I can talk on a logical and scientific level about it as well.

Agree? disagree?[/QUOTE]

Couldn't you believe in the diet based on current ethnographic studies of current hunter gatherer societies and the fact that they do not suffer from any of the current diseases that plagues "modern man" ?

Phillip Garrison 12-29-2008 11:50 AM

Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...
 
[QUOTE=Scott Clark;480590]Right, but it's the claims that Paleo man experienced no cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc. that is the muscle behind the diet. It's those claims that are hard to verify scientifically and why I chalk Cordain's book in with The Zone, Sugar Busters, South Beach, Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, etc. due to HUGE claims while offering little to no peer-reviewed evidence.

I don't care about the whole evolution side of things, I just want non-biased peer-reviewed studies done before I take the health claims with anything but a grain of salt.[/QUOTE]

The theory is based on fossil and dental records, but also largely on the the highly probably fact that very early man lived and ate almost the same way modern hunter gatherer tribes eat and live. These tribes do not have the disease trends we have. That is really the "meat" of the paleo argument.


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