18

votes

Beliefs, religion and a paleolithic lifestyle?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 02, 2010 at 12:14 AM

The question asks itself really.

Do you have a religion or religious background, beliefs or no beliefs? Have your beliefs been influenced by a paleolithic lifestyle and way of thinking and vice-versa?

I'm not looking for judgement of anyones beliefs or lack of them, just curious about peoples backgrounds, thoughts and experiences on this. :)

A115b8aa3c375f10d5bde0c0d06b6143

(865)

on June 07, 2012
at 10:38 AM

+1 for non-inflammatory pun, intended or not. All good PH threads lead to reduced inflammation!

7e971f0c6355315dbd3ed68f89f5b8d4

on June 07, 2012
at 03:58 AM

What logic is that? Where is this faith of you being a logical being coming from? Even your name says it. You're an animal, and we are not logical or rational. Although, we sure like to think we are. I think you are buying into this false dichotomy of logic vs. religion, which is just the same as liberal vs. conservative, etc. etc. etc. ad naseum... It's all created to box in your mind.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:58 AM

I love prejudice! Darwin is on our side! Darwin for the score!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:56 AM

Trippin' unclelonghair! I'm getting into a 1966 mood reading this! Dan Hicks is about all we have left.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:46 AM

Darwin was an Anglican. The theory of evolution came from observations of animal husbandry. Such a Neolithic way of looking at things. So orderly. So....English.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:44 AM

If they won't accept the metric system let's beat them within an inch of their lives!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:42 AM

So you don't enjoy reading Hasek, Vonnegut and Pynchon? Illogic makes a lot more sense than logic to me.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:37 AM

The concept of a garden is Neolithic in and of itself. Order out of chaotic past. Dobzhansky spots the parallels between evolution and western religion: both are irreversibly linear, moving forward in time.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:32 AM

Too much bogus here, starting with drawing parallels between the amateur nutritionist and hack writer with Darwin. As long as you're slinging canards how about "survival of the fittest"?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:24 AM

Irony? God loves the smell of burning meat. Judeo/Christian/Muslim 101. Has nothing to do with fundamentalism.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 06, 2012
at 11:31 PM

That's to say, I had the same conundrum as you at one time. In a nutshell, I don't think belief in Evolution and belief in Christ is mutually-exclusive. I hate to admit that I've pretty much written off any of my so-called friends that argued me blue in the face over my stance about Evolution (and gay marriage, for that matter).

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 06, 2012
at 11:27 PM

Citing the example of Daniel when King Nebuchadnezzar had him as a hostage/servant, him and his other hostage Jews abstained from meat and wine while serving in court - this is one of the reasons why many Rastafari do not drink or eat meat (at least according to my Rasta friend), they "Do not eat the King's meat, or drink the King's wine".

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 06, 2012
at 11:23 PM

I like this answer. For me, it was a combination of raising an Aspy son who is infatuated with evolution, my Paleo successes, and the book "Is Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant". The way I explain my views on Evolution to my more evangelical right-wing friends, is "The Bible devotes less than a paragraph on the creation of the world... the rest of the book is solely about God's relationship with man. God gave us a brain, I think he would prefer we used it."

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on June 06, 2012
at 10:37 PM

That is shamanism as described by Mircea Eliade, Carlos Castaneda and Michael Harner. Imo monotheism is a spiritual degenration the most ultimate flaw of which are written rules and general dogma. Rules=disagreement, disagreement=religious wars. Dogma is anathema to spirituality.

Bbd349fe334481d99c091333b87cacb5

(346)

on June 06, 2012
at 10:18 PM

After reading the comments, I'm really happy to belong to a forum that can respect the beliefs of others and carry on educated discussions regardless of how controversial the topic.

Bbd349fe334481d99c091333b87cacb5

(346)

on June 06, 2012
at 10:15 PM

Agreed, That One Guy!

954dbd7efe0e7653e8efd377d7776d38

(457)

on June 06, 2012
at 09:45 PM

Oh wow! That is an instant classic!

954dbd7efe0e7653e8efd377d7776d38

(457)

on June 06, 2012
at 09:42 PM

Watching people raise their hands and prey to an invisible person in the sky, FREAKS ME OUT!

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on June 06, 2012
at 06:11 PM

For me Christianity and Paleo cannot fit, the bible says that humans have been on the earth approximately 6000 years yet paleo argues against the establishment of a grain-fed society from the last 10,000 years compared to 2.5 million years of evolution. The bible says to eat bread etc, I just don't see how the two are compatible but people will always say you have to have 'faith' even in the face of overwhelming oppositional evidence, the more I learn about cultural constructions of evolving societies the less I believe in god

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 05:40 AM

Uncle LongHair. You should go to a catholic bazaar sometime. Good mix of gambling, drinking, turkey legs and bingo.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:24 PM

I was raised by an apatheist and a pragmatic agnostic who never spoke to me about religion and let me figure out the world on my own. I wish every child was able to be raised this way, and I'm forever grateful to my parents for protecting me from religion. Interestingly, I wasn't actually raised to BE an atheist, as Jenny was - I just came into it on my own from an unbiased standpoint because, as Humanimal so eloquently said, religious ideas clash with my sense of logic.

Ccdf3fbcaec76e025ff94d03cc4daf9a

(536)

on March 16, 2012
at 09:03 PM

I agree. I have a melting pot of beliefs from Christianity, to Hinduism to Paganism. I have never understood why beliefs have to mutually exclusive. Why couldnt a god create evolution?

Ccdf3fbcaec76e025ff94d03cc4daf9a

(536)

on March 16, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Love this answer!!!!

D59c7ff7206942aff7766e0a69bb63ed

(70)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:06 PM

lol... nice one!

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on March 16, 2012
at 05:42 PM

+1 for the giving birth without epirudal.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 16, 2012
at 07:18 AM

That got +5? My opinion of PaleoHacks just plummeted. People speak of the fact of evolution because Creationist don't "get" what a scientific theory. If you doubt that theories can be facts I suggest you jump off a cliff. Gravity is a theory too.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 16, 2012
at 07:13 AM

Humans evolved to survive and reproduce. Religion is just a misfiring of one of our survival instincts. We are programmed to seek agency. We hear a noise we don't think "Noise?" we think "Who's there?". So we hear the universe began we say "Who began it?". It's a nonsense question but it's our instinct.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 16, 2012
at 07:00 AM

Can I add that not all Buddhists value vegetarianism. As a matter of fact the Buddha himself ate meat. He only ate food offered to him but he ate what was given.

0bd88fb98483e08b3300945ecd5bc8eb

(108)

on March 16, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Awesome! Two opposable thumbs up :)

A115b8aa3c375f10d5bde0c0d06b6143

(865)

on March 16, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Me too, and I live in New York.

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on February 09, 2012
at 08:07 PM

Jenny J, you must have had some awesome parents! Good for them, and you are very lucky! BTW I have met a few (very few) people who were not raised with superstitions, and while I think that is the best possible situation, it's not a tragedy either to have been raised by believers. It gives one an appreciation of what they have decided they **don't** want. What IS a tragedy is the number of people I know who have been disowned by their family.

4b8ce2e8143119b39e00d5705b76cfa6

(40)

on February 09, 2012
at 06:35 AM

Isaac Asimov said the greatest victory of science over religion was when the church started to put up lightning rods. And the Pope believes in evolution. It is primarily a very vocal minority of Americans that dispute evolution, and mostly because they don't understand the complexity of the theory.

51a4b53ca196e59b01960b1a39b5f5a3

(85)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:06 AM

Orthodoxy in Christianity is not believing everything the Bible says literally, but adhering to the teachings of Jesus. I've always been taught that Genesis is a creation myth - that is, that it tells us things about humanity and our relationship to the natural and the divine in a figurative way. As a believer in Christianity and evolution, I really like Genesis. Those who take Genesis literally tend to say that Jesus was speaking figuratively when his words disagree with their (church's) beliefs.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Part of the problem is the extent to which we've allowed science and religion to intermingle. Science is supposed to deal with the natural world, religion with that which exists outside/above/beyond the natural world. The two can exist side by side without cognitive dissonance as long as their demesnes don't intermingle.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:17 AM

When people talk about "pure" and "impure" foods, you can usually back away from what they are talking about and it doesn't take long, or sound to crazy, to tell yourself they are somehow talking about virginity. These seem obviously puritanical to me, and seem to be related to the "pure", "cleansing", and "toxin removal" movement we see in foods. Purity has always been held at the highest esteem, even though I don't think it can exists (unless we are talking about chemical compound purity). Food, sex, lifestyles- nothing is inherently "pure" or "impure". It has religious tones for sure.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:15 AM

@Melissa - Take a look at Joseph Campbell (*The Power of Myth* - based on a 6-part PBS series). The concept that there are archetypal patterns underlying all our myths, legends, and religions, patterns we all share in common. Neil Gaiman even explored this in the *Sandman* comic series with The Endless, incarnations of 7 key concepts that keep recurring across human society (Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Despair, Desire, and Delirium/Delight).

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:13 AM

I was actually raised an atheist, which is pretty rare to find- in all seriousness, I don't think I have ever met another person who identifies as being raised as an atheist, by atheists. My parents always explained religion as a tool to explain the unexplainable- but that over time science has slowly filled that gap, and will continue to fill it. This allowed me a great perspective, from a very young age, that everything has the potential to be explained. This comment really resonates with my upbringing!

0511b69b133556de6e7ef12d4ae262bc

(399)

on November 17, 2011
at 06:00 PM

I do not believe in evolution either. I am glad you wrote that!

57feacef8780cc6289f608f3677859f0

(163)

on June 09, 2010
at 09:10 PM

Ryan: Chinese Americans are taller than their parents from being fed enough not to starve like their parents did during China's Cultural Revolution during which people were forced to work in the fields and live on cabbage, plain wheat buns, and watery rice porridge. Meat, veggies, nuts, and fruits were all considered delicacies.

A480640a53eb5dc8966f49141942f705

on May 07, 2010
at 08:02 AM

The big irony of Dawkins is that humans evolved to believe in religion. Joseph Campbell identifies four functions of myth: cosmological, sociological, psychological, and mystical. I'm totally OK with handing the cosmology function to science, while leaving the other three in the hands of whatever religion-culture-system works for a person and a people.

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on May 06, 2010
at 11:53 AM

I am also a recent Christian (2006) following a church upbringing then a falling away from faith. I totally agree with you - I have always believed the Bible to be metaphorical (especially the old testament) and hence this doesn't clash with my scientific evolutionary beliefs.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 05, 2010
at 06:39 PM

This is somewhat germane to our conversation, I think. Hope you enjoy :-) http://www.theonion.com/video/scientists-successfully-teach-gorilla-it-will-die,17165/

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 05, 2010
at 02:21 PM

I'll check out the link. I appreciate the discussion. Thanks, Pieter.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 05, 2010
at 02:05 PM

Jodi, you said "spiritual thirsts and hungers that point us to a corresponding fulfillment." I'd just like to say that our mind, as a product of our nervous system, is also a product of natural selection. That means it's built for survival, not for truth nor happiness. Maybe just one more tip: see this TED-vid by Dan Dennett: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dan_dennett_cute_sexy_sweet_funny.html about inversion of reason. And now I will shut up, because as I said, I consider this to be private matters.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 05, 2010
at 07:06 AM

It takes courage to post this answer!

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 04, 2010
at 03:03 PM

I understand what you mean. That's also what I think...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2010
at 01:08 AM

yeah, if they are going to minus it, at least say why.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 03, 2010
at 05:19 PM

Good comment. @Ryan: I didn't read this as an attempt to establish western culture as somehow specially screwed up, merely as an attempt to take western culture's particular screwups and use them to explain how it is we got ourselves into the diet/health mess that we're in. Puritanical ideals pop up in surprising places.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on May 03, 2010
at 12:24 PM

I don't see why it would, vmary. Not sure why someone would neg your comment.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2010
at 03:33 AM

did i hit a nerve out there?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 02, 2010
at 05:00 PM

multi-paradoxical? multi-irreconcilable?

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on May 02, 2010
at 08:33 AM

I agree with you Melissa! And with you, Meng Weng Wong, that we all have the common ground of believing we eat the way we are intended to eat.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on May 02, 2010
at 08:27 AM

Growing up in the UK it's hard to imagine people being that religious.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on May 02, 2010
at 06:27 AM

- typed on cell so sorry about mistypes - Went to a University that was half Asian Ameican - Best friend is Korean - Girlfriend is from Taiwan and Buddhist - Been to Asia - Lived in Europe, they are as skinny as people in Asia

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on May 02, 2010
at 06:24 AM

I think you are mistaking the US with all of the West. Italy has the same body fat percentage average as China. Buddha said that "we should hope to come back as rice in a time of famine," so it's not just the West whose religion wrongly praises grain. I also see hooutou say the West's I'll health is related to it's religious beliefs. Well, Buddhism and Hinduism emphasize vegetarianism and most Asian Americans are 6 inches or greater in height than their parents once they move away from the Asian diet when they come to the West.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on May 02, 2010
at 03:58 AM

Definitely. If you ever have read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, he interprets the story of Adam and Eve as a story about the birth of agriculture. Adam's punishment for eating the apple? "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field."

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on May 02, 2010
at 03:51 AM

To quote Kary Mullis: "People who talk about scientific facts don't really know about scientific facts."

A480640a53eb5dc8966f49141942f705

on May 02, 2010
at 02:33 AM

To Christians I find myself saying that Paleo eating is nothing more than eating the way God intended us to eat. Here I'm using God as a shorthand for evolution, which would be blasphemy if only so many other people didn't use Him the same way.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on May 02, 2010
at 02:22 AM

There's a lot there I don't agree with, but that was a _really_ interesting answer!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 02, 2010
at 01:56 AM

It's heartening to read how many people here are Christian paleos. I thought my Christian relatives wouldn't be interested.

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43 Answers

20
A480640a53eb5dc8966f49141942f705

on May 02, 2010
at 02:16 AM

Taubes describes in great detail the "how" of the current War On Fat, but he stays away from the "why". Why did the promoters of the low-fat paradigm pick one controversial hypothesis over another?

Any belief system, spiritual or not, can be described by an ordered list of principles that organize thought and behavior. Science believes in rationality, falsifiability, and reproducibility. Paleo dieting prioritizes eating and lifestyle habits congruent with our evolutionary heritage.

I believe there is a set of scripts deeply embedded in Western culture that conspire to make people fat.

America's Christian/Protestant/Puritan legacy includes useful prosocial ideas like forgiveness, loving thy neighbor, and the acceptance of destinies vaster than one's own (the story of Job and the Serenity Prayer represent two aspects of this thought.)

But that tradition has also handed down less useful ideas. As linguists like Lakoff have observed, we shape our metaphors, and thereafter they shape us. Consider the assumptions built into

  • no pain, no gain
  • you are what you eat
  • one man's meat is another man's poison
  • man does not live by bread alone
  • two of the Seven Deadly Sins are Gluttony and Sloth
  • original sin means we are all Not OK
  • the Body is bad: nakedness is wrong
  • self-denial is necessary to gain spiritual salvation

These ideas are never far from the thoughts of any Westerner concerned about food and health. They emerge from the same sort of folk traditions as "searing the meat helps lock in the juices" -- which many people still believe today. But did you know that that kitchen tip goes back to Aristotle? McGee (On Food and Cooking) has debunked it already. What else is suspect in the attics of our minds?

I draw a straight line between Ancel Keys and the ideas above. I think they were acting on deep-rooted culturally conditioned biases, the same sort of cognitive biases that neuroeconomists like Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational) have recently been exploring. Remember, McCarthyism was going on at the exact same time. It may seem ludicrous to connect the Red Scare to the Red Meat Scare, but whether they were demonizing communists or cholesterol, the fuzzy thinking was the same: a witchhunt was going on.

Once one accepts that the way to a better body (salvation) is through self-denial (if it tastes good it must be bad, so no fat, no sugar, no meat) and active penitence (worship regularly at the gym to avoid suspicion of Sloth) then the rest of it falls into place. It's unfashionable to condemn people as sinners for adultery or greed, but sloth is always open. The other day someone said to me, "if you wanted to lose weight you know you could just exercise" in self-righteous tones. I felt like responding, vanity is also a sin, and being thinner than me doesn't make you holier.

In this sense, the Paleo movement can be read as yet another front in the battle between Darwin and the Church. Not all the Church -- other people who have answered this question have amply demonstrated positive and mindful ways to live with belief -- but isn't it interesting to see what public policy advisories in a secular society have in common with sharia, mitzvot, and commandments in a religious theocracy?

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on May 02, 2010
at 02:22 AM

There's a lot there I don't agree with, but that was a _really_ interesting answer!

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on May 02, 2010
at 06:24 AM

I think you are mistaking the US with all of the West. Italy has the same body fat percentage average as China. Buddha said that "we should hope to come back as rice in a time of famine," so it's not just the West whose religion wrongly praises grain. I also see hooutou say the West's I'll health is related to it's religious beliefs. Well, Buddhism and Hinduism emphasize vegetarianism and most Asian Americans are 6 inches or greater in height than their parents once they move away from the Asian diet when they come to the West.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on May 02, 2010
at 06:27 AM

- typed on cell so sorry about mistypes - Went to a University that was half Asian Ameican - Best friend is Korean - Girlfriend is from Taiwan and Buddhist - Been to Asia - Lived in Europe, they are as skinny as people in Asia

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 03, 2010
at 05:19 PM

Good comment. @Ryan: I didn't read this as an attempt to establish western culture as somehow specially screwed up, merely as an attempt to take western culture's particular screwups and use them to explain how it is we got ourselves into the diet/health mess that we're in. Puritanical ideals pop up in surprising places.

57feacef8780cc6289f608f3677859f0

(163)

on June 09, 2010
at 09:10 PM

Ryan: Chinese Americans are taller than their parents from being fed enough not to starve like their parents did during China's Cultural Revolution during which people were forced to work in the fields and live on cabbage, plain wheat buns, and watery rice porridge. Meat, veggies, nuts, and fruits were all considered delicacies.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 16, 2012
at 07:00 AM

Can I add that not all Buddhists value vegetarianism. As a matter of fact the Buddha himself ate meat. He only ate food offered to him but he ate what was given.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:32 AM

Too much bogus here, starting with drawing parallels between the amateur nutritionist and hack writer with Darwin. As long as you're slinging canards how about "survival of the fittest"?

19
Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

on May 02, 2010
at 01:22 AM

I might be what you could call an orthodox Christian, but I think of myself more as a person with a close relationship with Jesus (God). Some people might wonder how someone who believes the bible is God's word could also be "paleo"-- but I see no contention.

The bible is true, but it is not a scientific document. It tells about something humans can never full understand-- God-- in the best way possible, which is often through metaphors and allegories (think of Jesus's parables). For example, its ridiculous to think that the world was actually created in 6 of our 24 hour days, because God exists outside of time. That's just a way to explain in common language something we can't fully understand.

God created a complex, organic world that all of human knowledge just scratches the surface of. He did this to keep us busy and in wonder, I think, because it would get kinda boring if we someday found out all there is to know. That being said, did we evolve from apes? I don't know. That's one of the mysteries that we will one day know for sure, or find out we've been completely wrong on. And it doesn't really matter, from a religious perspective.

I eat and exercise paleo because it is the best thing (that I know of) for my body. I don't think grains are evil or that everybody should forgo them, just that it works for me. And in general, I think that the closer we return to treating our bodies the way God created them to function, the better (eating unprocessed foods, running without bulky padded shoes, giving birth without an epidural, etc.). He knew what he was doing.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on March 16, 2012
at 05:42 PM

+1 for the giving birth without epirudal.

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on June 06, 2012
at 06:11 PM

For me Christianity and Paleo cannot fit, the bible says that humans have been on the earth approximately 6000 years yet paleo argues against the establishment of a grain-fed society from the last 10,000 years compared to 2.5 million years of evolution. The bible says to eat bread etc, I just don't see how the two are compatible but people will always say you have to have 'faith' even in the face of overwhelming oppositional evidence, the more I learn about cultural constructions of evolving societies the less I believe in god

13
0511b69b133556de6e7ef12d4ae262bc

(399)

on November 17, 2011
at 06:02 PM

I am Christian, and I look at it simply: Our body is a temple for God. Why not take care of it in the best way possible??

12
08ce57b1bbb3bda8e384234389c36d94

on May 02, 2010
at 03:40 AM

One way to think of Paleo in Christian terms is to consider the story of Adam and Eve. As the first humans they certainly were not farmers. Instead they enjoyed an abundance of fruits, vegetables and wild game from the Garden on Eden. God gave them 'every beast of the earth, every fowl of the air, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life'. The downfall came when they ate something they shouldn't have and thus we were condemned to an eternity of back breaking misery forced to till the soil and eek out a life of sub optimal nutrition ever since.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on May 02, 2010
at 03:58 AM

Definitely. If you ever have read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, he interprets the story of Adam and Eve as a story about the birth of agriculture. Adam's punishment for eating the apple? "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field."

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:37 AM

The concept of a garden is Neolithic in and of itself. Order out of chaotic past. Dobzhansky spots the parallels between evolution and western religion: both are irreversibly linear, moving forward in time.

10
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:05 PM

I thank God for my atheist upbringing.

D59c7ff7206942aff7766e0a69bb63ed

(70)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:06 PM

lol... nice one!

954dbd7efe0e7653e8efd377d7776d38

(457)

on June 06, 2012
at 09:45 PM

Oh wow! That is an instant classic!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:44 AM

If they won't accept the metric system let's beat them within an inch of their lives!

10
0bd88fb98483e08b3300945ecd5bc8eb

on March 16, 2012
at 01:10 AM

As I live in Sweden, I am an atheist. Religious ideas clash with my sense of logic.

0bd88fb98483e08b3300945ecd5bc8eb

(108)

on March 16, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Awesome! Two opposable thumbs up :)

A115b8aa3c375f10d5bde0c0d06b6143

(865)

on March 16, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Me too, and I live in New York.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:42 AM

So you don't enjoy reading Hasek, Vonnegut and Pynchon? Illogic makes a lot more sense than logic to me.

954dbd7efe0e7653e8efd377d7776d38

(457)

on June 06, 2012
at 09:42 PM

Watching people raise their hands and prey to an invisible person in the sky, FREAKS ME OUT!

Bbd349fe334481d99c091333b87cacb5

(346)

on June 06, 2012
at 10:15 PM

Agreed, That One Guy!

7e971f0c6355315dbd3ed68f89f5b8d4

on June 07, 2012
at 03:58 AM

What logic is that? Where is this faith of you being a logical being coming from? Even your name says it. You're an animal, and we are not logical or rational. Although, we sure like to think we are. I think you are buying into this false dichotomy of logic vs. religion, which is just the same as liberal vs. conservative, etc. etc. etc. ad naseum... It's all created to box in your mind.

10
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 02, 2010
at 12:38 AM

I grew up Southern Baptist. I wasn't allowed to see Home Alone because it was PG or listen to "secular" music. I spent hours and hour every week in church and in bible study. I was taught Creationism.

At some point I was convinced that evolution was true. I also took a Great Books philosophy class in high school and spent much of my time as a Christian apologist, talking about how evolution and Christianity could co-exist. But cracks were showing. I guess moving away from my hometown made it easier to admit to myself that I was no longer Christian because I wasn't in danger of losing my social life anymore. Some of the books I was reading at that time were CS Lewis, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, and EO Wilson...but I was basically devouring everything. I still enjoy some aspects of Christianity- I love CS Lewis and early church music, and sometimes I think it would be better for my life if I just pretended to believe.

I'm also part Jewish, so I explored that for a time, but at that time I was paleo and a religion that says you have to eat grains for Shabbat was pretty unappealing. I also think circumcision is dumb.

Non-agrarian religions appeal greatly to me, like animism and shamanism, but really...who is kidding who? Those religions are pretty much totally lost or very much tied to ethnicity. I'm neither interested in making up tree dancing rituals to emulate the lost Celtic paganism nor co-opting some Native American tribe's spirituality.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on May 02, 2010
at 08:27 AM

Growing up in the UK it's hard to imagine people being that religious.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:15 AM

@Melissa - Take a look at Joseph Campbell (*The Power of Myth* - based on a 6-part PBS series). The concept that there are archetypal patterns underlying all our myths, legends, and religions, patterns we all share in common. Neil Gaiman even explored this in the *Sandman* comic series with The Endless, incarnations of 7 key concepts that keep recurring across human society (Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Despair, Desire, and Delirium/Delight).

9
58a55f0986b8f49a8bc5666e10492569

on May 02, 2010
at 01:40 PM

As a non-believer, I find Paleo totally consistent with evolution, which for me is not just a theory but as close to absolute truth as we can get.

But religious folks might recall the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. Cain was growing grain, while Abel was herding animals. The Lord approved of what Abel was doing, but did not accept Cain's offering, basically saying that it was not right to grow grain. And so in a fit of jealous rage Cain slew Abel. To repeat: Cain was growing grain, and the Lord said it was wrong.

Interestingly, the vegetarian movement really got going around the late 19th - early 20th century when 7th Day Adventists (I think) decided that eating meat was wrong because of this passage in the Bible: "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat" (Genesis 1:29). On the other hand, we buy organically raised free range beef, poultry, and lamb from a family of devout Christians. Their justification for eating meat? "We have to now because we were expelled from the garden of Eden."

It's ironic that fundamentalist Christians who don't believe in evolution are eating what humans evolved to eat - animal foods - while liberal humanists, who claim that they do believe in evolution, seem to think that it does not apply to them personally and have adopted vegetarianism, a philosophy originating in the Bible.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 06, 2012
at 11:27 PM

Citing the example of Daniel when King Nebuchadnezzar had him as a hostage/servant, him and his other hostage Jews abstained from meat and wine while serving in court - this is one of the reasons why many Rastafari do not drink or eat meat (at least according to my Rasta friend), they "Do not eat the King's meat, or drink the King's wine".

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:24 AM

Irony? God loves the smell of burning meat. Judeo/Christian/Muslim 101. Has nothing to do with fundamentalism.

7
3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

on March 16, 2012
at 02:39 PM

I have been a Lutheran pastor for 4 years and been living a more and more Paleo lifestyle for the past two years. Honestly, as many have already pointed out, I don't find a any intellectual contradictions between the two (although many people demand that I do). My dad used to say, "I believe that God could have created the world in six 24-hour days . . . I just don't think that He did." The second synopsis on creation in Genesis chapter 2 doesn't talk at all about "days" but explains again that God created the world and created it good. I have never found this truth "challenged" by a Paleo template.

Honestly, the biggest difficulty I have found with living primally is that, especially at first, I made the food I was eating an "idol". I was thinking about it all the time, worrying about it all the time, looking in the mirror all the time, trying to convince my family to eat it all the time. God challenged me on this point by leading me to this verse from 1 Corinthians 6, "Everything is permissible for me" but I will not be mastered by anything. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food--but God will destroy them both." Food is not going to make me live forever so I'm not going to "worship" the "perfect" micronutrient content. If I have any hope for eternal life, it's going to be through faith in Jesus Christ. Again, No primal authority I have ever read ever argued that they could give eternal life through the food we eat--only Jesus Christ has given that promise. As long as I don't give food the glory God deserves, the Paleo lifestyle hasn't bothered my relationship with Jesus.

So, to summarize, I eat the food that God created my body to eat, but I don't trust in the primal lifestyle for my salvation. Religiously, you won't be saved or damned by eating red meat or abstaining. You won't earn salvation or lose it by having great sex with your spouse or by abstinence. No matter how much you can deadlift today, one day you will die whether you are Christian or an atheist. That's as far as the primal lifestyle can take you.

You see, when it comes to the promise of eternal life, the primal lifestyle has absolutely nothing to say, nothing it wants to say and nothing it can say about it. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and life. No one comes to the Father except by me."

7
9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 05, 2010
at 02:38 AM

Thank you so much for asking this question. I have appreciated reading the responses. I guess I???m the odd man out here. I???m a Christian whose exploration of paleo nutrition has definitely made things spiritually uncomfortable. I believe in God, and I believe in evolution. It???s difficult to articulate, but I think that as I learn more about man, the animal, I must reexamine my understanding of God???s hand in human history. I feel like I???ve lost something???reverence? mystery? Not fun. Still sorting it out.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 05, 2010
at 07:06 AM

It takes courage to post this answer!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 06, 2012
at 11:31 PM

That's to say, I had the same conundrum as you at one time. In a nutshell, I don't think belief in Evolution and belief in Christ is mutually-exclusive. I hate to admit that I've pretty much written off any of my so-called friends that argued me blue in the face over my stance about Evolution (and gay marriage, for that matter).

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 06, 2012
at 11:23 PM

I like this answer. For me, it was a combination of raising an Aspy son who is infatuated with evolution, my Paleo successes, and the book "Is Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant". The way I explain my views on Evolution to my more evangelical right-wing friends, is "The Bible devotes less than a paragraph on the creation of the world... the rest of the book is solely about God's relationship with man. God gave us a brain, I think he would prefer we used it."

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:46 AM

Darwin was an Anglican. The theory of evolution came from observations of animal husbandry. Such a Neolithic way of looking at things. So orderly. So....English.

6
9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 05, 2010
at 01:06 PM

@ pieter d: Before I became a Christian, I used to say to myself, ???You???d have to commit intellectual suicide to believe this stuff.??? Now I firmly believe that just as the proof of evolution is in my own body, the proof of God???s existence is in my own heart and spirit. C.S. Lewis articulates this much better than I ever could. There is a moral law outside ourselves that we know we don???t live up to. There is also what Lewis calls ???joy.??? In ???Surprised by Joy??? he describes unexpected moments of longing, awe and wonder that he experienced at times as an atheist when he walked in the country or read Norse mythology. He chased this feeling, but was unable to recreate it by his own will. Just as we have physical hungers that each has its corresponding remedy/resolution, so we have spiritual thirsts and hungers that point us to a corresponding fulfillment.

I???m learning to accept that I can???t understand everything about this life, but I do believe that we are more than physical beings.

A480640a53eb5dc8966f49141942f705

on May 07, 2010
at 08:02 AM

The big irony of Dawkins is that humans evolved to believe in religion. Joseph Campbell identifies four functions of myth: cosmological, sociological, psychological, and mystical. I'm totally OK with handing the cosmology function to science, while leaving the other three in the hands of whatever religion-culture-system works for a person and a people.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 05, 2010
at 02:21 PM

I'll check out the link. I appreciate the discussion. Thanks, Pieter.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 05, 2010
at 02:05 PM

Jodi, you said "spiritual thirsts and hungers that point us to a corresponding fulfillment." I'd just like to say that our mind, as a product of our nervous system, is also a product of natural selection. That means it's built for survival, not for truth nor happiness. Maybe just one more tip: see this TED-vid by Dan Dennett: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dan_dennett_cute_sexy_sweet_funny.html about inversion of reason. And now I will shut up, because as I said, I consider this to be private matters.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 16, 2012
at 07:13 AM

Humans evolved to survive and reproduce. Religion is just a misfiring of one of our survival instincts. We are programmed to seek agency. We hear a noise we don't think "Noise?" we think "Who's there?". So we hear the universe began we say "Who began it?". It's a nonsense question but it's our instinct.

6
Ee9602165d2ea3722b85140899df11c3

on May 03, 2010
at 03:56 PM

I grew up Catholic, rejected it when I was very young and became atheist then agnostic and only in the last year became a devote Christian. I don't see a conflict with the Bible and paleo/evo. The Genesis story explains our relationship with God. It is not a literal explanation of how things came to be. God is not concerned about teaching us humans the minute details of how He did it all. (Could you imagine how long that story would be? Can you imagine early Israelites even comprehending such a story?) The Bible focuses on relationships - our personal relationship with God and our relationships with one another. That is whole point of the book.

Even Jesus, while He did his ministry, gave fish and bread to the poor. If God knows grains are not the best for us, why give people bread? Again, God/Jesus isn't concerned about us eating the right foods or not (Christian view). He uses concepts of the day to explain his points in metaphors, stories and analogies. If during his time of ministry the whole area ate a purely carnivorous diet, would it make sense to use grain metaphors?

Most of the book is using images and ideas that everyone knows to explain a point that everyone needs to get. I feel bad that so many Christians take passages out of context and then make it a commandment. Or worse, twist it to suit their own agendas.

So from my perspective on my religion, I have no conflict. I also feel that I'm following the way God made me.

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on May 06, 2010
at 11:53 AM

I am also a recent Christian (2006) following a church upbringing then a falling away from faith. I totally agree with you - I have always believed the Bible to be metaphorical (especially the old testament) and hence this doesn't clash with my scientific evolutionary beliefs.

6
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on May 02, 2010
at 03:59 PM

Hm... I'm formally an anthropologically-trained atheist, so I have zero world-view trouble with the thinking behind the Paleo diet. Understanding from an evolutionary perspective what human beings are biologically and ecologically answers a whole lot of questions for me that others might attempt to answer in religious terms; I'm a bipedal, social, technological, omnivorous ape descended from millions of years of hunter/gatherers.

Spiritually? Well, I was raised Anglican, but it didn't stick. The closest I get to spiritual or religious sentiment these days is when I'm hunting or fishing (which ties in nicely with the whole Paleo thing). I've been reading up on deep ecology, nature-centric religion, and ecopsychology lately, and if I can summarize what I believe in and what I've been practicing for the past several years in a sentence it'd be:

"In order to be happy, you have to understand what you are as well as possible and do as much of what you were evolved to do as possible".

So instead of going to church I try to get lots of hanging out with friends and family, avoiding the city like the plague, (more recently) eating paleo, getting out into the woods and and streams and killing dinner every chance I get, foraging for wild foods every once in a while, watching fires, lots of walking and occasional running, target practice with projectile weapons running from tomahawks to scoped .308's by way of bows and atlatls, and dabbling in flintknapping. It seems to be working, too; I've become far healthier and happier in the years since I started living this lifestyle.

6
1bff5b00ead9df8a8cba055bd30f6e66

on May 02, 2010
at 02:40 AM

As a nutritionist and Christian, I have no problem incorporating Paleo into my lifestyle and my clients programming. It's pretty simple actually; my Christianity is based on my faith but also through study (apologetics, etc.) I am able to justify my beliefs as a Christian based on scientific facts. To be honest, I don't believe in the theory of evolution, but because I do take the time to educate myself, I've come to realize that Paleo eating is the healthiest way to live.

It comes down to this - if people would look past their own egos, they would be able to study the available information and conclude for themselves what is best for their lives.

0511b69b133556de6e7ef12d4ae262bc

(399)

on November 17, 2011
at 06:00 PM

I do not believe in evolution either. I am glad you wrote that!

4
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on November 18, 2011
at 02:53 AM

I think that the Puritanical and Christian undercurrents in our culture help to promote bad eating habits and obesity. The self-denial of refusing to eat fat and meat even though it is delicious is accepted as normal and even mandatory, as if we are sinning if we enjoy our food. Eating fatty and delicious foods, lounging around the house, keeping our bodies toned and attractive, having sex, exposing ourselves to the sun and generally enjoying life are all strange and hedonistic ideas according to the mainstream. Instead we are "supposed" to be disciplined, chaste, stay out of the sun, avoid eating butter or fat, and bring big poofy sugary desserts to church socials.

Ancient pagan cultures did these "naughty" things, and were also the hunters and gatherers that ate foods that were alive or recently alive. They also lived simply and close to nature and were absent of excessive morality. These cultures were unfortunately attacked and exterminted by organized religions, which forced their deprived, structured and empire-building cultures upon the conquered peoples. Most of the ceremonies of today's religions are based on pagan rituals, but the honoring of nature, the circle of life, and wholesome natural foods is largely lost in favor of commercialism, gluttony, and eating huge quantities of unhealthy foods.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:17 AM

When people talk about "pure" and "impure" foods, you can usually back away from what they are talking about and it doesn't take long, or sound to crazy, to tell yourself they are somehow talking about virginity. These seem obviously puritanical to me, and seem to be related to the "pure", "cleansing", and "toxin removal" movement we see in foods. Purity has always been held at the highest esteem, even though I don't think it can exists (unless we are talking about chemical compound purity). Food, sex, lifestyles- nothing is inherently "pure" or "impure". It has religious tones for sure.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 05:40 AM

Uncle LongHair. You should go to a catholic bazaar sometime. Good mix of gambling, drinking, turkey legs and bingo.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:56 AM

Trippin' unclelonghair! I'm getting into a 1966 mood reading this! Dan Hicks is about all we have left.

4
C8521a858edd480815a55f683afff86a

(2065)

on May 03, 2010
at 04:02 PM

I was raised with no organized religion in my life, my mother was a bit of a nature worshiper and influenced me to naturally believe in animism. I am agnostic and nature is the focus of any spiritual feelings I have. For me, and I'm sure for others like me, a paleo diet reinforces my connection to nature and to my far off ancestors. I have found I have become more spiritual upon eating this way, a side effect I never would have predicted. In the same way I feel closer to nature by eating this way, I am sure Christians or other monotheists feel closer to God.

4
Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on May 02, 2010
at 01:41 AM

I was raised Christian (non-denominational), went away from this pretty hard for a while, but have taken to monotheism again in a way that I really never imagined.

As one who believes that humans are created beings and have not evolved from animals, I am likely in a pretty extreme minority in the paleosphere, but I don't believe that the gap between creationist and evolutionary thought is that large, unless one is overly dogmatic.

I like to say to my parents that atheist paleo folks have found God, they just don't know it :). Most of us do agree that grains are evil, and personally I don't think it is a coincidence that Saturn (believed by some to represent Satan) was the Roman god of agriculture :).

In short, paleo didn't result from my religion, and my religion didn't result from paleo, but the two seem to be mingling pretty nicely, and I believe that they may indeed have a common source.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 02, 2010
at 01:56 AM

It's heartening to read how many people here are Christian paleos. I thought my Christian relatives wouldn't be interested.

A480640a53eb5dc8966f49141942f705

on May 02, 2010
at 02:33 AM

To Christians I find myself saying that Paleo eating is nothing more than eating the way God intended us to eat. Here I'm using God as a shorthand for evolution, which would be blasphemy if only so many other people didn't use Him the same way.

Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

(796)

on May 02, 2010
at 08:33 AM

I agree with you Melissa! And with you, Meng Weng Wong, that we all have the common ground of believing we eat the way we are intended to eat.

3
D59c7ff7206942aff7766e0a69bb63ed

(70)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:29 AM

I am a Muslim, who was raised in London, and have many friends from all walks of life.

In my "personal" view, for any person to become as healthy as they can be, they need to be both spiritually and physically happy.

The "physical" here... could mean, paleo, low carbs, healthier eating, workouts etc.

As for spiritual, whatever you do or don't believe in, you have chosen that way because you feel at peace. Therefore you have satisfied both sides the physical and the spiritual.

3
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 05, 2010
at 10:33 AM

Although I think that religious beliefs are a private matter, as an atheist I somehow find it strange that , for some, something based on evolutionary reasoning can go along with religious beliefs. And with religion I mean believing in a god.

On the topic of diet and exercise, the evolutionary framework and/or paleo principles are, once you get them, so obvious and strong. And if you (or at least I) talk about these with other people, I think my view could be percieved as arrogant, again, because it is so obvious.

On the topic of religion, I think the above could also be said. And I sure don't want to be arrogant.

It is a bit like the famous James Randi: he debunks paranormal/magic by showing how to do the same thing with a totally logic and coherent non-paranormal way (using a trick). He doesn't say that the paranormal/magic can not exist, but asks: what do you find more likely: this perfectly explainable trick, or the paranormal answer?

edit: maybe just a link to my fav cartoon: http://paleohacks.com/questions/2440/paleo-or-paleo-friendly-qoutes-or-stories-from-non-paleo-sources/2445#2445

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 05, 2010
at 06:39 PM

This is somewhat germane to our conversation, I think. Hope you enjoy :-) http://www.theonion.com/video/scientists-successfully-teach-gorilla-it-will-die,17165/

3
6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on May 04, 2010
at 02:57 PM

This is the way our paleolithic ancestors were eating, and much of their time was spent acquiring food. To do so, they had to be in tune with the natural world, with all it's seasonal rhythms, in which they were totally immersed. I simply try to pay a little attention to these rhythms, and often wonder what my ancestors were doing on this day, say 10,000 years ago. It makes me feel a little more connected with my genetic forebears, and the natural world, too.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 02, 2010
at 04:55 PM

people are capable of happily holding multi-contradictory (correct adj?) views.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2010
at 03:33 AM

did i hit a nerve out there?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2010
at 01:08 AM

yeah, if they are going to minus it, at least say why.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on May 03, 2010
at 12:24 PM

I don't see why it would, vmary. Not sure why someone would neg your comment.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 04, 2010
at 03:03 PM

I understand what you mean. That's also what I think...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 02, 2010
at 05:00 PM

multi-paradoxical? multi-irreconcilable?

Ccdf3fbcaec76e025ff94d03cc4daf9a

(536)

on March 16, 2012
at 09:03 PM

I agree. I have a melting pot of beliefs from Christianity, to Hinduism to Paganism. I have never understood why beliefs have to mutually exclusive. Why couldnt a god create evolution?

3
145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

on May 02, 2010
at 11:56 AM

It seems to me that paleo is perfectly compatible with religion, and I say that as an atheist who aspires to the paleo lifestyle as much as possible, but I am not trying to be disrespectful. This is not a rant for or against religion; merely an attempt to show some differences.

Back when paleo man existed, he saw many things in the natural world that he could not explain. Lightning, stars, seasons, volcanoes....some of which caused him pain; others which inspired wonder and appreciation. In order to give the world "order," in his mind, man created gods to explain the things that he couldn't, and he instituted various practices associated with trying to appease those gods to mitigate the occurrence of what we now consider to be "natural disasters," though they are still referred to by many as "acts of God." Paleo man believed if he prayed hard enough, sacrificed enough, or instituted other various rituals, the gods would be appeased and leave man to go about living his life in peace.

As cultures rose and fell, their gods changed over the years...went from many gods to one in some cultures; the practices associated with appeasing those gods changed, but even unto today, many spend their lives trying to please a god and use this god to explain that which they can't, to make order in an inherently disorderly world.

So while I don't join in those practices myself, that's why I think that the paleo lifestyle is perfectly compatible with modern religious practices.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:13 AM

I was actually raised an atheist, which is pretty rare to find- in all seriousness, I don't think I have ever met another person who identifies as being raised as an atheist, by atheists. My parents always explained religion as a tool to explain the unexplainable- but that over time science has slowly filled that gap, and will continue to fill it. This allowed me a great perspective, from a very young age, that everything has the potential to be explained. This comment really resonates with my upbringing!

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on February 09, 2012
at 08:07 PM

Jenny J, you must have had some awesome parents! Good for them, and you are very lucky! BTW I have met a few (very few) people who were not raised with superstitions, and while I think that is the best possible situation, it's not a tragedy either to have been raised by believers. It gives one an appreciation of what they have decided they **don't** want. What IS a tragedy is the number of people I know who have been disowned by their family.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:24 PM

I was raised by an apatheist and a pragmatic agnostic who never spoke to me about religion and let me figure out the world on my own. I wish every child was able to be raised this way, and I'm forever grateful to my parents for protecting me from religion. Interestingly, I wasn't actually raised to BE an atheist, as Jenny was - I just came into it on my own from an unbiased standpoint because, as Humanimal so eloquently said, religious ideas clash with my sense of logic.

3
431274eafd914ee34d9c57262c1f617a

on May 02, 2010
at 12:37 AM

Don't belong to any "formal" religion, but do have my beliefs. They have nothing to do with my way of eating.

Science is what rules my diet beliefs. Long before I ever got into eating Primal I believed we evolved eating meat. In the past I believed the research that showed meat was bad for us, but always had trouble reconciling it. Now I believe the research that has been touted is mostly flawed.

My diet has nothing to do with my beliefs, nor do they have anything to do with my diet.

2
3d0093dd591d9b88db74d7bba970dea0

(222)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:56 PM

I'm a practicing Catholic. Since the Church agrees with evolution (except for a specifically atheistic variant of evolution) there isn't much discrepancy. In fact, the Paleo approach to eating is teleological in a way that Christian philosophy usually is but modern philosophy typically isn't, which is refreshing. The creation stories from Genesis are not in our modern historical genre of literature. When they are read as intended by their authors they do not conflict with science. In the early centuries AD St. Augustine observed that they weren't intended to convey strict history is the Romans and Greeks understood it. A hyper-literal reading of Genesis is primarily a post-Reformation phenomenon.

I think how we deal with the prominent role of wheat is a more significant issue. Is it just that, at any time in which Jesus entered history he would have had to choose from such imperfect symbols and so chose that one? Or is it that wheat is really more problematic because of what modern genetic manipulation has done to it (as described in Wheat Belly)? I'm not 100% sure.

2
9a2cb6e1ae3b17c7a680bb34c820faf2

on March 18, 2012
at 01:25 PM

This is a fascinating discussion! I am a christian, and a literal believer of the Bible (6 day creation). I do, however, agree that the Bible is not an exhaustive recording of history, but rather God's word to us to tell us what we need to know about Him. Within days of hearing about and researching paleo for the first time, it totally made sense in light of how we were created and how God has dealt with man since the fall of Adam & Eve.

We were created to enjoy fruits, nuts, vegetables, fish, fowl & game - I don't think anybody can disagree with that. As noted above, it was after the fall that God told Adam he would have to "toil" in the field for his food.

Another interesting element to me is that throughout the Old Testament, you see God punishing the Israelites, but still protecting them and loving them. One instance is when they left Egypt, God made them wander for 40 years as a punishment for their unfaithfulness (Numbers 14:33-34 & Joshua 5:6). He was still leading them to the promised land, but punishing them in the process. While wandering, the people were starting to starve, so he provided manna to them. The literal translation of "manna" is "what is it?". The Bible describes it as "bread of heaven", "corn of heaven". My thought is that God protected them from starving - he provided food - but He did not allow them to flourish because they were being punished. In the same way, all of mankind is essentially punished because of the sin curse through Adam, so God provided grain - as a way to survive, but not to flourish.

And so, in eating foods that I believe God designed us to thrive on, it had the added effect of deepening my faith and love in a God who "wonderfully made" me.

2
Medium avatar

on November 18, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Are there any other non-denominational mystics in the house, persons whose spirituality is not threatened or in any way negated by the empirical facts of evolution? Perennial Philosophy, anyone? Any fellow meditation practitioners here? Not to put too fine a point on it: it seems more than merely possible to enjoy the books of Sam Harris about the, um, problems with religion in its theistic guise; and at the same time to appreciate that consciousness per se cannot be explained in, or reduced to mechanistic, purely material terms; in fact, consciousness (qua creativity, novelty, intention(ality) is surely as fundamental as time, space, and gravity.

Just saying.

2
0e2772604bdb3627525b42d77340538b

on May 02, 2010
at 08:20 PM

Noahide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noahidism of the rationalist variety (one who accepts modern science). Meshes nicely with paleo.

2
F643ceedde9bbf290f31fc2f814100ed

(486)

on May 02, 2010
at 02:47 AM

Honestly, how can someone follow scientific fact if they don't believe in evolution? I think it is impossible to be truly orthodox christian and believe in evolution. I respect religions, but people should realize that there is flaw in scripture, regardless of how much they literally believe in it. Perhaps religions should adapt to scientific fact as time goes by. For the most part I think many christians accept evolution as a fact. It has been proven, so why not believe it? It applies to nutrition as well. I hope I'm making sense without offending anyone too much.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on May 02, 2010
at 03:51 AM

To quote Kary Mullis: "People who talk about scientific facts don't really know about scientific facts."

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Part of the problem is the extent to which we've allowed science and religion to intermingle. Science is supposed to deal with the natural world, religion with that which exists outside/above/beyond the natural world. The two can exist side by side without cognitive dissonance as long as their demesnes don't intermingle.

4b8ce2e8143119b39e00d5705b76cfa6

(40)

on February 09, 2012
at 06:35 AM

Isaac Asimov said the greatest victory of science over religion was when the church started to put up lightning rods. And the Pope believes in evolution. It is primarily a very vocal minority of Americans that dispute evolution, and mostly because they don't understand the complexity of the theory.

51a4b53ca196e59b01960b1a39b5f5a3

(85)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:06 AM

Orthodoxy in Christianity is not believing everything the Bible says literally, but adhering to the teachings of Jesus. I've always been taught that Genesis is a creation myth - that is, that it tells us things about humanity and our relationship to the natural and the divine in a figurative way. As a believer in Christianity and evolution, I really like Genesis. Those who take Genesis literally tend to say that Jesus was speaking figuratively when his words disagree with their (church's) beliefs.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 16, 2012
at 07:18 AM

That got +5? My opinion of PaleoHacks just plummeted. People speak of the fact of evolution because Creationist don't "get" what a scientific theory. If you doubt that theories can be facts I suggest you jump off a cliff. Gravity is a theory too.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:58 AM

I love prejudice! Darwin is on our side! Darwin for the score!

1
57c75a831079b92704fd9fe84e2e6308

(10)

on June 07, 2012
at 03:47 AM

I don't get a lot of the paleo Christian creationists posting on here. Do you even know what the paleolithic period is? Forget the food, but what about the time period? I just don't see how it fits into the story of Adam and Eve at all!?

1
8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

on June 06, 2012
at 10:12 PM

I am a Quaker. There's a lot of vegetarians because they see meat as a form of unnecessary violence, but I am more into meat and bones and don't see it as unnecessary violence. But, I have strong stance against CAFO produce and the mistreatment of animals.

1
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on June 06, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Buddhist/agnostic

1
Aa968cafce96d1810cb1014c7545d4a5

on June 06, 2012
at 05:19 PM

Raised as a Conservative Jew, abandoned that long ago and would classify myself as an atheist when I'm in a good mood, and anti-theist at other times. I'd say that having an interest in evolutionary biology has definitely influenced my views on religion in general as well as my interest in the ill-effects of modern diet and lifestyle.

I try to be respectful of other people's religious views and avoid arguing on the internet so I won't say anything else.

1
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 06, 2012
at 03:29 PM

I really like this thread. It asks the question in a non-inflammatory manner and has elicited great answers from a wide range of viewpoints.

Do you have a religion or religious background, beliefs or no beliefs? Have your beliefs been influenced by a paleolithic lifestyle and way of thinking and vice-versa?

I was raised in a liberal Christian household. I began to identify as atheist at age 12 after a lot of reading, including the Bible. My belief or lack of in religion has not influenced eating paleo other that an understanding of evolution helps with understanding why this diet works better. I've met plenty of religious people who accept evolutionary theory also. They typically see evolution as the means by which their higher power accomplishes his/her/their/its aims. Note: I don't know many fundamentalists and the few I know don't eat paleo, but neither do the non-theists I know.

Going paleo has made changes in my belief system in that it has given me a greater appreciation of nature and the wonders of our existence. If I identified with any particular belief system I'd be classified as a scientific pantheist.

A115b8aa3c375f10d5bde0c0d06b6143

(865)

on June 07, 2012
at 10:38 AM

+1 for non-inflammatory pun, intended or not. All good PH threads lead to reduced inflammation!

1
14412d4095ba345612684d25aa877b85

on March 18, 2012
at 12:27 PM

I am a Christian (believe in creation), an engineer (science and logic and my strengths), and follow the paleo lifestyle. I believe that the scripture is truth and as Genesis 2:7 states: "the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground..." We come from the earth, and were DESIGNED to eat from the earth.

As an engineer, I tend to overanalyze things and really like logic. I believe that the body is complexly engineered and it responds accordingly. The paleo lifestyle makes sense, which is why I follow it. Our bodies respond well to the fuel that we were made for, when Adam and Eve were walking around hanging out with God they weren't spending time processing their foods and going through crazy cooking methods to make the suitable to eat. They were eating the plants and animals that were provided to them in the beginning.

I don't believe that following the paleo lifestyle is contrary to my Christian beliefs, we eat what we were designed to eat.

1
8e7a21860f492db454ffc0fc872f2cf5

on March 16, 2012
at 06:25 AM

I'm a Catholic and paleo. Both are pretty good, but I'd pick Jesus if I had to pick between Jesus and red meat.

It's funny. I've heard many priests, theologians, apologists, etc. say that belief is more than just a thought-- it's also an action. If you deeply believe something, it will manifest itself in your actions.

And by that logic, I believe more in evolution than all my atheist friends! Helloooo paleo!

1
F643ceedde9bbf290f31fc2f814100ed

(486)

on May 02, 2010
at 02:56 AM

Who are humans (now or thousands of years ago) to assume that they know Gods method of creation? I think that if there is a god, he is the creator of science, and therefore the creator of evolution, regardless of human assumptions and interpretations that formed into religions.

Ccdf3fbcaec76e025ff94d03cc4daf9a

(536)

on March 16, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Love this answer!!!!

0
361bc16cfdad25411a6f93e10c45aadc

on August 02, 2012
at 07:29 PM

In short: My belief can't disprove your belief, so let's just lift weights and eat meat.

Long winded: I try to use science to prove/disprove theories so that I can make better decisions. Current scientific knowledge proves that if we spend time doing something, we have less time to do other things. Current scientific practices cannot disprove the existence of God. So I don't waste my time trying, and I am perfectly happy with life whether God exists or not. If you are happier with God then that makes me happy for you. I just hope you can be as happy for me.

0
A086c943c7d514f0b8315f1120b9a497

on August 02, 2012
at 02:53 PM

I'm a Pagan and Spiritual. I follow the natural rhythms of the cycles of the sun, moon, and seasons. One thing this has done for my observations of Sabbats and Esbats (my holy days), is change my perspective on them. The Celtic Wheel of the Year followed by most Pagans focuses a lot on planting and harvesting. This can be used in all aspects of our life, and there are foods that grow naturally during certain seasons, so I just eliminate things like grain celebrations.

For example: right now it's Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas, which in Christianity is the Loaf Mass. This time of year celebrates the first harvest, and Lammas is definitely about grains. However, Lughnasadh is the Celtic Sun God Lugh's festival, and that's where my focus is centered, as well as celebrating the bounty of our garden and my life. Lughnasadh is also about playing and manifesting.

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on June 07, 2012
at 05:02 AM

I'm a conservative Jew. I don't see anything contradictory with that and my religion. Just a bummer that eating seems to be a major part of my religious life and there is very little there that I can eat :(

eta: also I don't mix red meat and dairy and no pork products. Sometimes makes it a little hard for me to get all the protein I need in if I choose to eat beef on a particular day.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 07, 2012
at 01:06 AM

I see Paleo as reinforcing many Judeo-Christian-Muslim values. Meat is strong food, preferred over weaker foods like milk, and the best burnt offerings were meat. The eating pattern of Paleo points back to fertile crescent origins. Paleo practitioners also exhibit fixation on dietary laws similar to halal and kosher. Given the focus of the first 3 religious groups on codification, Paleo has similar traits as a sort of dietary secularism. Replace "cloven hooved" with "grain" as forbidden foods and you get the idea. All share a reverence for fasting, either as transcendent event or something which perfects.

0
4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

on June 06, 2012
at 10:35 PM

To me, paleo eating is a 'package deal'. I generally adhere to the idea of the 'noble savage' (to reference Rousseau). Prehistoric life was spiritually, philosophically and physologically 'truer' than modern life imo. Consequently i believe in something akin to shamanism.

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on June 06, 2012
at 10:37 PM

That is shamanism as described by Mircea Eliade, Carlos Castaneda and Michael Harner. Imo monotheism is a spiritual degenration the most ultimate flaw of which are written rules and general dogma. Rules=disagreement, disagreement=religious wars. Dogma is anathema to spirituality.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 06, 2012
at 09:20 PM

I'm Catholic. I've also managed to get through the whole bible and see God as 'the God of the living' as the major context- something that seems lost to many Christians sometimes. This happens to mesh well with ev-psych theories about why we would believe in a god from an evolutionary perspective. It is simple to see that some gods fit our evolutionary needs better than others. It also ought to be simple to see that God, if He truly exists, would fit that evolutionary need too. In other words, His existence and our needs are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, temptations towards disbelief tend to come from people doing anti-life things to themselves and others- the standard American diet being among such things.

0
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:54 PM

I am an ordained minister on an alternative spiritual track. I am a non-deist, who believes strongly in the concept that the energy that we extend (our thoughts, words, etc.) and the energy that we consume (ideas, food, etc.) are woven within us to create a reality that we are both active participants in, and active shapers OF.

Paleo/ancestral nutrition didn't impact my spiritual development. I've been on my path now for over 30 years. However, my celebration of food with this community has become part of the path that I walk, accurately reflecting my beliefs about the innate sanctity of our food as a primary source of our energy--including all of the energy the FOOD consumed as it was in the process of -becoming- food; the respect that is due to any source of energy that yields itself for the nurturing of another; and the respect due to the custodians of those energetic sources for the work that they do as caretakers, and also as, in a sense, priests who sacrifice the animals and plants raised for food for our consumption.

As I've progressed, my concepts have shifted and grown with me. As part of my path, I practiced extreme asceticism for a while, and went through phases of vegetarianism, veganism, and even spent a little time as a "frutarian". I wandered back and forth through the pathways etched into the philosophical framework of the SAD, simply because I love this concept that came to me early on my path in a meditation -- the whole concept of "joyful food", and hunted for ways to evoke that concept in real life... with very little success, I'm afraid, though I have not given it up. At least for now, I see the possibility of that concept taking shape through some variant of ancestral food... and with it, the possibility of evoking health of spirit around a shared table.

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