Author Topic: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard  (Read 20802 times)

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Offline PaleoPhil

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The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« on: October 05, 2009, 04:31:55 am »
One of the common arguments used against RPDs and Paleo diets in general is the the idea that few or no Stone Agers lived beyond the age of 35, 33, or even 30, and that their average lifespans increased when they adopted agriculture. This is an old canard, refuted by scientists and explorers long ago. An average lifespan of 33 years doesn't mean that nearly everyone died around that age, it means that many died in infancy and a significant proportion lived well beyond 33. According to multiple sources (see below for some), if you survived childbirth, infectious disease, accidents, wild animals and battles, you likely had a good chance of surviving well beyond 33, with some reaching their 80s and beyond.

The average lifespans of hunter-gatherers actually decreased, not increased, when they adopted Neolithic farming. Newer techniques of determining age from bones may further raise the average lifespan estimates for Stone Agers (Ward Nicholson, Longevity & health in ancient Paleolithic vs. Neolithic peoples: Not what you may have been told, http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/angel-1984/angel-1984-1a.shtml).

The later increases in life expectancy during the industrial era were mainly due to public health achievements such as better sanitation, safer food, effective systems of quarantine, immunizations and improved childbirth survival rates. The crucial fact to focus on is that the bones of those Stone Agers who did survive into middle and old age are generally free of evidence of the chronic diseases of civilization.

The lifespan fallacy is commonly believed to have arisen from the loose interpretation of some remarks in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, in which Hobbes was actually inspired by the war-shortened lives of Englishman during the Civil War of the 17th century, not Stone Agers: “the life of man solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short" (Leviathan, 1651, ch. 13).

Stephan Guyenet, PhD researched the issue (Mortality and Lifespan of the Inuit, Saturday, July 5, 2008, http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/07/mortality-and-lifespan-of-inuit.html) and found that if one excludes infant mortality the first-contact Inuit “probably had a similar life expectancy” to the Russians that first recorded their health statistics, which is amazing given that the Russians had already infected them with contagious diseases to which they were not resistant.

This one should erase nearly any doubts: Dr. Michael Eades reviewed the Cassidy Study of nutrition and health in agriculturalists vs. hunter-gatherers that shows that the life expectancies and infant mortality of hunter-gatherers were superior to those of agriculturalists when major non-dietary variables were constant (Nutrition and health in agriculturalists and hunter-gatherers, by Michael Eades, MD, 22 April 2009, 2:21 Uhr, http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/low-carb-diets/nutrition-and-health-in-agriculturalists-and-hunter-gatherers/#more-2877)


See also:

>   "Paleo Longevity Redux, Letter to the Editor", By Jeff D. Leach, Public Health Nutrition: 10(11), 1336–1337, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=1363376
>   Loren Cordain, PhD, “FAQs,” http://thepaleodiet.com/faqs/

I have more info, including more on the history of this fallacy, if anyone's interested.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 09:18:58 am by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline invisible

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 07:19:50 am »
Another pint, bone remains of paleolithic people resemble today's 30 year olds, hence people thought paleo people died at 30, yet they actually died at old age with the bones looking like those of today's 30 year olds because of lack of degeneration. The idea was discussed here before.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2009, 09:22:56 am »
Another pint, bone remains of paleolithic people resemble today's 30 year olds, hence people thought paleo people died at 30, yet they actually died at old age with the bones looking like those of today's 30 year olds because of lack of degeneration. The idea was discussed here before.
Yeah, I think that's what this excerpt I have in my files is getting at:

> Longevity & health in ancient Paleolithic vs. Neolithic peoples: Not what you may have been told, by Ward Nicholson, http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/angel-1984/angel-1984-1a.shtml:  <<Special update as of April 1999: LATE-BREAKING ADVANCES IN PALEOPATHOLOGICAL AGE-ESTIMATION TECHNIQUES have suggested that studies based on earlier techniques (as in the paper discussed here) may underestimate the age at death of older individuals and overestimate that of younger individuals. It's possible the range of estimation errors involved could be substantial. Thus, the profile of age-distribution results in compilation studies like the one discussed below may be flattened or compressed with respect to "true age.">>
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline aariel

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2009, 12:07:53 pm »
I agree with general principle of this post.

And I'd like to add that even if a paleo diet resulted in slightly lower life expectancy,
I believe that life would be of far higher quality.
I think most people would rather live to 75 and be free of cavities, not need braces,
never break a bone or have a hip replacement or have to inject insulin than
live to 85 and have to deal with all these problems of physical degeneration.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 06:15:16 pm »
The big problem is that the "Nasty brutish and short" theory is far more solid than the whole "Noble Savage" nonsense. For example, it's true that mean lifespans were shorter during the early Neolithic but there is the fact that Neolithic communities had to endure much higher levels of communicable disease inapplicable to diet, simply because they lived in much more populated communities and were therefore more subject to infection via plagues/epidemics. As we've seen throughout history , as soon as native tribes were exposed to diseases from settled communities, their average lifespan dropped considerably, and these events happened long before they took on eating the foods of those settled societies - more to the point, their native diets did NOT protect them from such epidemics.

And as for the claim that the skeletons of 80 year-olds etc. could compare to the skeletons of people in their 30s on a different diet, that's just absurd. There's nothing wrong with  notions of stronger skeletons of Palaeo peoples but we shouldn't make claims re impossibly perfect bone-health or near-immortality(as one other poster has claimed, elsewhere).

I have heard a vague claim that a few people might have survived to old age in Palaeo societies due to being supported by their fellows, but this seems to apply more to people with important roles(eg:- shamans).
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 11:56:27 am by TylerDurden »
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Offline pfw

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2009, 01:11:14 am »
Why is it a choice between one obviously wrong choice and another obviously wrong choice? Nasty, Brutish and Short versus Noble Savage is a choice between a dragon and a unicorn. Both are obviously myths.

Here's a study of modern hunter gathers and their modal age of death. You can see that most of those who survive childhood live into their 60s and 70s. They lag the modern developed world by 5-10 years depending on the comparison made.


alphagruis

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2009, 01:55:07 am »
Why is it a choice between one obviously wrong choice and another obviously wrong choice? Nasty, Brutish and Short versus Noble Savage is a choice between a dragon and a unicorn. Both are obviously myths.

Here's a study of modern hunter gathers and their modal age of death. You can see that most of those who survive childhood live into their 60s and 70s. They lag the modern developed world by 5-10 years depending on the comparison made.



I agree heartily. Good link.

Now, since current completly dominant ideology is the "Nasty, Brutish and Short" one it makes some sense to contend a little bit for the opposite extreme "Noble Savage" myth. For it is quite clear IMO that Tyler's statement would come by far closer to the truth if it were formulated the other way around, namely:

 The "Noble Savage" theory is globally far more solid than the whole "Nasty brutish and short" nonsense.

Even if modern man's  avg lifespan is artificially made higher by the massive use of drugs, medically assisted pregnancy and childbirth etc.  


  

« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 02:11:21 am by alphagruis »

William

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 04:38:01 am »
The only real evidence AFAIK is the bones of paleolithic man, and all they show is no aging, and a line in the Sumerian creation epic translated by Z. Sitchin, which shows that the lifespan of a more ancient people was 250,000 years.

Everything else is drivel, fantasy, etc. and so forth.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 05:54:52 am »
Why is it a choice between one obviously wrong choice and another obviously wrong choice? Nasty, Brutish and Short versus Noble Savage is a choice between a dragon and a unicorn. Both are obviously myths.

Here's a study of modern hunter gathers and their modal age of death. You can see that most of those who survive childhood live into their 60s and 70s. They lag the modern developed world by 5-10 years depending on the comparison made.

I agree that neither side is the whole story and native tribes' lives could neither have been full of 100% misery or full of 100% rapturous joy, admittedly, not being prone to obesity etc. would have helped. That said, even that study cited admits that statistics are definitely vague for at least several tribes(and possibly for all others as well - for example, longevity myths are very common for more primitive regions/tribes in the world, where birth-certificates and other records etc. were unheard of, allowing people with the same given name as their father to outrageously claim they were 120 when they were only 70 etc.). The Caucasus is one example from Stalinist times and there were similiar dodgy longevity claims for the Hunza and other tribes.

And, of course, any comparison between modern hunter-gatherers and Palaeo tribespeople is fraught with danger as Palaeo peoples lived in different environments/conditions. Unfortunately,Fallon of the WAPF has deliberately made that mistake by falsely claiming that Palaeo peoples practised more Neolithic tribal habits such as salt, among other issues.
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Offline TylerDurden

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2009, 06:00:39 am »
Now, since current completly dominant ideology is the "Nasty, Brutish and Short" one it makes some sense to contend a little bit for the opposite extreme "Noble Savage" myth. For it is quite clear IMO that Tyler's statement would come by far closer to the truth if it were formulated the other way around, namely:

 The "Noble Savage" theory is globally far more solid than the whole "Nasty brutish and short" nonsense.

Unfortunately for you, Weston-Price and Fallon have made so many outrageously exaggerated or false claims re the supposed perfect health of native tribes that no scientist takes them seriously any more re the "Noble Savage" theory. But I've already done enough posts detailing Price's flaws.

Also, just because something is non-mainstream doesn't mean we should adopt the non-mainstream approach simply because our diet is a little radical(to put it mildly!). What I mean is that a lot of people got discouraged in the past because they just came across a multitude of positive testimonials re raw but knew of no mainstream stuff supporting those claims. By finding scientific mainstream studies which showed that claims re toxins in cooked foods did indeed exist, I was able to provide  more socially acceptable info.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 06:56:42 pm by TylerDurden »
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Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 08:29:41 am »
I agree with general principle of this post.

And I'd like to add that even if a paleo diet resulted in slightly lower life expectancy,
I believe that life would be of far higher quality.
I think most people would rather live to 75 and be free of cavities, not need braces,
never break a bone or have a hip replacement or have to inject insulin than
live to 85 and have to deal with all these problems of physical degeneration.
I couldn't have said it better myself, Aariel.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

alphagruis

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 07:46:52 pm »
Unfortunately for you, Weston-Peice and Fallon have made so many outrageously exaggerated or false claims re the supposed perfect health of native tribes that no one takes them seriously any more re the "Noble Savage" theory. But I've already done enough posts detailing Price's flaws.

Also, just because something is non-mainstream doesn't mean we should adopt the non-mainstream approach simply because our diet is a little radical(to put it mildly!). What I mean is that a lot of people got discouraged in the past because they just came across a multitude of positive testimonials re raw but knew of no mainstream stuff supporting those claims. By finding scientific mainstream studies which showed that claims re toxins in cooked foods did indeed exist, I was able to provide  more socially acceptable info.

Science independently of Weston Price or Sally Fallon has already clearly destroyed the " Nasty, Brutish and Short " ideology. Period.
 
I certainly disagree with WP on many issues but most of your posts about WP's flaws did'nt convince me and i'am apparently not the only one. So i suggest: let's just forget WP if you don't like him. I had actually exactly the same opinion before i ever heard anything about WP. Mainly just because abandoning the neolithic cooked foods had so a tremendous effect on my health and life quality, the really important things, as pointed out by aariel. A good deal of experimental reality is always the best antidote to mythologies or ideologies.

Of course non-mainstream ideas may be wrong and even almost always are. Yet all major scientific breakthroughs WERE initially non-mainstream and the relevant ideas always had a hard time before they were accepted and became eventually mainstream. The question of cooked food toxins being shown sufficiently harmful to abandon  cooking is not yet mainstream. Works done on this subject are restricted to a very small number of groups such as Helen Vlassara's one and are quite recent, though some older works occasionnally point to the problem. Moreover the results are usually challenged by other "food scientists" pointing out the advantages of cooking such as destruction of parasites or increase in "bioavailability" of nutriments such as lycopene in tomatoes, destruction of antinutrients etc etc. Present mainstream ideology is at best that cooking is a "necessary evil".
Yet i agree with you that the above mentionned studies are wellcome. Now, if he wants to but cultural bias usually prevents him to do it, every chemist or physicist (i am one) can  tell immediately from a theoretical point of view that the fragile biomolecules must be very strongly affected by heat and tasting raw and cooked meat for instance confirms that without any laboratory tests. And also one can convince oneself that the overall effect on health must be by far negative. Fortunately Burger (and others non-mainstream thinkers) made this reasonning 40 years ago long before recent works and this saved my life. I could't wait until mainstream science, maybe some day in the future, will change his paradigm.         


Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 05:40:33 am »
Science independently of Weston Price or Sally Fallon has already clearly destroyed the " Nasty, Brutish and Short " ideology. Period.

Thanks for clearing that up.

I personally think life expectancy isn't much of a good indication of health. It's quite a mystery to me, looking at various people and seeing when they die or how long they live. My grandfather is 90, barely eats anything, and what he does eat is milkshakes, Chinese food (noodles), pasteurized juices and fruits. NO MEAT. He cannot eat hardly any meat because he has this problem with his throat closing up on him. He is stressed out and angry often because he owns a business and still goes there every day to run it, but isn't a good business owner. He gets no exercise and hasn't for decades. He gets almost no sun, and as far as fresh food I think it's almost nothing, occasionally some fresh fruit like grapefruit. Sometimes my mom makes him cooked eggs (grocery store eggs, nothing to write home about) and toast.

What I'm saying is that he is doing everything wrong in terms of what most on this forum, including most in mainstream health, thinks is wrong for longevity. Yet he's still alive, and actually gets up every day (7 days a week) to do stuff. Meanwhile plenty of people on paleo diets, or raw paleo diets (tribes people) die way earlier.

In fact I have yet to meet an old person who knows anything about paleo nutrition in my life. I remember one old person who talks about healthy diet, but her idea of that is stuff like diet soda. She's in her 80's.

Offline aariel

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2009, 01:51:32 pm »
Thanks for clearing that up.

I personally think life expectancy isn't much of a good indication of health. It's quite a mystery to me, looking at various people and seeing when they die or how long they live. My grandfather is 90, barely eats anything, and what he does eat is milkshakes, Chinese food (noodles), pasteurized juices and fruits. NO MEAT. He cannot eat hardly any meat because he has this problem with his throat closing up on him. He is stressed out and angry often because he owns a business and still goes there every day to run it, but isn't a good business owner. He gets no exercise and hasn't for decades. He gets almost no sun, and as far as fresh food I think it's almost nothing, occasionally some fresh fruit like grapefruit. Sometimes my mom makes him cooked eggs (grocery store eggs, nothing to write home about) and toast.

What I'm saying is that he is doing everything wrong in terms of what most on this forum, including most in mainstream health, thinks is wrong for longevity. Yet he's still alive, and actually gets up every day (7 days a week) to do stuff. Meanwhile plenty of people on paleo diets, or raw paleo diets (tribes people) die way earlier.

In fact I have yet to meet an old person who knows anything about paleo nutrition in my life. I remember one old person who talks about healthy diet, but her idea of that is stuff like diet soda. She's in her 80's.

Yeah it's like the cliche about the 100 year old woman. When asked why she lived so long, she says it's the cigar and shot of whiskey she has everyday. In general, individual differences are greater than groups differences. So I think longevity varies greatly from one person to another.  Also keep in mind that life expectancy is controlled by some odd factors, like infant mortality. Japan has one of the highest group life expectancies, but when you look at the data most of the effect is because they have one of the lowest infant mortality rates.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2009, 05:16:03 pm »
Well, I would certainly disagree with the notion that science has proved anything substantial re the Noble Savage theory. Indeed, the Noble Savage theory was already debunked given multiple critiques of Rousseau, well before Weston-Price came onto the scene centuries later - which is one of the many reasons he is largely  ignored by the scientific mainstream.I realise, naturally, that many RVAFers venerate Price like some sort of largely infallible shaman and Price's unorthodox anti-mainstream approach is highly seductive and seemingly rebellious to a group of people who've generally been somewhat dismayed by the results of the traditional  Western medical approach. But I do think we should subject Price to the same level of wary scrutiny as we do Aajonus.

Re  studies done on toxins in cooked foods:- That's where you're mistaken. When multiple journals such as New Scientist and major online websites(such as the BBC), routinely report major studies which confirm that well-cooked diets are unhealthy being full of toxins, then one can safely state that toxins in cooked foods is now a mainstream idea. The best that pro-cooked-food-advocates can claim is the bacteria/parasite issue and that is being increasingly viewed with skepticism as the Hygiene Hypothesis theory is increasingly confirmed. The claim re cooking improving digestion is only solid as regards the issue of non-palaeo foods like grains(with plenty of studies confirming the negative effects of non-palaeo foods) and quickly falls apart when one checks studies confirming that raw meat is better digested than cooked etc.

The way I see it, science always gets things right in the end, by trial and error, so it's safer to trust in it than in Shangri-La-like mythical accounts of perfect health in native tribes derived from Price et al.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 06:38:21 pm by TylerDurden »
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alphagruis

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2009, 07:13:53 pm »

Re  studies done on toxins in cooked foods:- That's where you're mistaken. When multiple journals such as New Scientist and major online websites(such as the BBC), routinely report major studies which confirm that well-cooked diets are unhealthy being full of toxins, then one can safely state that toxins in cooked foods is now a mainstream idea.

Toxins in "overcooked" food is a mainstream idea, yes. But not yet the idea that homo sapiens should abandon cooking altogether. I wish i were mistaken but i don't think mainstream science is about to demonstrate that raw is a key concept in nutrition. A few years ago, i had some e-mails exchanged with Vlassara where i suggested her to compare rodents on a really natural raw diet and on the usual commercially available processed chows rather than on more or less heated chows (as her group usually does to change the amount of ingested dietary AGEs) since one might expect even much more striking differences between the really "raw" and the "cooked" mice. Apparently the suggestion met little interest and i'm afraid that such a basic experiment is neither underway nor even planned anywhere.

Up to now, Vlassara, cautiously, just warns against ingestion of fried, broiled etc foods and promotes steaming and boiling instead.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070424155559.htm

  
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 07:22:30 pm by alphagruis »

Offline aariel

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2009, 06:05:03 am »
Toxins in "overcooked" food is a mainstream idea, yes. But not yet the idea that homo sapiens should abandon cooking altogether. I wish i were mistaken but i don't think mainstream science is about to demonstrate that raw is a key concept in nutrition. A few years ago, i had some e-mails exchanged with Vlassara where i suggested her to compare rodents on a really natural raw diet and on the usual commercially available processed chows rather than on more or less heated chows (as her group usually does to change the amount of ingested dietary AGEs) since one might expect even much more striking differences between the really "raw" and the "cooked" mice. Apparently the suggestion met little interest and i'm afraid that such a basic experiment is neither underway nor even planned anywhere.

Up to now, Vlassara, cautiously, just warns against ingestion of fried, broiled etc foods and promotes steaming and boiling instead.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070424155559.htm

  

This is yet another example I've been talking about for quite some time. Sure the control group will set the baseline of good or poor health and the test group can then reflect difference or not based on the study design. But when you are trying to study health, it seems crazy not to feed the control an entirely natural, organic diet. So for rats and mice it would be raw food, not highly processed kibble. I wish someone would publish the study about feeding two groups of rats Corn Flakes or the box the Corn Flakes came in and demonstrate the the box is healthier than the Corn Flakes. That would really blow some minds (assuming it's repeatable)

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2009, 07:59:13 am »
Yet all major scientific breakthroughs WERE initially non-mainstream and the relevant ideas always had a hard time before they were accepted and became eventually mainstream.
Yes, for example, Charles Darwin was at first harshly ridiculed when he proposed biological evolution via natural selection and he wasn't a thoroughly credentialed scientist when he began developing his theory, and some of the people who made the greatest breakthroughs were perceived by some as eccentrics or social misfits (such as Einstein).

He cannot eat hardly any meat because he has this problem with his throat closing up on him. He is stressed out and angry often
I've known two elderly people who had the throat-narrowing problem and coincidentally they both ate more wheat than avg. It's just speculation, but could it be related to inflammation brought on by a pro-inflammatory, antigenic diet?

I've also noticed that my stress and anger levels were higher when I ate grains, dairy, nightshades, squashes, soda pop, fruit juices, tropical fruits (such as lots of bananas), etc. Despite having a more stressful job now, my stress levels are now much lower.

Well, I would certainly disagree with the notion that science has proved anything substantial re the Noble Savage theory.
The aim of this thread is not to promote a "noble savage theory," only to examine the persistant avg lifespan argument that has been used to criticize the RPD and more ancient diets in general. Feel free to defend this anti-raw-Paleo argument if you wish, but please do not try to change the topic to noble savagery. You are free to create your own topic on that if you wish.

Toxins in "overcooked" food is a mainstream idea, yes. But not yet the idea that homo sapiens should abandon cooking altogether.
Quite correct. Tyler's support of the crucual importance of all-raw eating was already skewered by a blogging physician, despite the doctor's stated preference for only lightly cooking his meats, and I think if Tyler tried to propose it to other physicians and scientists he would get an equally or more negative response. As a matter of fact, I challenge Tyler to prove just how much of a "consensus" there is behind raw dieting by proposing his diet as optimally healthy to scientists and physicians and see how they respond. A thread could be created to report the responses. Seems only fair to back up the claim of consensus behind all-raw rather than expect us to accept it on face value.

Tyler and I agree, I think, on the benefits raw eating has provided for us. Perhaps we partially agree on the subject of this thread, too: Tyler, who do you think had longer average lifespans, the early Stone Agers during the time they were eating all-raw Paleo diets or later people who ate cooked neolithic diets heavy in grains?
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2009, 05:11:21 pm »
The aim of this thread is not to promote a "noble savage theory," only to examine the persistant avg lifespan argument that has been used to criticize the RPD and more ancient diets in general.

The Noble Savage theory is directly related to the above notion as the average lifespan argument is just a very small   part of the whole absurd notion that savage tribes lived lives of idyllic bliss.And, judging from a certain other poster's claims re immortality(!) in Palaeo tribes, I'd say my stance is strongly justified.

Quote
Quite correct. Tyler's support of the crucual importance of all-raw eating was already skewered by a blogging physician, despite the doctor's stated preference for only lightly cooking his meats, and I think if Tyler tried to propose it to other physicians and scientists he would get an equally or more negative response. As a matter of fact, I challenge Tyler to prove just how much of a "consensus" there is behind raw dieting by proposing his diet as optimally healthy to scientists and physicians and see how they respond. A thread could be created to report the responses. Seems only fair to back up the claim of consensus behind all-raw rather than expect us to accept it on face value.
You're missing the point. I'm well aware that nutritionists in particular have a disdainful view of raw. I was talking about the scientific concensus, as viewed from the actual results of scientific papers, not individual scientists and their opinions.Most organisations aren't going to promote raw let alone big corporations due to the short  shelf-life of raw foods. Similiarly, this doctor seems to be merely creating his own dietary niche and blithely ignoring any scientific data that contradicts his view - for example, dismissing the ample scientific data against dairy /the evidence of the harm done to human health by heat-created toxins - in that extract given as an example, he doesn't even bother providing scientific examples of his stance on those two subjects, hardly the sign of a true scientist, but it is the sign of a sensationalist who's trying to carve out his own peddled diet.

In short, it's only kooks like him who are happy to peddle highly processed foods, most people in the mainstream recognise that diet sodas and well-cooked meals are bad for you(even if they still eat such). There is a rearguard action to defend the notion that lightly-cooked meals are "not that bad", but when one looks at the actual scientific data one finds invariably that even that issue is suspect, given the evidence. So, like I said, on a scientific basis, the battle is already half-won, in terms of scientific papers published, in that it is becoming scientifically untenable to defend the consumption of well-cooked (animal) foods. Fighting the pro-raw diet on a cultural, as opposed to scientific basis, is another matter, as we have thousands of years of cooked diet in our cultures and people don't necessarily adopt healthier diets even if they know they are healthier.

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Tyler and I agree, I think, on the benefits raw eating has provided for us. Perhaps we partially agree on the subject of this thread, too: Tyler, who do you think had longer average lifespans, the early Stone Agers during the time they were eating all-raw Paleo diets or later people who ate cooked neolithic diets heavy in grains?
Depends on the era. One can safely state that from 9,000 to 2,000 years ago lifespan was shorter.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 05:41:22 pm by TylerDurden »
"What is the point of growing up If you can't be childish sometimes..." - Tom Baker as Dr Who.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2009, 05:46:03 pm »
Toxins in "overcooked" food is a mainstream idea, yes. But not yet the idea that homo sapiens should abandon cooking altogether. I wish i were mistaken but i don't think mainstream science is about to demonstrate that raw is a key concept in nutrition. A few years ago, i had some e-mails exchanged with Vlassara where i suggested her to compare rodents on a really natural raw diet and on the usual commercially available processed chows rather than on more or less heated chows (as her group usually does to change the amount of ingested dietary AGEs) since one might expect even much more striking differences between the really "raw" and the "cooked" mice. Apparently the suggestion met little interest and i'm afraid that such a basic experiment is neither underway nor even planned anywhere.

Up to now, Vlassara, cautiously, just warns against ingestion of fried, broiled etc foods and promotes steaming and boiling instead.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070424155559.htm

So far, there have been standard dietary recommendations to avoid broiled meats, baked foods, fried foods , barbecued foods/grilled foods  etc. The only types of cooking that are routinely recommended are boiling, steaming and poaching and that's usually it. So, I'd say that's a major step in our direction. And when I put forward the results of these studies, all the pro-cooked advocates can do is either damn the evidence(without providing any remote scientific results which disprove them) or they weakly claim that it doesn't matter as they're only lightly cooking their foods, anyway.Claiming that lightly-cooked foods are "less worse" than well-cooked foods is not a solid argument in favour of cooking  but it's the one they invariably use, in the end.

So, in short, scientifically speaking, we're well on the way to proving our point re raw. There's still more scientific data needed on the function of enzymes in raw foods, and suchlike, but we're doing very well.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 05:14:14 pm by TylerDurden »
"What is the point of growing up If you can't be childish sometimes..." - Tom Baker as Dr Who.

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2009, 08:40:55 pm »

 Depends on the era. One can safely state that from 9,000 to 2,000 years ago lifespan was shorter.

Well, i'm happy to read this from you and i'm inclined to believe that it is true. Though it is not easy IMO to provide clear cut scientific proof.  

Just notice that if this is indeed true it is by no means in line with the " Nasty, Brutish and Short" ideology. Nor is the largely absent osteopororis, dental cavities etc in paleomen.

As Raw Kyle recalled, lifespan isn't much of a good indication of health. The recent probably longer lifespan reached by neolithic man in the last century can be largely traced back to the massive use of medical crutches that just prevent people from dying but by no means makes them "healthy" at least as "healthy" as paleomen apparently were. And by far, even if paleomen's health was certainly not perfect. Nor was their diet since they already ate part of their food cooked at least in the upper paleolithic. But we RPD should always keep in mind that even that part of cooked paleofood had never the dramatic consequences on health we observe with neolithic foods.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 08:47:23 pm by alphagruis »

alphagruis

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2009, 10:24:31 pm »
. So, like I said, on a scientific basis, the battle is already half-won, in terms of scientific papers published, in that it is becoming scientifically untenable to defend the consumption of well-cooked (animal) foods. Fighting the pro-raw diet on a cultural, as opposed to scientific basis, is another matter, as we have thousands of years of cooked diet in our cultures and people don't necessarily adopt healthier diets even if they know they are healthier.


Sure, there is scientifically absolutely no doubt about the adverse effects of cooking but you underestimate the resistance of the scientific community to accept this reality. Scientists are like other people with their prejudices and cultural bias and it is actually not possible to distinguish a cultural and a scientific basis. Science and culture are basically entangled, unfortunately.  

I bet that scientific consensus in favor of a 100% raw diet will not be reached soon.  

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2009, 07:53:41 am »
The Noble Savage theory is directly related to the above notion as the average lifespan argument is just a very small   part of the whole absurd notion that savage tribes lived lives of idyllic bliss.And, judging from a certain other poster's claims re immortality(!) in Palaeo tribes, I'd say my stance is strongly justified.
Refuting the avg lifespan canard is not the same thing as making claims of blissful perfection in all things during the Stone Age. I have not argued for a noble savage theory in this thread, nor has anyone else here. To help clarify that, I'll openly and soundly reject and denounce this "Noble Savage theory," as you describe it, with its claims of "idyllic bliss." I do not believe that Stone Agers were inherently perfectly noble and I don't believe that utopia is possible. I hope that puts that ridiculous straw man to rest once and for all.

While it's harder to refute the points that people actually make than it is to knock down straw men, I recommend the former, because it will make your posts more interesting and perhaps more convincing. Your straw men arguments don't seem to be convincing anyone. Based on some other of your posts, I know you are capable of better.

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You're missing the point. I'm well aware that nutritionists in particular have a disdainful view of raw. I was talking about the scientific concensus, as viewed from the actual results of scientific papers, not individual scientists and their opinions.
I know what you mean, but it's not a realistic way of representing a "scientific consensus." People consent, not papers. A scientific consensus is not YOUR controversial interpretation of other people's papers which they would not agree with. A consensus is when the majority of scientists agree with a particular general interpretation of the accumulated studies. I guarantee you that the majority do not agree with your view of what the consensus is, therefore your so-called consensus bears no relation to reality. Right now the consensus seems to be that high heat cooking on grills and frying pans, especially with fat (such as deep fat frying), is unhealthy and that people should instead steam, bake, stir-fry, boil, cook low-and-slow, etc. Neither you nor I agree with this consensus and trying to pretend that our view that all-raw is best is the consensus doesn't make it so. If you don't believe me, then accept my challenge. If you can find a single scientist, JUST ONE, who accepts your interpretation that the vast majority of studies prove that an all-raw diet is optimal, then I will take your claim seriously.

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Similiarly, this doctor seems to be merely creating his own dietary niche and blithely ignoring any scientific data that contradicts his view -
I was very critical of his post about "the raw crowd" myself, but I wouldn't go that far. Given that he OK'd Lex's all-raw diet, he has now spoken more positively, at least in part, about RPD than anyone other than Ray Audette. If he's OK with Lex's diet, then I must have badly misjudged him and I should followed my normal rule of seeking "first to understand, then to be understood." I'm hoping to do that in the future--with any luck I'll get some time to read more of his blog this weekend. How much of it have you read so far?

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In short, it's only kooks like him ...
His disagreeing with you (or me, for that matter) doesn't make him a kook. I regret having reacted very negatively to his critique of RPD before more thoroughly investigating. You're helping me to realize that more vividly by giving me a third-party perspective on someone else doing the same thing. Given that he is one of the few "experts" on planet earth who have said anything good at all about someone doing RPD, we should probably try to smooth things over rather than throw oil on a fire. He could provide us with helpful info like he did for Lex.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 08:04:02 am by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2009, 08:42:42 am »
Well, i'm happy to read this from you and i'm inclined to believe that it is true. Though it is not easy IMO to provide clear cut scientific proof.  

Just notice that if this is indeed true it is by no means in line with the " Nasty, Brutish and Short" ideology. Nor is the largely absent osteopororis, dental cavities etc in paleomen.

As Raw Kyle recalled, lifespan isn't much of a good indication of health. The recent probably longer lifespan reached by neolithic man in the last century can be largely traced back to the massive use of medical crutches that just prevent people from dying but by no means makes them "healthy" at least as "healthy" as paleomen apparently were. And by far, even if paleomen's health was certainly not perfect. Nor was their diet since they already ate part of their food cooked at least in the upper paleolithic. But we RPD should always keep in mind that even that part of cooked paleofood had never the dramatic consequences on health we observe with neolithic foods.
Yes, Nassim Taleb, the author of the bestselling The Black Swan--and someone who tries to follow a (cooked) Paleo diet and who very cordially responded to a question I emailed him--wrote something similar:

"Life expectancy: Another problem. I keep hearing the fiction that medical practitioners doubled our life expectancy. Life expectancy increased because of 1) sanitation, 2) penicillin, 3) drop in crime. From the papers I see that medical practice may have contributed to 2-3 years of the increase, but again, depends where (cancer doctors might provide a positive contribution, family doctors a negative one) . Another fooled-by-randomness style mistake is to think that because life expectancy at birth was 30, that people lived 30 years: the distribution was massively skewed: the bulk of the deaths came from birth & childhood mortality. Conditional life expectancy was high ... just consider that Paleo men had no cancer, no tooth decay, almost no epidemics, no economists, and died of trauma. Perhaps legal enforcement contributed more than doctors to the increase in life."
  --Nassim Taleb, http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/notebook.htm

I would qualify his comments a bit, replacing "no" cancer, tooth decay, etc. with "little or no...." Just because we can't point to evidence of such doesn't mean it was necessarily completely nonexistent, though the evidence does indicate these things were extremely rare.

I like his joke about "no economists."
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

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Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2009, 10:10:57 am »
I think it more likely that the increase in life expectancy was due to increased meat consumption, after the various revolutions and peasant rebellions.
Bread really was the staff of (short, malnourished) life until then, for all but the aristocracy who hogged the meat for themselves and their enforcers and tax collectors.

Idyllic bliss might be a reasonable description of a life without the curses of our times. No taxes! No religion, or other pollution! No politicians, no tinkers, tailors, soldiers, spy, rich man, poor man, Indian chief or any other.
Acquiring food and little else, which is considered fun by modern man.

 

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