Questions for 2/26/13

1) How do you think paleofantasies stem from a general nostalgia for the past, and how are they their own specific phenomena?

2) Bulliet spends a great deal of time talking about the rise of vegetarianism due to a post-domestic society. Why hasn’t a paleo lifestyle, almost acting as the antithesis of vegetarianism, arisen as well?

3) Does a malleable rate of change in evolution alter how we view Diamond’s geography theory? Could the rate of how animals were domesticated determine which societies achieved technological dominance first?

4) Do reindeer possibly demonstrate a ‘slower’ domestication process, explaining the various potential stages of domestication found within their species, or is such domestic potential static?

5) Can we envision a future where paleofantasies are more prevalent, especially in media, food culture, etc.?

6) Robb Wolf, a proponent of the paleo diet, suggests that early hominid activity does not dictate a healthy lifestyle. He says that ‘normal is rarely healthy,’ and that humans are evolved to operate in a constant state of disease. Does this inherently invalidate the arguments of any paleofantasy?

7) Has our process of artificial selection on domesticates sped up the rate of evolution within those species? Can we or have we ‘domesticated’ them quicker? Have we sped up the rate of evolution on ourselves through this relationship?

8) Proponents of the paleo diet specifically point to the dawn of the agriculture revolution as the decline of human nutrition. However, the ability for societies to achieve western ‘progress’ was originally built entirely upon the adoption of agriculture. Does this suggest a definite clash between how we live and how evolution intended us to live? Is the agricultural revolution the point where we ‘broke’ from other species and evolution (suggesting evolution had an intent)? Note: this is the thesis presented in the novel Ishmael by Dan Quinn):
“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will act as the lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.”

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