3

votes

Critique this article - on point or not?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 27, 2013 at 11:07 PM

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/03/25/paleo-and-woo-bad-company-until-they-day-they-die/

"Ever since the rise of science and industry, there has long been a significant proportion of the population who distrust, fear, and sometimes even loathe modernity. Science changes too fast; it is thought to endanger ???spiritual matters???; it tramples on ???traditional values.??? People fantasize about and long for a (nonexistent) time long past, when humans supposedly lived in harmony with their environment, and view science, specifically for the purposes of this discussion modern biomedicine, has having participating in destroying that ???ancient wisdom.??? We see strains of this tendency not just in medicine and ???integrative medicine??? but in literature and many other areas as well. Films such as Avatar and Dances With Wolves, among many others, portray scientists and ???Western??? man as rapacious and ready to destroy a race of hunter-gatherers and early agrarian people who are portrayed as living in complete harmony with nature. CAM and the Paleo diet share this fear of modernity as an underlying assumption even as their advocates use and misuse evolution to ???prove??? their worth. This is nothing new, and the rationale behind the Paleo diet is nothing more than, as Zuk has put it, the evolutionary search for our perfect past. Unfortunately, fantasy is not reality, and we humans have long been known to abuse and despoil our environment, even back in those ???paleo??? days. Indeed, when I took a prehistoric archeology course, which was largely dedicated to the period of time of the hunter-gatherers, one thing I remember my professor pointing out, and that was that what he did was largely the study of prehistoric garbage and that humans have always produced a lot of it.

We still haven???t stopped, unfortunately."

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on April 12, 2013
at 12:17 AM

They never suggested the motives were mutually beneficial, that's for sure.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on April 12, 2013
at 12:15 AM

Do you think fruit is trying to hurt us?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 11, 2013
at 08:54 PM

No, but the plant that makes it wants you to. Didn't your parents ever suggest to you that strangers handing out candy might have ulterior motives?

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on April 11, 2013
at 07:06 PM

Doesn't fruit want to be eaten?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 12:16 AM

Those who don't remember the past are bound to repeat the same mistakes. -rough quote from someone important.

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5 Answers

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 11, 2013
at 06:29 PM

Since the advertisment of Paleofantasy, and various other anti-Paleo stuff, I've been pondering putting out a book called

The Teleological Diet

If you followed this diet, you would lose weight and become healthier. I know because I lost weight and I'd stick to what I know. I'd make up reasonably sound statements- for instance, nothing wants to be eaten- and go from there.

If you were into critiquing things the way people keep critiquing paleo, well hopefully your head would explode.

Sure, some people make errors in thinking about this stuff, and we are somewhat vulnerable to woo. So is everybody else. People go to college and get degrees in woo, and then get government jobs spreading the woo. Ever hear of Solyndra? How about the fuel cell? It has been the next big thing in green technology since the 70s, when they regulated the nuclear industry to the point where it is basically non-innovative.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on April 12, 2013
at 12:15 AM

Do you think fruit is trying to hurt us?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on April 11, 2013
at 08:54 PM

No, but the plant that makes it wants you to. Didn't your parents ever suggest to you that strangers handing out candy might have ulterior motives?

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on April 11, 2013
at 07:06 PM

Doesn't fruit want to be eaten?

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on April 12, 2013
at 12:17 AM

They never suggested the motives were mutually beneficial, that's for sure.

1
86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 11, 2013
at 06:15 PM

I have learned to love Paleo...it's not even a matter of "modernity" or anything else.

Whole foods are awesome. They keep me healthy, strong and happy. Got me into cooking and trying new things (cold showers, fasting, bone broth, to name a few). People can say what they want, I say "Long hair, don't care" (some say I need a haircut)

1
Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

on March 28, 2013
at 04:48 PM

Whether paleo man used or abused his environment is a bit of a moot point. Back then the global population was tiny compared to today and so the damage that could be wrought was miniscule and the planet could recover from the ravages of man pretty easily every season. Whether that's possible these days is cause for much debate.

It is interesting to note that many intelligent people have believed that we can't keep going like this since the industrial revolution. So far they've been wrong.

0
1a6ad0d62f779ca50babe92d70ea6a0c

(137)

on April 11, 2013
at 07:10 PM

One thing I have always gone by in regards to science is:

"Science always has a tendency to debunk itself"

When it comes to nutrition, I'll trust evolution or science any day. Were here today because our ancestors survived.. somehow, so they must have done something right.

0
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on April 11, 2013
at 06:06 PM

I'm not against modernity per say, quite the contrary, but I am and have always been highly suspicious of the common man, his unquestioning idiocy, and his government. The Paleo movement is primarily about food and exercise, for health and longevity, not about eschewing technology or liberalism or whatever else one may count as modern. Choosing your own values and living by them is extremely modern and yet at the same time seems to hark back to a sense of a freer, ancient past, romantic as that may be. I don't think the battle is between Paleo and modernism, rather between freedom and Neolithic feudalism.

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