I’m going to take a few minutes to rant my opinion here because I was just writing about this observation earlier today (apologies to the English professors out there):
What you’re witnessing is something very fascinating about human nature. These questions are becoming somewhat ridiculous for a reason. People see that eating Paleo works. Some aspects more than others. It is only a matter of time before people are going to try and take these ideas and mish-mash them into "pillars of truth" until we have some sort of Paleo religion. Why? Because generally people want congruity and a place to turn when they have problems. Or looked at another way, something to blame when things go wrong or displacing responsibility for personal choices.
This pattern has happened many times before in history, it’s part of evolution, and generally evolution seems to prefer to work through groups of creatures rather than individual creatures; at least the social ones. That’s why some groups thrive together and some groups die together.
On the surface there was nothing wrong with the cheese question. It was a fair question and not abnormal for the period of time we live in. However, looking more deeply it appears that people have stopped trusting themselves and their instincts because a) we were taught in school that the foods our ancestors ate were bad and b) the emphasis placed on the authority of the so-called experts for which the bar is becoming lower and lower and of which some have questionable integrity regarding their handling of the evidence.
These things have tendency to cripple a lot of people from being able to think clearly and thus make reasonable choices on their own for the very fact that some ideas or assumptions in Paleo are just that. Assumptions. Which can be counter-intuitive to the individual. So one might say, well if this is different from what I thought, what else am I doing that is wrong. Again, sometimes the assumptions are reasonable sometimes they are ridiculous. This second guessing is what I like to call intelligent selection pressure.
I was recently reading a question and a knowledgeable individual with some education was welcomed to the site. The question was a good question and the answer given was technical but accurate. No problem with that. However, what I saw was an eagerness to justify a position. Essentially, what we used to call in the military as "pulling rank" i.e. I out rank you therefore since we can't decide--"I"--the person with rank will decide for you. In my opinion there is no room here for that type of culture. It's exclusion. We are dealing with real people in which their personal experiences sometimes differ from what the sciences proclaim. Does that mean the science is wrong? Not necessarily. But it does mean the theory is flawed. Some people on here often imply “you’re flawed”. The conversation typically goes: I'm strict paleo for x number of months and have started to suffer with x, y, and z symptoms. To which people respond: Sounds like you need a-z supplements or try this percentage of that macronutrient or that. That’s good old fashioned group pressure. As if the strict dietary restriction couldn't possibly have anything to do with the individual's problem.
To be fair, a lot of the ideas that were once tenets of Paleo, have washed down the drain. So in one sense the PH community has demonstrated it's ability to evolve. I think that is promising. However, sometimes I still get the distinct impression that there are people on here trying to push some type of optimal diet. And some people are desperate to comply with all of the Paleo ideas even if what they are trying to apply is causing problems. Sadly, that’s just a form natural selection against that individual.
I want to be clear, because this is the one time I will stand firm on an issue, not that any of you should care or be offended; it’s an opinion. In my opinion there is no such thing as an optimal diet for all just like there is no suitable religion or lack thereof for all. Some might claim to have the optimal diet just like some claim to teach the ultimate religious truth. Our fear of bad health, early death, and living a miserable unfulfilled life drive us to think and dream that there is an optimal diet, but there is no such thing. It’s this pursuit, and it’s a very clever evolutionary mechanism, that makes us want to believe this. There never has been and never will be as long as our environment continues to change, our culture changes, and we continue to evolve along with that. We are creatures of continual evolution in my opinion and evolution is a dynamic process involving everything from the environment, to the nutrition available from that environment and the impacts this has on our gut flora, to more complex factors like culture, new movement patterns, and the new technological stimulus changing our brains.
The nutrition that was optimal in the past might not be optimal now and the nutrition that is optimal now might not be optimal in the future.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by looking at the world through paleo-goggles. The best goggles are those that allow you to see your own unique self-destructive habits and eating patterns. The best you can ever do is to stay away from things that make you feel bad, using your brain to decide whether or not your impulses are worthwhile, and using your intelligence to de-condition yourself from potentially harmful things. You don’t have to follow an impulse, but if you learn to listen and ask yourself why you are feeling the way you do, perhaps you can recondition yourself into a more functional and thus happier individual. I’ve never seen anybody who doesn’t get fulfillment out of solving their own problems unless they are conditioned to. It’s like watching a baby put the square peg through the square whole, when they do it they are so happy.