12

votes

Thinking for yourself

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 06, 2012 at 11:46 PM

I guess most people would endow themselves with this quality, so perhaps it's a pointless question, but do you think the paleo eating movement is a natural end point for those of us who question everything and think for ourselves?

Also, I wonder if the caveman himself was naturally more like that, but society has more and more bred it out of us.

Anyway, as it was for me, I guess it was for most on here - I figured out a fair bit of this with little assistance, and then amazingly have found that there's a whole sub-society of relatively like-minded people out there who have come to broadly similar conclusions and there are books about it and allsorts!

Does the ability to break down false paradigms and build your own lead us back to the forest, or to as primal a state of living as is possible?

It's sort of Nietzschean

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 07, 2012
at 07:47 PM

Fun post, enjoy the question and answers.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 07, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I also think that one of the basic common-threads in Paleo thinking is to argue with "conventional wisdom", question modern medicine, and listen to yourself. That pretty much defines independent thinking. While it's important to listen to people with more experience and to excercise humility in general...and recognize the need for community, I think it's also fine to consider some average difference in personality trait.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on January 07, 2012
at 07:41 PM

One of the best things anyone can do is learn the difference between causation and correlation, two completely different things that are often confused AND sited/used in 'studies' to mislead.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 06:02 PM

that was @ Dragonfly

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 06:01 PM

Oh, I absolutely agree with that. I feel like a sort of laid back lovechild of a raw vegan and a primal/paleo eater. It might be controversial to say, but when paleo borders on carnivorous it reminds me of religious veganism

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 07, 2012
at 06:00 PM

@ Raquel...I really like that "independence of spirit." I agree there are many who "go with the flow" which is sad.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 05:59 PM

sorry, to clarify - for every person on here doing better there are a number of others out in the world (not on here) suffering...

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Not supreme critical thinking necessarily, no - but I was wondering if often independence of spirit... I believe that for every person on here there are a number of others suffering and unable to change their patterns as they are unable to question them / fight the prevailing entrenched (anti) nutritional dogma

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Well that's the point; I'm sort of wondering if the free thinking that breaks artificial "civilised" paradigms leads us back to a more primal modus operandi, that maybe in itself is relatively homogenised, if you want to look at it like that, but is also, and from other point of view how man lives wild; ie free

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 07, 2012
at 05:37 PM

@ Nance. Yes I agree--that is the beautiful thing about truth--it's elusive and the search for it is not boring. (And... Dr. Kurt Harris' voice makes me MELT for some reason.)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:32 PM

+1 for Dr Kurt is hot. :-)) I agree, seriously, that having a different opinion doesn't mean you're wrong. Most of the time, both arguments have elements of truth and elements of assumption and the total truth is not yet known.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:00 PM

Yes. That's a good way of expressing why I settled onto "ancestral" because it's connected to the past but not pretending to re-enact the distant past. In the end, though, I don't really care what we call it as long as we have enough common understanding to communicate.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:52 PM

I just wanted to make sure that this post remained open by avoiding the "not a question" thing. Since it has, it's all good :)

7703985af491af3d0ecd8f68c6e4ca64

(48)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:56 PM

Everyone is a victim of confirmation bias to some extent.

7703985af491af3d0ecd8f68c6e4ca64

(48)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:52 PM

kind of ironic that an "independent thinker" would go to a group and ask a question about what everyone else thinks about their independent thinking skills while praising the "like mindedness" of the group.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:29 AM

I agree. I did a roll-back.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:21 AM

@Michelle, aren't you nice. Check my profile. :-)) To answer your question, I spent the majority of my career as a problem-solver, so I like to think about topics and questions.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:00 AM

@Nance ....do you hack for your job?! seriously, your answers are always awesome. Do you have a blog? id like to follow it if you do! youre like my Paleo-Hacks favorite

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 02:22 AM

Thanks for the response. I can't help feel that the title change somewhat restricts the scope of the original post though.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 12:02 AM

Interesting, thanks

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8 Answers

8
Medium avatar

(19479)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:54 AM

I think that social-proof was in full effect during the paleolithic and pleistocene (we do say "monkey see monkey do" after all) and that it is human nature to "follow the crowd".

Conformity is something that was clearly adaptive for a very long time. For example, if I see you eat a berry and you don't get sick, it's quite likely that I can do the same and benefit (If you did get sick I could also avoid the berry and benefit from your misfortune).

However, I think that it is also adaptive for a certain percentage of the population to lack a strong tendency towards social proof. This allows for a certain degree of innovation, creativity, and opportunity that wouldn't be available if all of us swam in the same direction (or, as in the case of our current situation, like lemmings, running en mass over the cliff.)

I would say that the percentage of "wild" thinkers who relentlessly question everything is likely higher in paleo circles. I would likely suspect that there is definitely a correlation between eschewing the "conventional wisdom" regarding diet and questioning other societal paradigms.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 02:22 AM

Thanks for the response. I can't help feel that the title change somewhat restricts the scope of the original post though.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:29 AM

I agree. I did a roll-back.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:52 PM

I just wanted to make sure that this post remained open by avoiding the "not a question" thing. Since it has, it's all good :)

8
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 06, 2012
at 11:57 PM

I HATE it when I give a fuzzy answer but I have to say yes and no.

PH is well populated with articulate, knowledgeable people who've obviously developed high-level skills in independent thought. I learn from the exchanges here every day even when it's silly. And I'm delighted with the variety of wonderful blogs that always have fascinating ideas and conversations.

OTOH, each week there are questions on PH that identify people who will either stick around and learn how to think more independently or will go away thinking we wouldn't help them.

I refer to questions asking for the one "right" answer or dissatisfied with progress and demanding "the" solution--it's not the asking that whispers dependence but the whiny tone or demand for one-answer-that-fits-everyone. They think we're not listening or don't know any answers when in fact they're being offered a ton of effective information.

If they are open to ideas and exchanges they learn quickly but that doesn't always happen.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:00 AM

@Nance ....do you hack for your job?! seriously, your answers are always awesome. Do you have a blog? id like to follow it if you do! youre like my Paleo-Hacks favorite

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 12:02 AM

Interesting, thanks

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:21 AM

@Michelle, aren't you nice. Check my profile. :-)) To answer your question, I spent the majority of my career as a problem-solver, so I like to think about topics and questions.

6
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 07, 2012
at 05:25 PM

Paleo eaters may be more discerning thinkers. The logic is flawed though to assume we came to this due to supreme critical thinking. Most people adopted paleo because...

  1. They had some ailment that was solved by gut health improvement touted by Paleo.

  2. They are fat.

  3. They work out in a cross-fit gym or they wanted to improve their physical performance.

  4. They were already eating this way in some form and Paleo just honed what already worked.

  5. They converted from Vegan.

  6. They think Dr. Kurt Harris is hot.

While I personally think eating real food is THE WAY I tire of the arrogance we sometimes put forth ...even amongst each other. I'm not saying the question displays this arrogance but I hate when the discussion turns so intellectual (in other discussions here) that somebody invariably ends up calling somebody else stupid between the lines. That being said...most people are very diplomatic and gentle in their words. Other people need to learn how to present their arguments in a more conciliatory way. In other words...if you have not adopted Paleo or some theory of Paleo like incorporating starches you aren't a lazy thinker...you just came to different conclusions for you.

Ok. Off the Dr. Bronner soap box.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Not supreme critical thinking necessarily, no - but I was wondering if often independence of spirit... I believe that for every person on here there are a number of others suffering and unable to change their patterns as they are unable to question them / fight the prevailing entrenched (anti) nutritional dogma

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 07, 2012
at 06:00 PM

@ Raquel...I really like that "independence of spirit." I agree there are many who "go with the flow" which is sad.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:32 PM

+1 for Dr Kurt is hot. :-)) I agree, seriously, that having a different opinion doesn't mean you're wrong. Most of the time, both arguments have elements of truth and elements of assumption and the total truth is not yet known.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 05:59 PM

sorry, to clarify - for every person on here doing better there are a number of others out in the world (not on here) suffering...

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 07, 2012
at 05:37 PM

@ Nance. Yes I agree--that is the beautiful thing about truth--it's elusive and the search for it is not boring. (And... Dr. Kurt Harris' voice makes me MELT for some reason.)

6
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:34 PM

I think it takes a lot of effort to let go of trust in the conventional authorities. Most of us who have attended public schools in the USA, and even in other countries have had the inquisitiveness beaten out of us (well figuratively), and have had conformity and obedience to authority as the norm. Perhaps not all of us are aware of the role of school, but I've always had a distrust of authority. Anyone can be right, or wrong, whether they wear a white coat and a stethoscope or not. The only way to be sure is to test.

Even studies can be incorrect (i.e. China Study), and it takes brave individuals who aren't afraid to debunk the mystique of the well respected to undo the damage. (Many thanks to Denise Minger!)

It's always good to understand why you do something or think in a certain way. You might, in the long run be proven wrong, but, when that happens, you learn something new and adapt.

If everyone just gives up and follows conventional wisdom, there would be no science, no art, no medicine.

Sticking to dogma is never a good idea. Especially if you don't fully understand the why behind it. After all, at one time, almost everyone agreed that Copernicus as "a fool who went against Holy Writ", and that Christopher Columbus was a suicidal maniac who was about to fall off the face of the earth into the abyss.

5
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:33 AM

I wish. I have noticed just as many Paleo folk who are "stuck" in rigid thinking as I have Vegans, SAD-eaters, etc...

7703985af491af3d0ecd8f68c6e4ca64

(48)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:56 PM

Everyone is a victim of confirmation bias to some extent.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 06:02 PM

that was @ Dragonfly

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 07, 2012
at 06:01 PM

Oh, I absolutely agree with that. I feel like a sort of laid back lovechild of a raw vegan and a primal/paleo eater. It might be controversial to say, but when paleo borders on carnivorous it reminds me of religious veganism

2
C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

on January 07, 2012
at 07:37 PM

Well, a couple of points I didn't see brought up...

  1. Conventional diets never worked for me because I didn't understand the "science", the basic chemical reactions in the body behind the diet. So the question "should I, or should I not eat this?" became a battle of will instead of a way of understanding my metabolic relationship with my environment (intake of all molecules, including oxygen through air, and release of energy through heat, and elimination of toxins). Paleo made that idea more obvious and simple to me, so no, I do not smoke now. I think critical thinking plays a role in success in that manner. I've always been more of a "but WHY?!" kind of person. Not really understanding things also makes self-justification really easy for me, in a bad way.

  2. It works well for me because I can make my own decisions in general...Paleo seems to be a nice basis for making general lifestlye decisions without having to go look things up all the time. I can decide if something will strain my body or help it as a relatively quick and easy decision making process. This is calming to me.

Anyhow, I also agree with what everyone else said. Liked the perspective on the positive and necessary role of conformity.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 07, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I also think that one of the basic common-threads in Paleo thinking is to argue with "conventional wisdom", question modern medicine, and listen to yourself. That pretty much defines independent thinking. While it's important to listen to people with more experience and to excercise humility in general...and recognize the need for community, I think it's also fine to consider some average difference in personality trait.

2
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:28 PM

It's specialisation. We eat what the community grows, and that is now a global community. Even for HG, the social aspects of our species were critical to our development, and of course this very detail enabled the growth of civilisation. We have to rely on other people to do some of our thinking for us or else end up nervous wrecks paralysed by the modern world. Many of us may have had some sense that some detail or other could be improved upon, but it would be a mistake to think we independently came to any conclusions without some outside influence. I also get the impression many paleo folk were looking for ways to treat specific conditions, forced into re-evaluating their choices due to the failure of their SAD.

The Paleo diet and lfiestyle was not the product of some high-minded thought experiment, it was simply what was. And the natural end-point of any modern enlightened thinking is unlikely to be a reenactment of a particular historical period.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:00 PM

Yes. That's a good way of expressing why I settled onto "ancestral" because it's connected to the past but not pretending to re-enact the distant past. In the end, though, I don't really care what we call it as long as we have enough common understanding to communicate.

0
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 06, 2012
at 11:49 PM

did this disappear

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