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Old 12-28-2008, 03:41 PM   #11
Brad Davis
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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.
 
Old 12-28-2008, 04:12 PM   #12
Robert Laken
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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
http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-08-20.html#feature (wfs)
 
Old 12-28-2008, 04:34 PM   #13
Robert Callahan
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Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Chapman View Post
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.
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:
Originally Posted by Ben Chapman View Post
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.
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
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:38 PM   #14
Frank Dennis
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Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Chapman View Post
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.
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 The Blind Watchmaker (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 horrible 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 certainly not advocating that anyone imposes an unhealthy diet on themselves. I'd rather be strong and healthy than help accelerate our evolutionary change.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:06 PM   #15
Scott Clark
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Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Callahan View Post
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.
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.

Last edited by Scott Clark; 12-28-2008 at 05:08 PM..
 
Old 12-28-2008, 05:49 PM   #16
Robert Callahan
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Re: Don't believe in Paleo because...

Very nice post Frank! Provocative and well articulated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Clark View Post
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.
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
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:18 PM   #17
Amber Mathwig
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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 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?
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:33 PM   #18
Clay Jones
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Well then, don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Chapman View Post
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.
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.
 
Old 12-28-2008, 06:59 PM   #19
Wade Smith
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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 clean, or call it what Michael Pollan calls it in his book, In Defense of Food. Ultimately, it would behoove all of us to get back to eating only 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.

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.

Last edited by Wade Smith; 12-28-2008 at 07:06 PM..
 
Old 12-28-2008, 07:04 PM   #20
Jamie J. Skibicki
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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.
 
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