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is paleo a big fat lie?

by (319)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created July 21, 2012 at 12:35 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature

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10214 · April 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

You could argue that some of us, and some of the bloggers, are like cats in a sack, but Paleo?

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0 · April 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM

I prefer to think of it as a 'story'.

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17392 · April 11, 2014 at 10:29 AM

WTF is this psycho conspiracy theory BS doing here?

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78422 · July 21, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Subjective and argumentative? Why the fear?

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689 · July 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Exactly. If you base your life actions on scientific studies you have bigger problems than what you eat.

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478 · July 21, 2012 at 3:24 AM

Variants of this argument can easily be resolved by adding a valid third clause to bridge the premise and conclusion. In the case of paleo, the gap is easily bridged by Darwinian evolution. Because evolution is a natural process that shaped the natural biology of humans who sustain their biology with paleo (derived from evolution), paleo is immune to an "appeal to nature" or "naturalistic fallacy" debunking argument. Related: http://evolvify.com/hume-is-ought-problem-naturalistic-fallacy-improper/

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18635 · July 21, 2012 at 2:30 AM

Not a question....and cause its not against the rules for me to vote to close it.

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18635 · July 21, 2012 at 2:27 AM

I didn't see a question....so so that was my vote :p

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10214 · July 21, 2012 at 2:21 AM

So long as the diet is rewarding...

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10214 · July 21, 2012 at 2:19 AM

Paleo is more an appeal to anthropology than anything. A rediscovery of what humans are meant to do and eat, not a mystic experience of howling with the wolves.

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10214 · July 21, 2012 at 2:15 AM

What does the "appeal to nature" fallacy have to do with paleo at all? I could see this as a refutation of Aryanism, or anthropomorphism, or the vegan hemp fetish, but Paleo?

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789 · July 21, 2012 at 2:04 AM

What Chinaeskimo said!

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1644 · July 21, 2012 at 2:03 AM

Because paleo isn't an appeal to nature. It's an appeal to our genetic heritage and personal adaptations, tolerances, and experiences.

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78422 · July 21, 2012 at 1:23 AM

However, the selective breeding, processing and industrialisation of grains is not.

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1772 · July 21, 2012 at 1:19 AM

Oh, I think I am understanding it the same way that you are understanding it, but was using the word reliable as "generally accurate" and you were using it as "citable in academia." Honest misunderstanding. I think we both can agree it is generally accurate, or else it would not be the number one internet encyclopedia.

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1772 · July 21, 2012 at 1:17 AM

It's actually one of the best in my opinion, as I do not subscribe to the lipid hypothesis or the insulin/obesity hypothesis or the grains/obesity hypothesis.

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11048 · July 21, 2012 at 1:16 AM

I don't think you understand what the term "reliable" means in the context of academia. Wikipedia is certainly a source of information. You might even be able to put together a sketchy foundation of a certain topic. It is, however, not a reliable source.

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1772 · July 21, 2012 at 1:15 AM

How is it the worst when it attacks the thesis of paleo (our natural diet)

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78422 · July 21, 2012 at 1:15 AM

If one is interested in helping others it is important to be able to dispel misinformation. This is why such questions are worth exploring.

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1772 · July 21, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Just because you can't site it in a paper does not mean it is not reliable. I'm sure you go to look at at assume most of the information is accurate when you do. But, you do not cite it when writing a paper.

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78422 · July 21, 2012 at 1:12 AM

For some people it could be considered a valid argument.

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1772 · July 21, 2012 at 1:12 AM

@ MathGirl72- I assume Lucas was posting the link so that people could easily look up what "appeal to nature" is, exactly, not because Wiki may or may not say the paleo diet is one. In addition, the majority of college Professors recognize Wiki as a reliable source.

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11048 · July 21, 2012 at 1:12 AM

THIS college professor, as well as every colleague I have, disagrees. It is absolutely not a reliable source.

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78422 · July 21, 2012 at 1:11 AM

It's a valid argument and worth refuting rather than dismissing +1

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6117 · July 21, 2012 at 1:11 AM

On what grounds are people voting to close this thread? How does it violate any paleohacks rules? Why not answer the question as if it were asked sincerely? Or can no one actually do that, so instead, it should be closed so no one has the opportunity to have their ideas questioned?

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1772 · July 21, 2012 at 1:09 AM

@ MathGirl72- Wiki is a reliable source. Most college professors agree.

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4100 · July 21, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Razz well? Is that you?

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11048 · July 21, 2012 at 12:58 AM

Because Wikipedia said so? Have any reliable sources???????

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12 Answers

best answer

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6117 · July 21, 2012 at 1:09 AM

On what grounds are people voting to close this thread? How does it violate any paleohacks rules?

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18635 · July 21, 2012 at 2:30 AM

Not a question....and cause its not against the rules for me to vote to close it.

best answer

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600 · July 21, 2012 at 1:32 AM

From that WIKI: "The meaning and importance of various understandings and concepts of "nature" has been a persistent topic of discussion historically in both science and philosophy. In Ancient Greece, ???the laws of nature were regarded not [simply] as generalized descriptions of what actually happens in the natural world??? but rather as norms that people ought to follow??? Thus the appeal to nature tended to mean an appeal to the nature of man treated as a source for norms of conduct. To Greeks this??? represented a conscious probing and exploration into an area wherein, according to their whole tradition of thought, lay the true source for norms of conduct.???[1]

To say that the only leg paleo stands on is an "appeal to nature" is a misunderstanding of the way this statement is taken in logic. It has come to represent a logical fallacy of assuming that JUST BECAUSE things are natural, that means they are good. Now, that doesn't mean that NO natural things are good, only that it is illogical to assume that EVERYTHING NATURAL is good just by virtue of being natural. I don't think anyone here is arguing that, although they may sometimes phrase it that way for simplicity's sake. What people are arguing here in logical terms I think is not: ALL NATURAL THINGS ARE GOOD BECAUSE THEY ARE NATURAL

but rather: SOME NATURAL THINGS ARE GOOD AND PALEOLITHIC EATING SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THEM, IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME ASK MY ROCK HARD ABS.

Rather than being an "appeal to nature" per se, the argument hinges on form and function...form following function, human beings should do what they have evolved doing in order to maintain function and form.

Good point to bring up though, I could see how that might be confusing as people don't always phrase their arguments on the whole evolutionary eating topic very well.

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15443 · July 21, 2012 at 1:03 AM

I am less interested in the dogma and more interested in the fact that I lost 25 pounds and got rid of about 10 minor health problems by changing diets.

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78422 · July 21, 2012 at 1:15 AM

If one is interested in helping others it is important to be able to dispel misinformation. This is why such questions are worth exploring.

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1644 · July 21, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Probably the worst argument that could be made against paleo.

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78422 · July 21, 2012 at 1:12 AM

For some people it could be considered a valid argument.

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10214 · July 21, 2012 at 2:19 AM

Paleo is more an appeal to anthropology than anything. A rediscovery of what humans are meant to do and eat, not a mystic experience of howling with the wolves.

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1772 · July 21, 2012 at 1:15 AM

How is it the worst when it attacks the thesis of paleo (our natural diet)

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1772 · July 21, 2012 at 1:17 AM

It's actually one of the best in my opinion, as I do not subscribe to the lipid hypothesis or the insulin/obesity hypothesis or the grains/obesity hypothesis.

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1644 · July 21, 2012 at 2:03 AM

Because paleo isn't an appeal to nature. It's an appeal to our genetic heritage and personal adaptations, tolerances, and experiences.

Medium avatar
10214 · July 21, 2012 at 2:15 AM

What does the "appeal to nature" fallacy have to do with paleo at all? I could see this as a refutation of Aryanism, or anthropomorphism, or the vegan hemp fetish, but Paleo?

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4100 · July 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM

So...what do you think we should be eating? Modern processed foods?

Is there anyone (besides the CEO of McDonalds) that believes this?

I thought that being a member of Paleohacks kinda assumed that you were okay with the diet.

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10214 · July 21, 2012 at 2:21 AM

So long as the diet is rewarding...

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789 · July 21, 2012 at 2:04 AM

What Chinaeskimo said!

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807 · July 21, 2012 at 2:01 AM

....AND yes, I've had 4 Nor Cal Margaritas (make sure you use Club Soda!).... :)'

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20908 · July 21, 2012 at 1:56 AM

I know I'm probably feeding a troll here, but anyway...

If you approach paleo with the attitude of "if johnny caveman had it/did it, it must be good; if johnny caveman didn't have it/didn't do it, it must be bad" then yes, it's an invalid argument.

However, if you use the idea of "I wonder what johnny caveman would have done" and then look for the closest modern equivalent and then do some rigorous self-experimentation to see if it makes you look, feel, or perform better. Then there's nothing wrong with it.

Like I said earlier in the potato thread, if you blindly follow some paleo dogma, you're doing it wrong. But if you're using it to form hypotheses that end up helping your lift, then there's nothing wrong with that. That how it's supposed to be done.

http://paleohacks.com/questions/136907/are-white-potatoes-paleo/136937#136937

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78422 · July 21, 2012 at 1:07 AM

Lets assume that it is - a big fat lie. How would we test this notion?

One way would be to compare the effects of the most extreme and eccentric forms of paleo with the best that current dietetic science has to offer.

I would argue that that sort of paleo could be difficult to maintain over time mainly due to social pressures. But in every other respect - in terms of health metrics - it would be, in my opinion, superior.

If my opinion is correct it means that the best man-devised intervention (unnatural) is still inferior to paleo (natural).

Until we have an exquisitely detailed understanding of the interaction between food, physiology, biochemistry and genetics following a diet of what the human genome adapted to over many ten's of thousands of years remains the best option.

Having said that, it does not mean that we cannot improve paleo through increased understanding of relevant science, and there is no doubt we will improve it, however the core template of the diet will be one that is in alignment with paleolithic adaptations for so long as they are genetically valid in modern individuals.

Paleo can be considered as a natural vs unnatural argument, but for reasons that are entirely scientific natural is indeed superior to unnatural and paleo is not a big fat lie.

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807 · July 21, 2012 at 1:59 AM

who really cares if it's working for 90% of us! N=1, remember?

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689 · July 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Exactly. If you base your life actions on scientific studies you have bigger problems than what you eat.

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0 · April 11, 2014 at 3:41 AM

paleo is like a cat in a sac. It can't be that all people eat the same. However I believe the real purpose behind, is to get rid of some people on earth since there isn't enough place for everybody. Some will have to die sooner.

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17392 · April 11, 2014 at 10:29 AM

WTF is this psycho conspiracy theory BS doing here?

Medium avatar
10214 · April 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

You could argue that some of us, and some of the bloggers, are like cats in a sack, but Paleo?

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807 · July 21, 2012 at 1:58 AM

"CLOSE THIS THREAD!" - said in a "Ronald Reagan" sort of voice!

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2175 · July 21, 2012 at 1:01 AM

no one is advocating an appeal to nature on behalf of paleo. biological fact is not a comparitive of "natural" but not encompassing all of nature. such as grains, which occur in nature.

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78422 · July 21, 2012 at 1:23 AM

However, the selective breeding, processing and industrialisation of grains is not.

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