I guess most people would endow themselves with this quality, so perhaps it's a pointless question, but do you think the paleo eating movement is a natural end point for those of us who question everything and think for ourselves?
Also, I wonder if the caveman himself was naturally more like that, but society has more and more bred it out of us.
Anyway, as it was for me, I guess it was for most on here - I figured out a fair bit of this with little assistance, and then amazingly have found that there's a whole sub-society of relatively like-minded people out there who have come to broadly similar conclusions and there are books about it and allsorts!
Does the ability to break down false paradigms and build your own lead us back to the forest, or to as primal a state of living as is possible?
It's sort of Nietzschean
I HATE it when I give a fuzzy answer but I have to say yes and no.
PH is well populated with articulate, knowledgeable people who've obviously developed high-level skills in independent thought. I learn from the exchanges here every day even when it's silly. And I'm delighted with the variety of wonderful blogs that always have fascinating ideas and conversations.
OTOH, each week there are questions on PH that identify people who will either stick around and learn how to think more independently or will go away thinking we wouldn't help them.
I refer to questions asking for the one "right" answer or dissatisfied with progress and demanding "the" solution--it's not the asking that whispers dependence but the whiny tone or demand for one-answer-that-fits-everyone. They think we're not listening or don't know any answers when in fact they're being offered a ton of effective information.
If they are open to ideas and exchanges they learn quickly but that doesn't always happen.
I think that social-proof was in full effect during the paleolithic and pleistocene (we do say "monkey see monkey do" after all) and that it is human nature to "follow the crowd".
Conformity is something that was clearly adaptive for a very long time. For example, if I see you eat a berry and you don't get sick, it's quite likely that I can do the same and benefit (If you did get sick I could also avoid the berry and benefit from your misfortune).
However, I think that it is also adaptive for a certain percentage of the population to lack a strong tendency towards social proof. This allows for a certain degree of innovation, creativity, and opportunity that wouldn't be available if all of us swam in the same direction (or, as in the case of our current situation, like lemmings, running en mass over the cliff.)
I would say that the percentage of "wild" thinkers who relentlessly question everything is likely higher in paleo circles. I would likely suspect that there is definitely a correlation between eschewing the "conventional wisdom" regarding diet and questioning other societal paradigms.
Paleo eaters may be more discerning thinkers. The logic is flawed though to assume we came to this due to supreme critical thinking. Most people adopted paleo because...
They had some ailment that was solved by gut health improvement touted by Paleo.
They are fat.
They work out in a cross-fit gym or they wanted to improve their physical performance.
They were already eating this way in some form and Paleo just honed what already worked.
They converted from Vegan.
They think Dr. Kurt Harris is hot.
While I personally think eating real food is THE WAY I tire of the arrogance we sometimes put forth ...even amongst each other. I'm not saying the question displays this arrogance but I hate when the discussion turns so intellectual (in other discussions here) that somebody invariably ends up calling somebody else stupid between the lines. That being said...most people are very diplomatic and gentle in their words. Other people need to learn how to present their arguments in a more conciliatory way. In other words...if you have not adopted Paleo or some theory of Paleo like incorporating starches you aren't a lazy thinker...you just came to different conclusions for you.
Ok. Off the Dr. Bronner soap box.
I think it takes a lot of effort to let go of trust in the conventional authorities. Most of us who have attended public schools in the USA, and even in other countries have had the inquisitiveness beaten out of us (well figuratively), and have had conformity and obedience to authority as the norm. Perhaps not all of us are aware of the role of school, but I've always had a distrust of authority. Anyone can be right, or wrong, whether they wear a white coat and a stethoscope or not. The only way to be sure is to test.
Even studies can be incorrect (i.e. China Study), and it takes brave individuals who aren't afraid to debunk the mystique of the well respected to undo the damage. (Many thanks to Denise Minger!)
It's always good to understand why you do something or think in a certain way. You might, in the long run be proven wrong, but, when that happens, you learn something new and adapt.
Sticking to dogma is never a good idea. Especially if you don't fully understand the why behind it. After all, at one time, almost everyone agreed that Copernicus as "a fool who went against Holy Writ", and that Christopher Columbus was a suicidal maniac who was about to fall off the face of the earth into the abyss.
It's specialisation. We eat what the community grows, and that is now a global community. Even for HG, the social aspects of our species were critical to our development, and of course this very detail enabled the growth of civilisation. We have to rely on other people to do some of our thinking for us or else end up nervous wrecks paralysed by the modern world. Many of us may have had some sense that some detail or other could be improved upon, but it would be a mistake to think we independently came to any conclusions without some outside influence. I also get the impression many paleo folk were looking for ways to treat specific conditions, forced into re-evaluating their choices due to the failure of their SAD.
The Paleo diet and lfiestyle was not the product of some high-minded thought experiment, it was simply what was. And the natural end-point of any modern enlightened thinking is unlikely to be a reenactment of a particular historical period.
Well, a couple of points I didn't see brought up...
Conventional diets never worked for me because I didn't understand the "science", the basic chemical reactions in the body behind the diet. So the question "should I, or should I not eat this?" became a battle of will instead of a way of understanding my metabolic relationship with my environment (intake of all molecules, including oxygen through air, and release of energy through heat, and elimination of toxins). Paleo made that idea more obvious and simple to me, so no, I do not smoke now. I think critical thinking plays a role in success in that manner. I've always been more of a "but WHY?!" kind of person. Not really understanding things also makes self-justification really easy for me, in a bad way.
It works well for me because I can make my own decisions in general...Paleo seems to be a nice basis for making general lifestlye decisions without having to go look things up all the time. I can decide if something will strain my body or help it as a relatively quick and easy decision making process. This is calming to me.
Anyhow, I also agree with what everyone else said. Liked the perspective on the positive and necessary role of conformity.
Primal Salted Carmel Apple Crisp 4 Answers
Food while in Kenya 5 Answers
Maximum Efficiency Paleo/Primal 3 Answers