Kurt Harris MD

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« PaNu Eating and High Intensity Training | Main | The Paleolithic Principle - the PaNu Version »
Friday
Nov272009

Health and Evolutionary Reasoning – The PaNu Method

Our current ideas of "health" or "optimal health" are modern concepts. Although evolving over millenia, in current form they are specific to our culture and are part of our "language game" - to borrow Ludwig Wittgenstein's term. One definition of a language game is an internally coherent system of values and concepts that are particular to a culture and determine the meaning of words in that cuture. As such, certain elements of a language game (words, concepts) are likely to be literally untranslatable – incomprehensible to anyone outside that culture.

Even if a paleolithic man could speak, within his own culture, within his language game, his concept of health might be radically different and I would argue would have to be radically different. Ideas are unavoidably culturally conditioned, and the errors of Rousseauism (then and now) are to interpret our own lives and health using imagined values we ascribe to paleolithic humans, or to use a naturalist fallacy to try to divine which current behaviors in general are good by examining what we think we know about prehistory.

I often use the examples of honey consumption and infanticide as examples of Paleolithic behavior we might not want to emulate, but it is easy to come up with more.

Here's another example. I think it is likely that early menarche (onset of menses) in our culture is an effect of earlier sexual maturity under the influence of insulin. The same hyperinsulinism that we suspect may contribute to myopia, atherosclerosis, early degenerative joint disease, inflammation and cancer makes us more fecund – more able to get pregnant early and propagate the species.

From the standpoint of our genes, you can see how this might be selected for. Insulin is a phylogenetically old hormone that, in one of its roles as a metabolic messenger, we might think of as in service of our genes more than our bodies. One message conveyed by abundant food might be “mature, propagate the species and get out of the way”. In this way, fertility is "desired" by nature at the expense of longevity or overall health. If true, one implication is that it may indeed be harder for some women to get pregnant on a diet that is otherwise best for their own health and longevity. In this sense, the idea of optimal health has to be an individual one, even within our own language game. Try consoling a woman undergoing the hell of in vitro fertilization that she can’t have a child but the upside is she might live a bit longer. On an actuarial basis, even with good paleolithic nutrition and large pelvic inlets, there is no way childbirth increased the life expectancy of the one doing the birthing, essential as it may have been for the one being birthed.

We can also come up with examples we might want to emulate that from the perspective of the Paleolithic person might not have been fun or healthy.

Let's say involuntary periods of hunger were something that we are so adapted to that we metabolically depend on them to avoid some dieseases. Maybe we are less likely to get cancer if these periods happen to us with some regularity not found in a modern food-abundant environment. Because intermittent fasting might enhance our modern health, do we then say this was a "good" part of paleolithic life, even though the experience might have been uncomfortable and terrifying for paleo man or may have killed weaker members of his kin when it happened? 

The meaning of "health" to the subjects experiencing it is totally dependent on the cultural context.

A certain amount of paleo re-enactment is fun and educational and can put food on the table (hunting for deer or morels). Just try not to make fantasies of a Paleolithic eden a religion just like you wouldn’t make modern medical science a religion (or religion a religion ; ) ).

Maybe hang on to the same skepticism that led you to paleonutrition in the first place.

Perhaps avoid thinking "Grok is a better, happier, man than I". I would even be careful of "living your true potential programmed by your genes" - Your genes don't give a damn about the personal "I" that lives inside your head! They did not care 40,000 years ago and they don't care now.

I think "manipulating the genes I am stuck with after a billion years of evolution" is both more appropriately subversive and more accurate .

Go try to kill your own food with late paleolithic tools like a stickbow with arrows.  Imagine it without modern clothing and without knowledge that you can return to central heat and access to a refrigerator, and pretend that you and any little humans that survived infancy will go hungry if you don't kill something. Pretend you are a paleolithic human and then ask yourself:

Would I, 28 year old Grok, trade a future risk of cancer and diabetes at age 60 for unlimited abundance of food and central heat right now?

Contemplate that, and then you can understand why PaNu is defined narrowly as "duplicating the evolutionary metabolic milieu".

Because we have to, we start with a definition of "optimal health" that originates in our late industrial language game. This is hard enough and anyone reading medical science critically knows this. The definition can even be different depending on what your values are, like choosing to have many children versus having a perfect AUC for insulin. But generally for me it means less cancer, and less debilitating degenerative diseases that, looking at our knowledge of non-neolithic cultures, might be optional instead of part of the aging process.

Cancer, diabetes, hypertension, coronary disease, stroke, Alzheimer dementia, arthritis, autoimmune disorders – we call these diseases of civilization (DOC). Add your own to the list but there seems to be some consensus within the language game of our paleonutrition community that these are the core DOCs. If it suits you, expand your definition to non-actuarial life extension. Some of my readers do, and bully for them. I think that is like SETI, but I hope they’ll clue me in if they find something! Conversely, if winning an Olympic gold medal is worth injury or even losing a few years of your life, modify “health” to mean quantifiable physical performance. You know that I think some physical parameters may make you live longer, and some may not, but who cares? As long as you are awake to what you value and not fooling yourself that physical activity makes you immortal or even live longer, make your own choices.

Finally, we look for current behaviors that are foreign to what we believe is the evolutionary milieu prior to agriculture, and we see if there are clues to how to change current behavior to improve our current concept of health. This last step is harder and fraught with ambiguity, but by starting in the present and only then looking at the millions of differences between the paleolithic and the present, we can avoid the “Everything ancient is better than now” fallacy that I call paleo re-enactment.

When I apply this method, I come up with the neolithic agents of excess fructose, linoleic acid and gluten grains, and the rest is just tinkering around the edges*.

 

 

*The fact that other bloggers, writers , doctors and scientists independently arrive at the same list, some without any appeal to evolutionary reasoning, only makes me more confident that these are the important ones. Any real scientific principle should be independently discoverable. I won’t name any names, but I am skeptical of systems that are either totally unique or too precise.

 

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Reader Comments (23)

for what its worth
I too have arrived at a similar foodplace, albeit via a different route perhaps.
Folk talk about 'will power' and 'determination' with all the surity that there is some independent entity that dictates or oversees physiological proceedings.
Eat modern, sweet foods and (via hormone insulin I guess (??)) and this drives this physiological response on further. Continues and continues. You can try to over-ride the process - which people often do on diets, which may work for an indeterminate period of time - but then eventually the physiological directives kick in. It is unavoidable.
Eat fatty, non-sugary foods and it doesn't happen.
Willpower has nothing to do with it.
Not only can one eat generously enough to be satisfying (nervous sysytem??) and thus the sweet induced hunger is absent, but many of the ailments such as allergies, food intolerances, hay fevers etc are conspicuous by their absence.
Thought - generally - simply reflects that which is in vogue at present.
The workings of the body - so it seems - is far more primal.

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterj

Great post, but what happened to Raquel's right leg? She'd have had a hard time foraging with two knees at different heights.. ;-).

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Anna

Nice essay, much along the lines I've been thinking lately, particularly after reading the National Geographic account of living amongst the Hadza, one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer tribes (link below).

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/12/hadza/finkel-text

You've made some thought-provoking points, particularly the one that your genes don't really care about you. The agricultural revolution (and other technological revolutions which followed) has certainly wrought personal suffering and environmental destruction. Yet it was and continues to be wildly successful, no doubt due to the associated evolutionary success. It brings up an interesting mind-twister, of sorts: our brains have evolved to maximize the possibility that we pass along our genetic material to the next generation. But this gene-centric view is remarkably short-sighted, as the innate programming of any individual is likely centered on propagating their genetic material only within their lifetime. Can we use our big brains to overcome this evolutionary myopia, and maximize the chances our genes will live on for millenia, rather than just one more generation?

KGH:

Thank you, Dave. Another reader sent me that article on the Hadza earlier. I was about halfway through it but got distracted somehow:) The "values" of evolution should not define all of ours by default, but a scientific approach to medical science without accounting for evolution is a blind approach unlikely to be of high yield, akin to randomly pouring chemicals into the gas tank of your Porsche 911.

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Great article, and I love the website! As a prospective MD/PhD and current Anthropology/Chemistry double-major, I think that nutrition is of the highest importance. Just wanted to add, however, that birthing does promote health: the fewer children/more periods a woman has, the higher her likelihood of contracting breast cancer. Makes evolutionary sense as well! Weird, huh?

KGH:

That is well known epidemiologically. (I've interpreted over 30,000 mammograms and done many biopsies so I'm pretty familiar with breast cancer) The effect is not that large, however, and in any case is definitely not larger than the negative effect of the risk of dying in childbirth on actuarial survival for a woman. Hemorrhage, puerperal sepsis, and not even counting rectocele and cystocele which are not fatal.

I also have to disagree that it makes evolutionary sense - as if to punish a woman who chose not to have children - as there would have been no way to make such a choice in the paleolithic period, and breast cancer does not occur until many years after the childbearing years.

I also believe that in a dietary regime without chronic hyperinsulinemia and Vitamin D deficiency, that the parturition/breast cancer link would prove to be an artifact of neolithic diets and would disappear, as breast cancer itself is largely if not entirely related to the SAD.

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike Romano

Yours is the only one of these "paleo" blogs that doesn't stink of self absorption and egotism. That and the California-ish mysticism the others build up around the plaeo concept make this the only site I can take seriously.

KGH:

Thanks, I am sure that quoting Wittgenstein might easily draw the tag of being elitist, but radical skepticism and pragmatist philosophy are what got me here.

Rousseauism and worshipping a mythical nature that does not include the tool-making creatures who come up with concepts like "nature" have been bugaboos for a long time.

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterj

@Mike Romano wrote:

"the fewer children/more periods a woman has, the higher her likelihood of contracting breast cancer."

But if she breast feeds for long periods that is protective I believe. My son didn't wean till he was five years old so I've breastfed for longer than some women who've had more children.

Anne

KGH:

multiparity and breastfeeding are both epidemiologically related to lower risk of breast cancer. Neither is as important as avoiding metabolic syndrome, obesity and hyperinsulinism, IMO.

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

hello doctor,

i enjoy your blog greatly and am severely concerned over a recent blood work rec'vd from my doctor,
im searching for a second opinion but in Canada i am unable to locate a doctor that subscribes to the low-carb/paleo principles.

i know you cant offer diagnosis via a blog but im facing the demand by my doctor to begin taking statins, and the recommendation to go on a low-fat diet, that up to now ive thought was part of the problem not the solution,
i eat very low carb/paleo and have and in a great weight range and physically fit.

i was told i have a "severely" high cholesterol reading 7.82 mmol/l with 1.53 HDL and 0.98 triglycerides
but good vit d levels at 150.

i cant seem to decipher all the info on the various paleo blogs if this reading is in fact just fine because the HDL is so high, or if its in fact indicative that im still eating too many carbs or that my genetics simply predispose me to high total cholesterol.

any direction you can offer in terms of a reliable resource would be greatly appreciated, my medical exam was considered a fail for the job im attempting to get, and id rather not have to begin taking a statin or eat low fat just to adhere to the doctors orders to get this job.

thanks again for this blog,

sincerly,

shu

KGH:

Your levels are absolutely fine, typical of a high sat fat diet and not much different from my own.

The employment issue is an absolute crime and I would fight it.

1) Get an NMR lipoprofile and prove that your small dense LDLs are low, and your LDL-p count is low.

2) If that does not convince them, insist on a coronary calcium score (CT). If your score is zero, the lipids are irrelevant. The literature proves that CAC trumps any lab values that you can measure.

3) If you can't educate your doctor and enlist his aid, you will have to find another one

I know that I would refuse statins and keep sat fat as high as possible no matter what my TC level, as there is no evidence of a mortality benefit to statins in those with no history of coronary disease and I believe a PaNu type plan is more likely to minimize your chances of future coronary disease than any drug regime by minimizing oxLDL and inflammation.

Let me know what happens.
PS

PS "demand by your doctor"? He works for you, even if it is socialized medicine up there.

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershu

I don't think you can repeat it enough how bad excess fructose, linoleic acid, and gluten grains are. I'm 100% with you with this, regardless of where I stand on carbohydrate intake.

BTW -- great picture of Raquel -- even though I'm from a younger generation, she still looks great!

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Dr. Harris,

thank you very much for your quick response, i really appreciate it and im in the process of trying to locate a paleo/low-carb friendly doctor in toronto, but they are not easy to find, though there must be at least one in a city this big that actually reads medical literature beyond pharmacy dossiers....

i think the biggest contribution anyone could make to the progression of lc/paleo type eating would be a network of like-minded doctors, if i hadnt been able to be reassured from your post i would have been stuck running around to different doctors and possibly taking medication.

the work you do here and the responses are truly valuable, i cant thank you enough.

shu

KGH:

You are welcome and please let us know what happens.

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershu

Wow fast response! Yes, what I meant was that perhaps Homo sapiens are not adapted to continuous shedding of the uterine lining. Between breast-feeding and child birthing, it seems as though modern women have significantly more menstrual cycles, to the point where there is pronounced evolutionary discordance. But I do agree that diet/lifestyle is probably of greater importance.

Also, there's some interesting stuff about ghrelin coming out now...I guess it's neuroprotective, some sort of counterpart to leptin

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike Romano

"The fact that other bloggers, writers , doctors and scientists independently arrive at the same list, some without any appeal to evolutionary reasoning, only makes me more confident that these are the important ones. Any real scientific principle should be independently discoverable."

I've noticed, what seems to me to be a striking congruence of paleolithic nutrition and Libertarianism in the blogosphere; yourself, Keith Norris and Richard Nikoley spring to mind immediately. The perversion of the scientific method and false claims of consensus which led to widespread acceptance of the lipid hypothesis, the narrative of that story, seems to me at least, to be very similar to what has taken place in the scientific community with regard to AGW.

Kurt, I have a great deal of respect for the scientific, political and economic analysis you demonstrate in your blog. I appreciate that the areas of inquiry most relevant to AGW may be outside your training. Given the importance the theory is taking on right across science, politics and industry I am sure you would have considered and assessed it in some detail. I would value your insight. Can I draw you out to comment on the credibility of AGW? If not publicly, then privately.

KGH:

The Climate Change Scam won't kill as many people, but certainly serves as My Fair Lady to the Pygmalion of the Lipid Hypothesis.

AGW and the potential for AGW is real but trivial in the context of massive geophysical cycles that are the norm for the planet.

Even if AGW were much larger in effect, there is essentially no way that it can be significantly averted by climate treaties or taxes without further destruction of the world economy and starvation.

If nothing whatever is done to avert any temperature increase, the problem will solve itself in 50 years or so when the remaining recoverable oil becomes too expensive and precious to use as transportation fuel. No government policy can improve the situation, it can only interfere with the market signals needed to find market solutions to the problem -including the problem of energy sources.

Recent warming, which essentially stopped in 2000, may have been AGW or solar related. Since 2000 there has been cooling.

The recent email scandal demonstrates what I have thought for the past 6 years I have been reading about this- that there is actually a criminal conspiracy to prove the government needs to expand its power and "scientists" are literally creating data out of thin air and blackballing climate skeptics from publication.

Climate Change is a purely political movement whose aims are central control, power and academic rent-seeking. The fact that the average person is a scientifically illiterate lover of the fascist state (even the leftists are taught to love the fictions of both god and country from birth) makes their job easy.

As a sponsor of Cato, I have all Patrick Michaels books. Highly recommended.

Other thoughts:

Except for nuclear power, alternative energy as a significant replacement for fossil fuels is an impossible fantasy.

The end of cheap oil is upon us and the world (and especially US) economy will be smaller in real terms in 10 years than it is today. Real home values will never exceed the values of 2006. Unemployment will stay high for many years.

The US government is effectively bankrupt and any hope for rapid economic recovery has been sacrificed so that Goldman Sachs and the other financial oligarchs that actually own the government can profit. We are a nation of debt peons.

A dollar bill in your pocket will be worth perhaps 50 cents or less in 5 years. Massive inflation in the pipeline. Buy Gold and at some point, short US treasuries. See www.itulip.com for more details

Being a doomer is fun!

Unfortunately, I am not joking about any of this.

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike W

///////Any real scientific principle should be independently discoverable. I won’t name any names, but I am skeptical of systems that are either totally unique or too precise.//////

You cannot leave us hanging like that.... :)

I am too feeble-minded to read between the lines, please name names.

KGH:

How about keep your ratios 40:30:30 carbs:pro:fat or your eicosanoids get out of whack?

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatrik

Thankyou Kurt, that made a great deal of sense, particularly the parts about allowing the market to pick the technology winners. I'm fascinated by the free (perfect) market's ability to process information.

I think I am correct to say that direct observations of the real world (Vostok ice core data for example) do not support the idea that CO2 can determine/drive/force the direction of global warming or cooling.

It's pretty easy to see where the next bubble is going to come from if cap and trade goes ahead.

I'm dismayed that the ClimateGate e-mails weren't front page news.

I'm relieved to see others can see the parallels between AGW and the Lipid Hypothesis.

Thanks again and I'll let you resume blogging about nutrition.

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike W

That picture of Rachal Welch is disturbing! She's missing a knee cap or else it's a whole lot higher on her right leg than the left.

November 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNancy LC

Hi Doc,

Off topic, but you brought it up: how do you square peak oil with where the Russians have been finding it:

http://blogs.motortrend.com/6245781/editorial/is-the-earth-producing-more-oil/index.html

"The majority of the world’s scientists scoff at Gold's theory, and "fossil fuel" remains the accepted descriptor of oil. Yet in recent years Russia has quietly become the world's top producer of oil, in part by drilling wells as deep as 40,000 feet -- far below the graveyards of T-Rex and his Mesozoic buddies."

And the deal on Saturn's moon, Titan:

http://www.universetoday.com/2008/02/13/titan-has-hundreds-of-times-more-liquid-hydrocarbons-than-earth/

I'm agnostic on this stuff, but it seems a little strange. Would love to hear your take.

Also, over at Hyperlipid, you commented that you have a hard time adding enough carbs to get out of ketosis without spiking your blood sugar, and that the meal had loads of protein and fat. Have you tried cutting back on the protein per meal? I think Bernstein talks about protein spiking BG, and my own levels came down when I cut back, though I was eating 12-16 oz steaks at a sitting!

Thanks,

Dave


KGH:

No time for abiotic oil and I've given my views on AGW.

As far as protein, it may increase my insulin, but my BG does not rise much without carbs in the meal. Protein could never raise your BG as much as carbohydrate in any case.

November 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDave

hi doc. i've been eating paleo since 8/14/09 and have gone from 142 to 126. now that winter's here, i find that i'm having the same problem i've had for the last 4 years or so- i'm freezing in the house at 65 degrees with a coat on while everyone else is just fine. i go to bed all wrapped up, but sometimes have trouble falling asleep because i'm so cold. then later on i wake up in the middle of the night because i get hot. i feel more energetic and stronger because of my new exercise and eating habits, but i still have this seasonal problem. any advice would be much appreciated. i have searched around for an answer, but haven't found anything definitive. i don't have constipation, my mood is good, and i'm still losing weight, so i'm skeptical about a thyroid problem. i should mention i am 44.


KGH:

See your Doctor for TSH T3, T4

November 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterv

Dr. Harris,

great posts, I am from Toronto and have been unable to find a doctor sympathetic to low-carb/paleo eating.

the only place is an obesity doctor who only takes patients that are morbidly obese and have clearance from their family MD for a referall, otherwise you have to pay out of pocket and big $$ to see them.

i suspect they will say much of the same that your blog and others do. though it would be nice to get check ups and the like from a doctor that keeps up on medical advances, when my family physician tells me to eat oatmeal for breakfast, focus on lean meat and avoid saturated fat because of my high cholesterol levels and not to take more than 1000 IU's of vitamin D due to toxicity and kidney stone development.

ive asked her about the literature that has come out over the years about saturated fat, Vitamin D and the like and she says its either quackery or unproven because the CMA (canadian medical association) hasnt changed their guidelines yet. i hate to think i can trump a doctor on knowledge in their area of expertise, but i cant help but think i and others in her care are getting short changed.

im looking to consider 2 things:

1. create or locate a resource that provides physicians sound evidence-based research about diets and dietary intervention in an easy to read and accessible format. a sort of package i could bring to the doctor next time im at the office, something that provides information in a format that busy family physicians could read, free of nonsense and conjecture.

2. locate low-carb/paleo friendly doctors in my area (toronto) and make the list accessible to others who wish to be seen by them. i think there are scores of low-carber's who dont have the time or desire to learn all of this for themselves and would truly benefit from having an MD proper gauge their progress and provide guidance, there is only so much doctors such as yourself and say a dr. eads can provide via their blogs.

Any thoughts on the best place to start?

KGH:

The issue is where are the paleo-friendly doctors? Networking them is a fine idea but if there are none to network it does not work very well. I have to tell you that from my experience so far the number of actual MDs who think as I do that saturated fat is the bodies ideal fuel and no one alive should eat a lot of sugar and grains is pretty much limited to bloggers like myself, Dr. Eades and Dr. T. Dr. Eades does not see patients, and Dr. T is in Florida, I think.

What is needed is a telemedicine consultancy where MDs like myself can advise the local doctors - of course if your local doctor thinks saturated fat is poison that will get us nowhere.

You are sort of stuck and this is just one more argument for viewing medical advice and services as just another service. You should not be "assigned" a doctor any more than you are "assigned" a particular gas station or supermarket.

Until, if ever, the lipid hypthothesis dies the death it deserves, you will have to assert the right to manage your own health. Here are some suggestions:

You can monitor your own blood pressure and fasting and post-prandial blood glucose with about $50 in gear. Buy it and do it yourself every 6 months or so. You can also buy a home tester for a basic lipid panel for a few hundred dollars.

Rely on your doctor for illnesses that don't go away.

At least once, get the following labs done: HBa1c, fasting insulin, TSH,T3, T4, triglycerides, HDL (It may actually be impossible to get trigs and HDL without total C and LDL-C)

IF your doctor wants to measure total cholesterol and LDL-c you can refuse to give blood unless they also run an NMR lipoprofile. Tell them you know this is more accurate and that you know a high fat diet will give an erroneous impression of LDL due to the effect on particle size which is actually protective. Learn enough about lipoproteins to argue with them. There are not many doctors that have a clue about the NMR profile, that is just the way it is.

If you doctor tries to tell you what to eat, you have the option to tell her it is none of her business.

"...i hate to think i can trump a doctor on knowledge in their area of expertise, but i cant help but think i and others in her care are getting short changed."


Area of expertise?

I am fast approaching about 2500 hours of reading on diet, nutrition and metabolism in the past 2 years. This is on top of my 20 years medical experience. I feel I am just starting to get up to speed on these topics. The idea that the average cardiologist or family practitioner has any training at all in nutrition is highly questionable. I went to a large University medical school and got a just handful of lectures in 4 years on nutrition.

Anyone who reads just GCBC and Health and Physical Degeneration instantly knows more that 99% of doctors about nutrition.

November 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterd. cosa

thanks again Dr. Harris for your detailed response,

im going to have to put this on a to-do list for 2010.

once again, thank you for the work on this blog.

November 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterd. cosa

(My post was either eaten by the internet or moderated by KGH. In case it was the former, I'll repost, and if it's the latter, well, then I apologize for my persistence in off-topicness!)

Dave: Peak oil is a question of oil production, not oil reserves. You could have an infinite ocean of oil underneath you, but if your maximum daily production was limited to 85 mbbl/d, then 85 mbbl/d is your limit on oil supply and thus your limit on growing an oil based civilization. Of course, we do not have an infinite ocean of oil: not even the staunchest abiotic proponent can deny the observed fact that all known oil wells have eventually lost pressure and declined, thus demonstrating that we are consuming oil at a rate faster than it is created (no matter how that takes place).

Currently, the pace at which we are discovering new oil fields and the pace at which recovery technology is advancing is being outstripped by the pace at which established fields are declining. We've either passed the peak already or will in the next decade. After the peak, there is only plateau and decline - neither of which are conducive to growing a petroleum hungry civilization. I'm agnostic on whether or not we'll be able to replace oil in the transportation sector fast enough to let us keep making fertilizer and pesticide, but here's hoping. I really don't want to spend my 40s living (or dying) through the transition from a planet with 6+ billion people on it back down to the pre-oil number of 1 billion. 80% population decline is probably even less healthy than gluten (but I'll leave that judgement to the doctor).

KGH:

Must have been eaten. I did not see it in moderation.

November 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpfw

"How about keep your ratios 40:30:30 carbs:pro:fat or your eicosanoids get out of whack?"

Ah gotcha! Thanks.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatrik

Well Kurt, I've gotta say that after about 100 posts on various blogs to catch up with, this was absolutely the best and you raise many points that have been on my mind and somewhat disillusioning.

Anyway, you inspired:

The Paleo Principle is Neither Authoritative nor Dogmatic
http://freetheanimal.com/2009/12/the-paleo-principle-is-neither-authoritative-nor-dogmatic.html

KGH:

Thanks, Richard. I truly appreciate that.

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Nikoley

Have you read The Long Emergency, and are you a fan of James Howard Kunstler? I ask because of your "doomer" response to mike w, and what you said was remarkably consonant with JHK's work.

KGH:

I've read some, yes. Not as doomer or as lefty as him, obviously.

December 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKAC

"Let's say involuntary periods of hunger were something that we are so adapted to that we metabolically depend on them to avoid some dieseases. Maybe we are less likely to get cancer if these periods happen to us with some regularity not found in a modern food-abundant environment. Because intermittent fasting might enhance our modern health, do we then say this was a "good" part of paleolithic life, even though the experience might have been uncomfortable and terrifying for paleo man or may have killed weaker members of his kin when it happened? "

Interesting questions posed here. As a modern-day example, my paternal grandparents were survivors of a nazi concentraton camp during World War Two, and were, of course, forced to nearly starve to death while they were prisoners. Both of them lived long healthy lives after the war, especially when compared to the average quality of healthin old age and age of death of an average American. Both lived completely independently until they day, or week, of death at 79 and 87 respectively. My mother, who does not know anything about paleolithic nutrition, told me that it is common for modern peoples who have been through starvation to actually live longer, relatively healther lives if they survive these periods of starvation.

KGH

That is interesting - I wonder if anyone has systematically studies camp survivors for later health indices like that.

December 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteremily
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