5

votes

Best 1-line response to: "Cavemen died at 30 years old" (bonus points for humor + clever)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

I'm tired of snooty SAD dieters trash talking my paleo diet with their remarks like "cavemen died at 30".

Please offer some clever 1-line retorts for the dead-caveman thing.

Thanks, Mike

PS:

BTW, My answer to "anything in moderation" is: "even arsenic??"

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on July 14, 2013
at 01:11 AM

that's awesome.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 20, 2013
at 01:05 PM

@EnglishRose. The grandmother hypothesis is a nice theory, but it does not hold up to anthropological tenants -- and it's only seen in 4 or 5 species, Humans being the only land-based or primates that exhibit this. Also, humans are the only species where females loose fertility and males don't. I don't buy it. A woman, who cannot conceive a child, is a huge resource drain on the group.

508a4ebd259022f415326f7a6baec00c

(482)

on June 20, 2013
at 05:55 AM

Calm down George

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 18, 2013
at 03:43 PM

Wow! Great explanation!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 18, 2013
at 03:42 PM

Wisdom of the crowds: my favorite answer is now in the lead!

30fe014b1e0ea9a3de2875706ba477e6

(135)

on June 18, 2013
at 03:09 PM

It is all about making people think on their own. It is not like you can or should try to convince others. And generally the more you interrupt their patterns for response the better.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on June 18, 2013
at 02:42 PM

I don't know where they get these numbers, we have a lot of old folks, true, but for the newer generations, the ones like my parents, things are getting different, mine has survived a cancer fortunately but some of my friend's haven't and I think this is more commonly seen these days. Well, it could just be my perception and hopefully it's not like for the vast majority.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 18, 2013
at 02:38 PM

Life expectancy in Spain is even higher (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2102.html). People who die relatively young from cancer make a big impression, but they're still a minority.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 18, 2013
at 02:34 PM

spain has a better life expectancy than the US http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_dyn_le00_in&hl=en&dl=en&idim=country:ESP:FRA:ITA#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=sp_dyn_le00_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:ESP:USA&ifdim=region&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on June 18, 2013
at 01:54 PM

Well, I dont know there in the US but here in Spain people are falling like flies from cancer in their late 50's nowadays so. They take a while to kill you right now because we still maintain some healthy habits but I'd like to know how will this be in the future when all we eat is processed, EMF is everywhere and so on... hope I'm wrong and I deserved the downvote...

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 18, 2013
at 01:32 PM

Also, bringing up violent and threatening imagery directed at the person you're talking to -- even as part of a metaphorical thought experiment -- may not be a successful way to win their trust.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 18, 2013
at 01:32 PM

They totally believe it's relevant.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 18, 2013
at 01:31 PM

What are you talking about? In the United States, life expectancy has plateaued in the 70-80 range. It's nowhere near 50. And it wouldn't be anywhere near 30 due to diseases of civilization, since those take a while to kill you.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on June 18, 2013
at 08:06 AM

Oh nicely done!

887a9c6c0ee243584548f02d45c439a6

(415)

on June 18, 2013
at 06:18 AM

Using the Gates metaphor, on average, they're millionaires. Modus is the most frequent value, so it answers question "how many millions do those people most likely have (zero)" or "at what age do people most likely die". So, modus is always the highest point on the curve. Mean is clear. And median sorts values from lowest to highest and picks the value right in the middle.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on June 17, 2013
at 07:57 PM

In evolutionary terms apparently menopause was there to ensure there were older women on hand without their own babies to help out with the babies of others (same theory for having gay men).

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 06:42 PM

+1 on the Gate-Average comment, but I don't understand what the heck a modal age is on the Y axis.

463e09e6e28c4f2591aaca88bf0c3cef

(248)

on June 17, 2013
at 06:25 PM

I up-voted for you ;)

463e09e6e28c4f2591aaca88bf0c3cef

(248)

on June 17, 2013
at 06:21 PM

I've used the arsenic response more than once... funny! Why arsenic for the both of us..?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:56 PM

I like that one!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:54 PM

So far, the "Check back with me when I'm 80" is the best 1-liner so far. I wish I could up-vote it more than once!

Medium avatar

(10601)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:09 PM

I gave up on chasing the stupid deer and put up fences around my roses.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:07 PM

Sanitation in general. Sewers, potable water, refrigeration, meat inspections, etc etc.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 04:15 PM

Good answer, but how can it be transformed into a zinger!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:23 PM

I meant live not love - although both apply well

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:11 PM

I'll give a+1 because your answers are one-liners :-)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:06 PM

Menopause is usually cited as evidence that humans evolved to love 45-50 years. Why else would the body just stop working...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:59 PM

@Mike - it is a documented fact that most Handza, once they reached the age of 15, lived till 75. I read the whole research - lost the link but you can google it. The major cause of death? GI diseases.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Mike, the average age was 30. High infant mortality dragged the average down.

508a4ebd259022f415326f7a6baec00c

(482)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:23 PM

Good response question.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:19 PM

Is it a documented fact that some cavemen lived to 60+ without heart disease, cancer, etc.?

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17 Answers

6
Medium avatar

(10601)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:03 PM

Cave persons died of infections, injuries, childbirth, exposure, starvation and disease. They didn't live long enough to die from strokes, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. These are mostly diseases inflicted by dietary choices and inactivity. It takes a modern lifetime to find out who's right, so why sweat it.

So my short snappy response is:

Check back with me when I'm 80.

463e09e6e28c4f2591aaca88bf0c3cef

(248)

on June 17, 2013
at 06:25 PM

I up-voted for you ;)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:54 PM

So far, the "Check back with me when I'm 80" is the best 1-liner so far. I wish I could up-vote it more than once!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 18, 2013
at 03:42 PM

Wisdom of the crowds: my favorite answer is now in the lead!

5
887a9c6c0ee243584548f02d45c439a6

(415)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:56 PM

What about:

"30 on average...but those dying of natural causes were most likely around seventy."

and maybe followed by something like

"Like everyone in a room with Bill Gates is a millionaire...on average" :)

source to back it up: http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/gurven/papers/GurvenKaplan2007pdr.pdf

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 06:42 PM

+1 on the Gate-Average comment, but I don't understand what the heck a modal age is on the Y axis.

887a9c6c0ee243584548f02d45c439a6

(415)

on June 18, 2013
at 06:18 AM

Using the Gates metaphor, on average, they're millionaires. Modus is the most frequent value, so it answers question "how many millions do those people most likely have (zero)" or "at what age do people most likely die". So, modus is always the highest point on the curve. Mean is clear. And median sorts values from lowest to highest and picks the value right in the middle.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on June 18, 2013
at 08:06 AM

Oh nicely done!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 18, 2013
at 03:43 PM

Wow! Great explanation!

4
34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on June 18, 2013
at 07:58 AM

Well, here is my answer to a similar question;

This is my response verbatim regarding my English teacher's response to my argumentative essay about the benefits of the Paleo diet towards t2 diabetes: "the argument that they only lived to 30-40 years is a misconception, average life expectancy at birth (higher rates of death in childhood brings the average way down) does not mean that most people died at 30-40 years of age. It is the same as saying that 'the average human has one testicle and one ovary', it is likely that no one is average in that regard."

It was more of a spontaneous response and not a research based one, he did increase my grade however because of it.

For more Paleo Diet hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/6982/your-best-answer-to-the-caveman-died-young-argument#ixzz2WYJQrpb8 Follow us: @PaleoHacks on Twitter | PaleoHacks on Facebook

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on July 14, 2013
at 01:11 AM

that's awesome.

4
508a4ebd259022f415326f7a6baec00c

(482)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Cavemen didn't all magically die at thirty. They kicked ass until a disease or injury inevitably killed them. They would have kept kicking ass had they not broken their foot chasing that deer through the ravine.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:09 PM

I gave up on chasing the stupid deer and put up fences around my roses.

4
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:10 PM

I would answer that question by asking them a question:

From today, if you or any member of your family had no access whatsoever to any medical intervention: doctor, dentist, medicine or surgery, for the rest of your life, would you change anything about your current eating habits or lifestyle?

There is a difference between surviving and thriving.

Personally speaking I would rather die young be it mauled by an animal or septic wound, than to spend the next 60 years of my life with progressive mental or physical health problems because I did "everything in moderation" for the first 30. I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to go back and coach their teenage-self to do "some specific things in excess".

It's one thing to want to live a long life, it's an entirely different thing to want to live a long healthy life.

Just ask anyone who has had to deal with a long-term illness. Dieing is easy, living is the hard part.

508a4ebd259022f415326f7a6baec00c

(482)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:23 PM

Good response question.

4
A6e2b231f69366ce825476c5a6dcfff6

(1967)

on June 17, 2013
at 01:35 PM

  1. Infant Mortality: If they made it to age 10 they had a good chance of making it to 60+.
  2. The ER: Nobody dies from broken bones these days.
  3. Menopause? Where did it come from if they died at 30?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Mike, the average age was 30. High infant mortality dragged the average down.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:06 PM

Menopause is usually cited as evidence that humans evolved to love 45-50 years. Why else would the body just stop working...

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:19 PM

Is it a documented fact that some cavemen lived to 60+ without heart disease, cancer, etc.?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:23 PM

I meant live not love - although both apply well

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:11 PM

I'll give a+1 because your answers are one-liners :-)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:59 PM

@Mike - it is a documented fact that most Handza, once they reached the age of 15, lived till 75. I read the whole research - lost the link but you can google it. The major cause of death? GI diseases.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on June 17, 2013
at 07:57 PM

In evolutionary terms apparently menopause was there to ensure there were older women on hand without their own babies to help out with the babies of others (same theory for having gay men).

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 20, 2013
at 01:05 PM

@EnglishRose. The grandmother hypothesis is a nice theory, but it does not hold up to anthropological tenants -- and it's only seen in 4 or 5 species, Humans being the only land-based or primates that exhibit this. Also, humans are the only species where females loose fertility and males don't. I don't buy it. A woman, who cannot conceive a child, is a huge resource drain on the group.

3
5661757f5a7ad1d09c44d7b3ce9b533f

on June 17, 2013
at 05:49 PM

"Those who outlived the average ate paleo; we call them our ancestors."

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:56 PM

I like that one!

3
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:27 PM

Well you know, domesticated animals (cats/dogs) kept outdoors generally don't live as long as those kept in the house where there is little temperature fluctuations, less critters to bite them, and a stable and clean food/water supply. Think of cavemen as a dog you keep outside, feed sometimes, never take to the vet and, well, it doesn't look so good. Being able to make a fire only gets you so much.

I think the advent of modern sewer systems did most to help our life expectancy, especially for urban dwellers.

_Lazza

Medium avatar

(10601)

on June 17, 2013
at 05:07 PM

Sanitation in general. Sewers, potable water, refrigeration, meat inspections, etc etc.

3
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:27 PM

In the early 1900s, in America, we had a lower life expectancy than was observed in the Paleolithic. Modern sanitation and medicine are key differentiator.

---------one liner-------

Guy: "paleo diet? Didn't cavemen die at 30? You are running out of time!"

Me: "yeah? Well the jerk store called an they're running out of you. I slept with your mother"

End scene

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 17, 2013
at 04:15 PM

Good answer, but how can it be transformed into a zinger!

508a4ebd259022f415326f7a6baec00c

(482)

on June 20, 2013
at 05:55 AM

Calm down George

2
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on June 27, 2013
at 06:30 PM

Well, I haven't died in childbirth yet, so my odds are looking good.

2
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on June 18, 2013
at 02:26 PM

"Maybe they did, but if they'd of ate a SAD diet like you, they'd of died even sooner."

ALT

And if they ate the crap you eat they'd of died even younger.

2
72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 17, 2013
at 05:39 PM

I would recommend pretending that they have a valid, thoughtful point, even if it's pretty clear that they're just taking potshots. Humans didn't evolve to live as long as we're living nowadays (even if some hunter-gatherers lived to 60, many people now live almost half again as long). We're also interested in remaining healthy and youthful long past reproductive age, which is not something evolution is intensely concerned with.*

That means you need to engage with the question of whether everything that produces optimal health when you're 20 or 30 is also good for you in the long term. It means producing evidence that eating a paleo diet doesn't seem to put any long-term strain on your immune system or your arteries and that it leads to more modulated, sustainable autonomic function (rather than keeping your body on a "yellow alert" stress level constantly). It means showing that it puts people on a long-term trajectory toward better glucose control and metabolic function, and actually makes them more likely to be healthy and robust when they're older.

I think there's decent evidence that a number of healthy, non-CW diets do a good job of setting us up for successful aging and long-term health. That's a less sexy, mediagenic perspective than the bulging muscular paleo warrior clutching a haunch of beef, but I think it's well worth making part of our image.

* There are evolutionary benefits to staying alive and helping your children and grandchildren (and nieces, nephews, siblings, cousins, etc., and via reciprocity also helping your friends and your friends' descendants), but that probably doesn't produce the same results as the benefits of directly reproducing. Though on the other hand, that may select for more stable, sustainable strategies rather than high-risk, high-reward reproductive approaches. So extended fitness could actually produce better and more sustainable long-term health adaptations...

1
A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on June 17, 2013
at 08:00 PM

And a gallon of gas used to cost 25 cents.

The point being the world has changed. Cavemen would no longer die at 30 and gas is $4 a gallon. Though I find any response is just begging for a pissing contest with any paleo basher. Oh well, more grass fed beef for us.

1
78d089bc8d5feaed2710005e4456edbe

on June 17, 2013
at 07:45 PM

I would rather reply with ignorance than with humour. I remember having a small conversation where the caveman lifespan thing was brought forth, and, to some extent, I regret having been too eager to say something about it.

See, if I have to have a clever response, I have to know what I am talking about, and I need to be able to remember how the number changes if you account for infant mortality and whatnot. I'd rather not bother with that.

If, instead, I just ask back "really, where have you read that?" then maybe it'll be the case that their notion will be exposed as an uninformed idea of cavemen not having such easy lives as people in the modern civilized world.

0
30fe014b1e0ea9a3de2875706ba477e6

(135)

on June 18, 2013
at 08:28 AM

Putting the best information and scientific research will not really help. It is more about what people want to see. The best way to deal with it is to say something like this:

"Do you really believe that this statement is relavant? [...] What would you say if you had a gun pointed to your head and had to give best judgement on this topic?"

30fe014b1e0ea9a3de2875706ba477e6

(135)

on June 18, 2013
at 03:09 PM

It is all about making people think on their own. It is not like you can or should try to convince others. And generally the more you interrupt their patterns for response the better.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 18, 2013
at 01:32 PM

They totally believe it's relevant.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 18, 2013
at 01:32 PM

Also, bringing up violent and threatening imagery directed at the person you're talking to -- even as part of a metaphorical thought experiment -- may not be a successful way to win their trust.

-1
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on June 18, 2013
at 08:17 AM

Nowadays people is dying at their 50's and the more evolved we become, the more illnesses seem to plague the society. Seems plausible that at this rate in a few generations we will begin to die in our 30's again and catch up with the Cavemen, despite our supposed evolutionary knowledge in nutrition, well-being and health...

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on June 18, 2013
at 01:54 PM

Well, I dont know there in the US but here in Spain people are falling like flies from cancer in their late 50's nowadays so. They take a while to kill you right now because we still maintain some healthy habits but I'd like to know how will this be in the future when all we eat is processed, EMF is everywhere and so on... hope I'm wrong and I deserved the downvote...

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 18, 2013
at 02:34 PM

spain has a better life expectancy than the US http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_dyn_le00_in&hl=en&dl=en&idim=country:ESP:FRA:ITA#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=sp_dyn_le00_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:ESP:USA&ifdim=region&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 18, 2013
at 01:31 PM

What are you talking about? In the United States, life expectancy has plateaued in the 70-80 range. It's nowhere near 50. And it wouldn't be anywhere near 30 due to diseases of civilization, since those take a while to kill you.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 18, 2013
at 02:38 PM

Life expectancy in Spain is even higher (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2102.html). People who die relatively young from cancer make a big impression, but they're still a minority.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on June 18, 2013
at 02:42 PM

I don't know where they get these numbers, we have a lot of old folks, true, but for the newer generations, the ones like my parents, things are getting different, mine has survived a cancer fortunately but some of my friend's haven't and I think this is more commonly seen these days. Well, it could just be my perception and hopefully it's not like for the vast majority.

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