0

votes

Are paleo people more intelligent?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 11, 2012 at 12:21 AM

I look at this site, how well it is constructed, how scientifically and sensibly questions are asked and answered and it gives me faith in this way of life.

Do you think people who accept the premise of this diet while rejected that of conventional attitudes are more intelligent than those who blindly follow what a government tells them or base their dietary decisions on possibly misguided belief systems?

Does it take intelligence to put your faith in something that goes against the grain as paleo does?

I couldn't see the vegetarian community constructing a site like this

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 05, 2012
at 06:25 PM

Disagree - it is all about biochemistry of your brain. I can see that you haven't read anything by Helen Fisher and Robert Sapolsky yet.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on June 05, 2012
at 04:49 PM

When it comes to the social science studies about brain chemistry and politics I recommend you look much harder at the design of those studies. What they tend to prove is that the group favored by the people who designed the study is more interesting and cool. Example: Which group of people is more rigid? Those with highly attuned political correctness antennae, or Evangelical Mormons? See? Only one of those would generally be called "right-wing" but both of them are very authoritarian, rigid, etc. How those things get defined in the study design often guarantee the result.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on May 12, 2012
at 04:29 AM

So the Wikipedia list is really to propagate a myth ...

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on May 12, 2012
at 04:28 AM

By the way I see wikipedia's list - anybody semi-famous who's been vegetarian for 1 sec would make it! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_vegetarians I know for a fact that Rama killed a deer while in the forest in exile - and probably ate hunter-gatherer while Swami Vivekananda when he came to America ate meat (likely beef too). The swami was chastised by more conservative Indians but he responded that the rules of hospitality bid him to accept whatever food was offered when he ate at American person's house!

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on May 12, 2012
at 04:25 AM

Einstein may have been only vegetarian the last year of his life - even though he felt guilty about it all the other years. If that's true vegetarianism didn't account for his brilliance, and if anything might have brought him closer to his demise ... http://www.ivu.org/history/northam20a/einstein.html

7a7d682c0c7ae1e4d81c8eaafec27e9c

on May 12, 2012
at 02:04 AM

Always researching, always learning. Knowledge is a journey that never ends. In hindsight, I wouldn't have included the word, 'the.'

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Is your brain estrogen-based or dopamine-based?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 11, 2012
at 11:49 PM

i was a vegetarian for almost 20 years.. so?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on May 11, 2012
at 11:08 AM

If you think you have done the research, you haven't done the research.

Da20058e445fa4c5ce328132379521b3

(373)

on May 11, 2012
at 08:52 AM

This is that in-group–out-group bias that Wikipedia tells me so much about, no?

E4f858a9178422502c42b9719690e52c

(603)

on May 11, 2012
at 08:06 AM

And we're modest too.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on May 11, 2012
at 04:12 AM

Hitler was a vegetarian, which is obviously proof that all vegetarians are nuts (high in omega-6s, to boot).

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on May 11, 2012
at 04:11 AM

I like this...I think it's always important to keep open-minded and to keep questioning. I think eating paleo is a great way to live, but I try to stay open to any new information and try to receive the information objectively without judging before I read.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:46 AM

I agree. I think it has more to do with this forum attracting certain personalities. I also like the way you noted that persistence and willingness to change being more valuable than IQ points. I agree!

Dbd1e8fad5d4b47409d84bd6610020d5

(368)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Opportunity and drive have everything to do with it.

Dbd1e8fad5d4b47409d84bd6610020d5

(368)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Come on... calculus is a blast! It's mathematical proofs that kill you. :P

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:13 AM

"Because the vegetarian community is obviously a cesspool of drooling, knuckle dragging idiots" I take offence to the term "drooling"...I have a lisp :-p

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on May 11, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Wow, nicely said, SmartGirl

A35054c4279bcf6a236d8dbbd1cbe490

(96)

on May 11, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Because the vegetarian community is obviously a cesspool of drooling, knuckle dragging idiots, none of whom have made any great contribution society, right? *cough* Ghandi, Darwin, Einstein, Aristotle, *cough, cough*.... With intelligence also comes both the ability and, ideally, the inclination to avoid the knee-jerk temptation to be exclusionary and/or elitist.

B9a579a02921868db5098bfa99f8221c

(748)

on May 11, 2012
at 01:04 AM

sounds like an opportunity for a paleo circle jerk.

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:58 AM

I can't even sew on a button! :-O

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:51 AM

word .

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11 Answers

19
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on May 11, 2012
at 12:48 AM

I guess I'll be the odd one out on this one. No, I don't think that those who follow paleo are "more intelligent".

I think it has more to do with educational attainment, resources (e.g access to internet, books) and history of illness. If you look at the past surveys that illustrate the demographics of those following paleo, something that stuck out for me was the higher than average educational attainment, compared to the average population, and it seems to be of statistical significance. The "smart" questions have more to do with the demographics of who has access to this information.

And I don't equate educational attainment to inherent intelligence. Cultural, social and economical factors encouraging and supporting the possibility of higher education plays a large role.

Those living in poverty probably don't have the time in the morning to listen to podcasts, surf the internet (if they even have that), so it's less likely that they have heard about this lifestyle. It's not just about making the choice and following blindly...how are you supposed to try something you've never even heard of?

Also, many of us here found paleo because we wanted improvement. We looked for it. We obviously had the time, resources and the wonderful (and often taken for granted) ability of literacy above the 4th grade level (which is supposedly where many people read at in the US). But I don't equate cognitive intelligence with a degree.

I guess you can say that there is motivation in us, but so many other factors are involved.

Dbd1e8fad5d4b47409d84bd6610020d5

(368)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Opportunity and drive have everything to do with it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:51 AM

word .

8
1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a

(2024)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:37 AM

My grandfather always used to say, "You may be smarter than 90 percent of the people out there, but never forget that that 10 percent is still smarter than you."

5
5cd8441bd01fc10816085bfc092477c4

(925)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:43 AM

People who are more intelligent have a tendency to be more inquisitive, to find solutions to problems, and to seek new avenues to achieve goals. Those are the type of people I see on this forum, for the most part. HOwever, I have perused many many vegetarian/vegan/raw foodie forums in the past and there are many well-organized forums with intelligent participants as well.

2
A35054c4279bcf6a236d8dbbd1cbe490

on May 11, 2012
at 01:55 AM

Intelligent people are capable of making bad choices. I still stand by my reply above.

1
F00e022ce184879578d0829d8d09a85d

(169)

on May 11, 2012
at 04:09 AM

In a word no. Paleo people are not any smarter than the rest of society. It can be easy to think that way when separating one's self from the majority. It can be easy to perceive others as wrong or just part of the herd, it can also foster an elitist attitude.

Also just because you are part of a certain group does not mean one should stop questioning. Challenge the dogma of the group you are a part of and keep educating yourself as much as possible. Never allow yourself to get mentally complacent and feel that those leading are always going to have your best interest at heart. Dr.Kruse is a prime example of a self interested person who spews out a lot of bunk.

As far as faith and intelligence goes Christopher Hitchens said it best:

"It's called faith because it's not knowledge"

"Faith is the surrender of the mind; it's the surrender of reason, it's the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It's our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated."

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on May 11, 2012
at 04:11 AM

I like this...I think it's always important to keep open-minded and to keep questioning. I think eating paleo is a great way to live, but I try to stay open to any new information and try to receive the information objectively without judging before I read.

1
1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:57 AM

Well, I won't say paleo has made me more intelligent than anyone else. But honestly, I don't feel like my brain is the same as it used to be. I feel acute, alert, and quick all day every day. Especially once I started doing 20/4 fasting cycles daily. I find my capacity to train muscle memory is SUPER FAST now, quicker than its ever been. I am more prone to focusing intently on my daily activities, and mental work neither stresses me out or makes me tired any more.

I don't think paleo people are necessarily more intelligent than anyone else out there. Everyone is different. Paleo certainly would classify as a "brain hack" in my book..

1
35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:18 AM

What's intelligent to me is to do my research, evaluate the science, listen to people I believe to be credible, take anecdotal evidence into consideration, listen to my body, and then choose what to eat. Except for the research/evaluate the science part intelligence is not super valuable in my judgment. Being persistent, wanting to know what's true for my body, not being dogmatic, being willing to make big and small changes to my diet to see what works for me at this point in time -- those are more valuable to me than IQ points.

Paleohacks certainly attracts Paleo people (like me) who like to articulate their experiences, beliefs and questions, and (like me) sometimes over-intellectualize things. I'm sure there are plenty of Paleo people in the world who don't have internet access, don't get too heady about all of this but just eat meat and vegetables and live their lives. You won't meet those people in the forums.

Honestly, I don't think it takes a whole lot of intelligence to do Paleo. If one decides to stop eating junk and processed foods and then takes the leap to drop grains and legumes then one is Paleo. The rest (how much fat/carb/protein, dairy or no dairy, how much fruit) is determined by one's personal experimentation.

Paleo, in our grain-obsessed world is about courage to "go against the grain," not so much about intelligence.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:46 AM

I agree. I think it has more to do with this forum attracting certain personalities. I also like the way you noted that persistence and willingness to change being more valuable than IQ points. I agree!

1
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:43 AM

I feel intelligent when it comes to this stuff. Ask me to design software, fix my car, or alter clothing with anything more complicated than sewing on a button, and I'm basically a MORON. ;-)

Part of that is that I simply haven't been taught those other skills, but still. We all have our strengths. Maybe a better term for some of us who come to this way of thinking (more holistic, seeing the nitty gritty details and then connecting those to very big picture theories), would be "logical," or "integrative."

Biochem, nutrition, and physiology? Done. Calculus and engineering? I am the last person you want to consult!

Dbd1e8fad5d4b47409d84bd6610020d5

(368)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Come on... calculus is a blast! It's mathematical proofs that kill you. :P

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:58 AM

I can't even sew on a button! :-O

1
7a7d682c0c7ae1e4d81c8eaafec27e9c

on May 11, 2012
at 12:40 AM

Having done the research, eating any other way seems now seems ignorant to me. A healthy diet is critical to proper development and definitely improves your brain's performance. I'd argue that it wouldn't be a stretch to define that as making you smarter.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on May 11, 2012
at 11:08 AM

If you think you have done the research, you haven't done the research.

7a7d682c0c7ae1e4d81c8eaafec27e9c

on May 12, 2012
at 02:04 AM

Always researching, always learning. Knowledge is a journey that never ends. In hindsight, I wouldn't have included the word, 'the.'

1
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:30 AM

I've thought about exactly that myself too over the past months! I've noticed that in this site, which is not primarily about weight loss but rather actual health issues that we try to solve with Paleo, has users who know what they're talking about (no matter if they are asking questions or giving answers).

To me, indeed, it takes an intelligent person to search online, find Paleo, read testimonials and clearly notice that all these people saying all these things are not any marketing ploy, put trust to these testimonials, and then simply bite the bullet and try out this diet as his/her medicine. A non-smart person would search for magic pills instead, and a semi-smart one would say "yeah, right, a diet could fix all these problems? no way, it's a fad!".

0
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 11, 2012
at 07:35 AM

I am trying to pursue my interests in Anthropology, and while I was at it, I learned something interesting. Do you know that religiosity and atheism are hard-wired in our brains? Do you know that it is not a choice to be religious or not? (Although you still have a choice of religion). Do you know that there is a huge biological difference between Republicans and Democrats? (Brains of the Republicans tend to be more serotonin-based and Democrats, on average, have higher education and higher IQ)? That put my whole attitude towards politics into a different prospective.

I cannot answer your question for sure, because I have not done any research. But I am sure there is a biological difference (in brain primary hormones) between Paleo eaters and vegetarians.

My guess is - Paleo eaters' brains are more dopamine oriented, where vegetarians are estrogen-based. Dopamine-prevalent people tend to be more educated than the other groups. I should be a vegetarian (I love the idea behind it) if I would not be over-educated.

I hope my answer makes sense. Read Helen Fisher and Robert Sapolsky as my reference.

Oh, and sometimes, when I read some answers here, on Paleohack, I feel in complete awe - the only words I understand in some answers are basically linking words.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Is your brain estrogen-based or dopamine-based?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 11, 2012
at 11:49 PM

i was a vegetarian for almost 20 years.. so?

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on June 05, 2012
at 04:49 PM

When it comes to the social science studies about brain chemistry and politics I recommend you look much harder at the design of those studies. What they tend to prove is that the group favored by the people who designed the study is more interesting and cool. Example: Which group of people is more rigid? Those with highly attuned political correctness antennae, or Evangelical Mormons? See? Only one of those would generally be called "right-wing" but both of them are very authoritarian, rigid, etc. How those things get defined in the study design often guarantee the result.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 05, 2012
at 06:25 PM

Disagree - it is all about biochemistry of your brain. I can see that you haven't read anything by Helen Fisher and Robert Sapolsky yet.

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