Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Peter Turchin on the “Dark Side of Cultural Evolution”

Posted 18 May 2012 / 0

Social Evolution Forum Peter Turchin “The Dark Side of Cultural Evolution

I love the evolutionary nuance unravelled in this post: both the idea of “staged traits” and the strong assertion that traits are produced by networks of genes are critical subtleties often ignored by evolutionary hypotheses.

I am a bit skeptical, however, about the assumption by Turchin that the Paleo diet is the right one for older folks. Although experimenting on oneself is not necessarily a bad way to test out deduced optimal behaviors, I just wonder about Turchin’s deductions: are we really optimized in old age for what our very distant ancestors ate, or are we just less than optimal at older ages. One need go to neither the Kurzweil caloric restriction nor the Paleo diet extremes in order to lower one’s diet-related health issues.

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Cultural Evolution, Mismatch theory

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