This is a simple question, right? It would appear not. Whenever, a dissident announces that he is no longer Paleo as in the article cited in this thread, some Paleohackers respond by saying that the author's definition is too narrow, "Paleo isn't low-carb, high fat" or something along those lines. The word "version" then appears and people agree that the dissident should try (or is trying) a different "version" of Paleo.
When I suggested my definition of Paleo as one in which one eat as near as possible to the way our H-G ancestors did, Bree (probably echoing many others) replied that, "this 'diet' was never about eating what an h-g ate, it was about eliminating processed crap".
Here's how Patrik defined it in this other thread: "The Paleo Diet is a meta-rule (a rule about rules) that only demands one thing; that we look at human nutrition through an evolutionary lens. End of story."
Patrik's definition would need further elaboration. What does it mean to "look at human nutrition through an evolutionary lens"? Do we consider that our diet might need to be different because of the environment we live under? What about climate..should someone in Newfoundland eat the same as someone in Ecuador? In any case, we can clearly see that it deviates from Bree's.
Well, we can all agree that Paleos place emphasis on eating meat and good fats, right? Not so fast. Here is a person asking if it is possible to be vegetarian and Paleo. Granted, I suspect that is an extreme minority. However, if we accept Bree's definition of Paleo and even allow that Paleo means to eat moderate protein and high fat, there is no reason why there couldn't be a vegetarian version of Paleo.
So, who's right? They all are. Here's my "working" definition of Paleo. Paleo is a general reference to a CLUSTER OF DIETS. A person may be considered Paleo by virtue of identifying himself as such. When the person no longer finds the term useful and does not consider himself Paleo, he should be considered as no longer following the Paleo diet. Hence, we should take Don Matesz at his word: he's not following a different version. He's not Paleo any more. Full stop.
So what do you think of that? What's your definition of Paleo? If my definition is true, then Paleo is at full-throttle nominalism. "Big deal", you say. "I don't care about debating the equivalent of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin." I would have to agree. However, it is important to pay attention to how your conception of Paleo helps or hinders your path towards greater health.