I think the article’s author (Marlene Zuk) may have misinterpreted the precepts and/or goals of a Paleo/EFit lifestyle. Most adherents of this lifestyle realize (at least, I hope they do) that our mirroring of a Paleo diet is not undertaken in a mindless vacuum devoid of any thoughtful manipulation of “modern” variables. “Paleo” is a benchmark, yes; a launching pad. However, we adherents test out hypothesis against an array of hard measurables (in the way of blood tests, physical performance, lack of disease, etc.). And by all perceivable measures, our “way” has thus far been proven superior. Will a better method/lifestyle come along? Hey, I’m open to all ideas and will consider all possibilities — I wear no blinders, and I’m married to no single philosophy — but any “upgrade” had better be able to produce superior results to what we have achieved with the Paleo way. Build a better mousetrap, prove it to be such with sound science, and I’m in.
And then there’s this amusing blog post from shapely prose – a blog which, by the way, carries the following purpose line: urban, liberal, feminist, latte-drinking, overeducated, intellectual, unapologetically p.c. american patriots. I’ll forgo casting judgment as far as that is concerned, in lieu of a quick musing on the particular post in question.
My first thought is, that all concerned here need to define both the “rapid” — as in “rapid evolution” – as well as to what the specific degree of “evolution” is here, that we’re talking about. Those of the Paleo mindset readily acknowledge the “rapid” evolution, under the sharp dietary pressures precipitated by such things as the transition to agriculture, the cultivation of livestock and the widespread disappearance of certain species of fauna. Remember, however, that there are always biological trade-offs for every evolutionary advance. For instance, the ability by some to effectively digest the lactose found in dairy products does not come free of consequence. The immune system must still mount a defense to the novel (to our genome, at least) proteins found in dairy. This is just one example. There is a huge difference, in my opinion, between an organism’s mere surviving and that same organism’s thriving.
And I whole-heartedly subscribe to the notion that evolution does not stand still. It marches onward, in fact, in spits and starts – and, yes, at times it races ahead. It is wise, though, I believe, to consider what these terms are relative to. Racing ahead, leaps-and-bounds, leap-frogging – relative to what? 50, 000 years of human evolution has produced something like a .2% change in the human genome. Just keep that in mind when cruising the grocery store aisles.
So yes, the ladies are correct — evolution marches on. And I suppose that it is within the realm of consideration that in 50, say, or 100 thousand years, the human species will have evolved to the point of thriving on grains and HFCS, and that the human body will have morphed proportionally to the point of resembling a queen ant. That’s all fine and well, and far be it from me to stand in the way of those who choose to “take a needle for Team Human” in the advance of that evolutionary inevitability. And call me a selfish prick if you will, but I, for one, opt out of that noble pursuit. Just gimme a steak, some berries and leaves, and let me be with my selfish, caveman self.