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(Science-Based Medicine)   Long-ago, all food was organic, healthy natural remedies were universal, obesity was rare, and people got lots of exercise. And they lived to be 35   (sciencebasedmedicine.org ) divider line
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6500 clicks; posted to Geek » on 22 Feb 2010 at 12:13 PM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-02-22 10:35:43 AM  
But man was in harmony with nature!
 
2010-02-22 10:37:18 AM  
...and people slept an average of 10 hours a day before Edison invented the lightbulb.
 
2010-02-22 10:42:56 AM  
Actually, most of the reason for that was a much much higher rate of infant and young childhood mortality than we have now. If you made it into adulthood, you probably were going to live to be 50, 60, maybe 70 years old, much as now.
 
2010-02-22 10:55:20 AM  
but, but Methusla!
 
2010-02-22 10:57:57 AM  
Exercise = bad

Obesity = good

Got it.
 
2010-02-22 11:03:03 AM  

jake_lex: eason for that was a much much higher rate of infant and young childhood mortality than we have now. If you made i


This. Also, there is not cure for cancer, so deal with it. You live long enough, you get cancer. Period.
 
2010-02-22 11:03:38 AM  
Only hippies eat organic foods and use natural remedies. So they should be outlawed. Also, vote republican.
 
2010-02-22 11:05:07 AM  
I can see how higher infant mortality would change mean life expectancy but I don't see how that would change the apparent ages determined from fossil evidence.
 
2010-02-22 11:11:35 AM  
Well, we no longer pee and poop in our water supply. I'd say that is progress.
 
2010-02-22 11:22:52 AM  

darkyn: I can see how higher infant mortality would change mean life expectancy but I don't see how that would change the apparent ages determined from fossil evidence.


Don't forget that violence was more common back in the day. If you killed a guy in the woods you were basically in the clear.
 
2010-02-22 11:23:44 AM  
Julius Caesar lived until he had an unfortunate run in with several knives at 66
Augustus Caesar was 75 when he died
Socrates was 71 until he had a drink that didn't agree with him
Aristotle was 61 when he stopped being...

Pretty much everyone who didn't make it out of infancy is unknown.

Average life expectancy presumes outliers.
 
2010-02-22 11:40:55 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: Pretty much everyone who didn't make it out of infancy is unknown.

Average life expectancy presumes outliers.


Don't forget childbirth, though. While natural childbirth in ideal; situations can be quite safe, it wasn't in mediaeval and early modern Europe. A childbearing woman didn't have a long life expectancy either, so they tended to pull down the average as well.

If you want to examine life expectancy for most of human prehistory, the best you can do is study surviving hunter gatherer societies.

According to this article (new window):

We argue for an adaptive life span of 68-78 years for modern Homo sapiens based on our analysis of mortality profiles obtained from small-scale hunter-gatherer and horticultural populations from around the world.

But hey, this is Fark. So it's not about learning more to answer a complicated question. It's a question of who's right and who's wrong, dammit!
 
2010-02-22 11:44:37 AM  
Mentat: But man was in harmony with nature!

I always laugh when someone says that in seriousness anymore. Such naivety is quite funny.
 
2010-02-22 11:47:52 AM  
35 was a mean age, brought heavily down from childhood mortality and infective diseases.

I.e. childhood vaccinations is the number one contributor to our increased lifespan - by far.
 
2010-02-22 11:48:25 AM  
Not that I'm a fan of "alternative medicine" (a term that is not defined in this "article"), but if you're going to attack somebody for being unscientific, it would help to have citations and examples of specific parties and what they're actually saying.

Also, if we're going to use life expectancies as indicators, it might help to break it out a little bit before you use the overall 77.7 years figure as a catch-all refutation of all possible criticisms of current agricultural practices. For example, what is the average lifespan of people regularly exposed to the pesticides used in a typical field?

In addition, how does a life expectancy figure measure against environmental damage and loss of resources associated from farming practices? I'm pretty certain that there are costs associated with that big-ass dead spot in the Gulf of Mexico that can't be negated by typing "LIFE EXPECTANCY LOL" at a message board.
 
2010-02-22 12:09:39 PM  

impaler: 35 was a mean age, brought heavily down from childhood mortality and infective diseases.


Yeah, average age is really a bad metric to use. People just want any excuse to not feel bad about being fat.
 
2010-02-22 12:13:47 PM  

Adman12: But hey, this is Fark. So it's not about learning more to answer a complicated question. It's a question of who's right and who's wrong, dammit!


More about who can troll the most responses and get the most thread time. For example:

impaler: 35 was a mean age, brought heavily down from childhood mortality and infective diseases.

I.e. childhood vaccinations is the number one contributor to our increased lifespan - by far.


Yes, but none of those people got the autism from vaccinations.
 
2010-02-22 12:21:17 PM  
Yeah, they also didn't have soap, or water filtration. (ala I_C_Weener)

They had no clue of how disease and infection spread.

The vast majority also did not work in office buildings in safe, air-conditioned little cubicles. They worked with hundred-ton machines in places with literally no safety precautions whatsoever.

I disagree that giving birth in a hospital is better than natural birth, but there is a huge difference between having a trained RN/midwife overseeing it and a hospital down the road if something goes wrong and giving birth in a barn with just the cows watching (see previous comment about infection.)

They didn't have access to the sheer amount of knowledge and information that we do. The downside is that all this information and knowledge has made us paranoid, rather than cautious and practical.
 
2010-02-22 12:21:35 PM  
LIFE EXPECTANCY LOL

*fish instantaneously repopulate*
 
2010-02-22 12:22:37 PM  

Adman12: If you want to examine life expectancy for most of human prehistory, the best you can do is study surviving hunter gatherer societies.


This. There are still bushmen living in Africa who are basically living in the way that humans were initially meant to live (or at least the system in which we evolved into). They live quite healthy and long lives barring an accident that modern medicine can solve. They also do, in fact, live in harmony with their surroundings. They have to. They have been living in the same area doing the same things for over 50,000 years at least.

There are obvious uses for modern medicine, but a lot of our current problems are caused by the fact that we have radically changed the style of living that we evolved into. The human species was not meant to just sit around all day eating 3 or 4 types of food in a day. End of story.
 
2010-02-22 12:23:22 PM  
But that was when humans rode brontosauruses to work and hunted pterodactyles and velociraptors for sport. And as we know, dinosaurs are very dangerous bedfellows.
 
2010-02-22 12:26:55 PM  

Barry McCackiner: There are obvious uses for modern medicine, but a lot of our current problems are caused by the fact that we have radically changed the style of living that we evolved into. The human species was not meant to just sit around all day eating 3 or 4 types of food in a day. End of story.


Needs to be repeated.
 
2010-02-22 12:27:49 PM  
Wow, didn't those people know health care is a basic human right?
 
2010-02-22 12:30:12 PM  
All food is organic, if you use the original scientific definitions, and not the new age hippie BS definition.

/and not everything that's scientifically organic, is considered food.
 
2010-02-22 12:30:36 PM  

I_C_Weener: Well, we no longer pee and poop in our water supply. I'd say that is progress.


But that's organic and natural...
 
2010-02-22 12:34:51 PM  
Goes to show that mean is just too susceptible to outliers. We really should start talking more about the median instead.
 
2010-02-22 12:36:00 PM  
Correlation does not equal causation.
 
2010-02-22 12:38:43 PM  
But...but...

BPA's!!
 
2010-02-22 12:39:35 PM  
I'm pretty sure researchers have quantified just how many years, on average, you lose when you're obese. Maybe being thin didn't help much back in the days when you were likely to die of cholera in your 30s, but today, it's bad for you, and that's something that has been demonstrated convincingly.
 
2010-02-22 12:39:49 PM  
So clearly, organic food and excercise were to blame - not the lack of proper health care or a steady food supply.
 
2010-02-22 12:40:09 PM  

CPT Ethanolic: This. Also, there is not cure for cancer, so deal with it. You live long enough, you get cancer. Period.


You can really see this in small pet animals - in the wild, they don't get cancer because they get eaten or die of injuries first. But kept in cages by humans and living the fat easy life, eventually your mice or whatever it is ALWAYS die of cancer. Always.
 
2010-02-22 12:40:11 PM  
Why do I get this immense feeling that no one actually read the article?

jake_lex: Actually, most of the reason for that was a much much higher rate of infant and young childhood mortality than we have now.


Archeological records aren't like mortality rating charts. They just look at how old the bone was when it died, and that average is 35. Childhood mortality of infants plays into it not at all.

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: Julius Caesar lived until he had an unfortunate run in with several knives at 66
Augustus Caesar was 75 when he died
Socrates was 71 until he had a drink that didn't agree with him
Aristotle was 61 when he stopped being...


"For most of human existence, according to fossil and anthropological data, the average human life expectancy was 35 years."

The Roman civilization was just a mere 3,000 years ago, during the peak of civilization. Human's have existed for some 200,000 years.

Wendy's Chili: Exercise = bad

Obesity = good

Got it.


Huh?
 
2010-02-22 12:41:03 PM  
SUCK IT health-minded people!
 
2010-02-22 12:42:23 PM  

Barry McCackiner: There are obvious uses for modern medicine, but a lot of our current problems are caused by the fact that we have radically changed the style of living that we evolved into. The human species was not meant to just sit around all day eating 3 or 4 types of food in a day. End of story.


Well, even forgetting about evolutionary time scales, a lot of more recent cultural diets also were invented in times when working meant a lot of physical labor. So yeah, people loaded up on huge meals of noodles and whatever else, but they didn't sit around in front of a screen all day. European diets, looking at you...
 
2010-02-22 12:42:38 PM  

GAT_00: I always laugh when someone says that in seriousness anymore. Such naivety is quite funny.


Harmony is possible when you're smaller than the whole. Humans, when under serious threat from bear, mountain lion, and locust problems that they can't prevent had to live more in harmony with nature. Stick out too much back then: you die. Then, when we figured out how to beat nature, we took the lead part. Sure all those things still could harm a human, but not the society as a whole.

Still working on that overcoming hurricanes/earthquakes technology. You win this time, nature.
 
2010-02-22 12:42:39 PM  
I just had some all natural, wild caught, organic tuna fish for lunch, with two all natural organic hard boiled eggs. God, I feel so guilt free and smug!!
 
2010-02-22 12:43:37 PM  

Barry McCackiner: a lot of our current problems are caused by the fact that we have radically changed the style of living that we evolved into


Well it is more pleasurable sitting in an air conditioned cube, knowing you have a ready food and water supply in your comfortable home then wondering, as you exhaust yourself looking for food, if today's the day dinner strikes back and catches you first while Ug up the road contemplates you with some nice fava beans because he covets your wife.

I'd say that trade is worth a few years off the end.
 
2010-02-22 12:46:07 PM  
People were thinner because they were malnourished. Not because they ran to work each day.
 
2010-02-22 12:46:21 PM  
I wonder how they used to deal with tooth decay. I would have died a couple of years ago if it hadn't been for clindamycin. So how did they deal with periodontal problems? Or even simple things like a collapsed lung?
 
2010-02-22 12:46:22 PM  
Let me ask you Organicrats a question: If processed food is so bad, then why does it taste so good?

Argument refuted, clowns. More proof that when it comes to debate, I make Ayn Rand look like George Bush.
 
2010-02-22 12:48:04 PM  
FTFA: And the belief that anything produced by evolution (or God, if you prefer) is surely going to be good.

Like blowfish, jellyfish, rattlestnakes, water moccasins, sharks, fleas, mosquitos, poison ivy, thistles???
 
2010-02-22 12:48:28 PM  

impaler: 35 was a mean age, brought heavily down from childhood mortality and infective diseases.


SCREW YOU HEALTH, Y'FARKING SONS OF ...

Infectious diseases, on the other hand. There's a different kettle of fish.

If you take a young modern man, give him his lack of exercise and fast food AND make sure he doesn't have access to even the most basic hygeine and modern medicine, I doubt he'd live much past 35 either.
 
2010-02-22 12:48:49 PM  
The ex post facto is strong in you, Luke.
 
2010-02-22 12:48:59 PM  

Mike_LowELL: Let me ask you Organicrats a question: If processed food is so bad, then why does it taste so good?

Argument refuted, clowns. More proof that when it comes to debate, I make Ayn Rand look like George Bush.


That actually got an audible laugh out of me. Well done.
 
2010-02-22 12:49:22 PM  
factoryconnection: Harmony is possible when you're smaller than the whole. Humans, when under serious threat from bear, mountain lion, and locust problems that they can't prevent had to live more in harmony with nature. Stick out too much back then: you die.

No, you know what we did? We killed the bears and mountain lions.
 
2010-02-22 12:49:30 PM  

impaler: 35 was a mean age, brought heavily down from childhood mortality and infective diseases.


This is bandied about an awful lot... I have no specific objections to the claim, but is there any reliable source for it?

=Smidge=
 
2010-02-22 12:50:59 PM  

itazurakko: Well, even forgetting about evolutionary time scales, a lot of more recent cultural diets also were invented in times when working meant a lot of physical labor. So yeah, people loaded up on huge meals of noodles and whatever else, but they didn't sit around in front of a screen all day. European diets, looking at you...


I see what you are saying. But in reality those meals were not invented because they helped people have more energy, they were invented because at the time you were very limited on what crops you had access to. Wheat/barley type of crops and maybe 1 fruit and maybe 2 vegetables at most. Modern farming (and I mean modern starting in ancient egypt and forward) has ruined our diet. Bushmen eat over 50 different food types/sources a day on average. Their diet is insanely diverse. Ours has been shrunk down purely because of food availability. It is getting better now, but in the past it was really bad. Nutrition and lack of diversity in diet is why people in lots of ancient societies were so short.

damageddude: Well it is more pleasurable sitting in an air conditioned cube, knowing you have a ready food and water supply in your comfortable home then wondering, as you exhaust yourself looking for food, if today's the day dinner strikes back and catches you first while Ug up the road contemplates you with some nice fava beans because he covets your wife.

I'd say that trade is worth a few years off the end.


Well you don't really know until you try it. If you asked your average cube dweller how happy they are on a daily basis and compared that to an average bushman, I would be willing to bet that the bushman is probably more content.
 
2010-02-22 12:52:43 PM  

ninjakirby: Why do I get this immense feeling that no one actually read the article?


TFA actually reads like a condensed Fark thread, with the person doing the condensing gainfully employed by the AMA and Monsanto.

That being said, I want to see more of a blow-up of this aging metric. They look at the fossil record of all the skeletons they chanced across in some prehistoric graveyard (I hope) and then average their age at the time of death. Wouldn't that include a bunch of dead babies, dead kids, and dead women struck down in their teens and 20s from childbirth? Does this figure of "35 years" discount all children?

Modern medicine has done wonders, just like the concurrent improvements in food, water, occupational, infrastructure and automotive safety over the last century. I'm all about vaccinations, routine physicals, and medical care when needed. However, as long as healthcare is a business, they'll be run based on the profit motive: keep the customers in the store and coming back as long as possible.

Treatment: good, as long as the afflicted isn't causing others to die quickly. Cure: bad. We can now thank them for an extra 10-15 years of life with 5-20 prescription pills/day, constant pain and discomfort, and generally living a sh*tty life for someone that is finally free of the yoke of a 9-5.
 
2010-02-22 12:53:18 PM  

indarwinsshadow: I wonder how they used to deal with tooth decay. I would have died a couple of years ago if it hadn't been for clindamycin. So how did they deal with periodontal problems? Or even simple things like a collapsed lung?


you died
 
2010-02-22 12:53:48 PM  

I_C_Weener: Well, we no longer pee and poop in our water supply. I'd say that is progress.


Chances are, even if you're not peeing and pooping in your water supply, somebody else upstream is.
 
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