T Nation

Is The Human Body Designed Fairly?

I’ll be blunt here because this is a heavy issue I want off my chest. Not literally, but it’s still weighing on me, and I wonder if anyone else thinks this way.

Is it fair how the body responds to diet, exercise, training, etc? The evolutionist says yes, because it’s natural, and the creationist says yes, since God did it. However, the creationist might say we’ve declined due to sin, and the evolutionist might say we’ve devolved due to artificial constraints on diet, such as industrial civilization and factory farming, or actually any form of agriculture, really.

Here’s one thing. A hour working in the gym will give better results than working all day, 8+ hours. Overtraining, duh. But, is this fair? Why should someone who works harder get punished for working harder? Who designed this!?

Here’s another one. Why is soy so harmful? Phytoestrogens aside, it’s loaded with healthy compounds, protein, and vitamins. It’s the perfect food to feed a human population exploding out of control. Maybe there’s a reason for the estrogen? Maybe it’s nature’s way of telling us that it’s time to restart evolution by killing the weak and getting our population under control? If we don’t do it, the soy will do it for us, and we have to live with a lower quality of life in the mean time, for generations! Yet, it can still sustain us nutrition wise, so the collapse won’t be too hard. Is this planned?

Another one. Most sociologists say that Westerners eat far too much meat, and if it were fairly distributed around the world, it would only be eaten once a month or so, which is in line with evolution and how cavemen ate. Is bodybuilding even NATURAL!?! How could it be if meat was a rare treat to caveman, and still a rare treat to most humans today? And why must the best substitute for meat have phytoestrogens in it?! It simply isn’t fair.

I can’t find any philosophy that can fix this. Creationism says that we should have plenty of children to fill the earth, but why would God punish us with cheaper, low quality food and environmental destruction for obeying Him? Why would He create a food, soy, that hurts us? Obviously, overpopulation IS a factor!

However, evolution also fails. If meat was a rare treat for cavemen, why haven’t we evolved to consume soy to get necessary protein without suffering the consequences? If evolution were true, we should be able to! Both evolution and creationism fail to explain this!

Finally, why won’t traditional diets match with what evolution has intended, if they have been followed for countless thousands of years? It’s always been a tradition to eat 3 meals a day, just like getting 8 hours of sleep. It’s almost part of human nature, yet we now know that 6 smaller meals is healthier. Soy has also been eaten for as long as history. How could we have been wrong for thousands of years!?

Have our bodies really gone through unbelievable change in the last few hundred years? Is this punctuated equilibrium in action? Am I crazy?

Why is there air?

I think we both smoke the same stuff, because I thing of things like this alot as well.

I like pancakes.

I’m not sure we have been doing things the way we are now for thousands of years…

Also, is 6 meals a day healthier, or more optimal for certain goals?

Also again, I believe soy was fermented and then eaten for thousands of years, which of course changes the nature of the food output and makes it okay.

However, I don’t mean to criticize, it’s pretty cool to think about these things sometimes… just don’t let it drive you nuts!

[quote]Higher Game wrote:
I’ll be blunt here because this is a heavy issue I want off my chest. Not literally, but it’s still weighing on me, and I wonder if anyone else thinks this way.

Is it fair how the body responds to diet, exercise, training, etc? The evolutionist says yes, because it’s natural, and the creationist says yes, since God did it. However, the creationist might say we’ve declined due to sin, and the evolutionist might say we’ve devolved due to artificial constraints on diet, such as industrial civilization and factory farming, or actually any form of agriculture, really.

Here’s one thing. A hour working in the gym will give better results than working all day, 8+ hours. Overtraining, duh. But, is this fair? Why should someone who works harder get punished for working harder? Who designed this!?

Here’s another one. Why is soy so harmful? Phytoestrogens aside, it’s loaded with healthy compounds, protein, and vitamins. It’s the perfect food to feed a human population exploding out of control. Maybe there’s a reason for the estrogen? Maybe it’s nature’s way of telling us that it’s time to restart evolution by killing the weak and getting our population under control? If we don’t do it, the soy will do it for us, and we have to live with a lower quality of life in the mean time, for generations! Yet, it can still sustain us nutrition wise, so the collapse won’t be too hard. Is this planned?

Another one. Most sociologists say that Westerners eat far too much meat, and if it were fairly distributed around the world, it would only be eaten once a month or so, which is in line with evolution and how cavemen ate. Is bodybuilding even NATURAL!?! How could it be if meat was a rare treat to caveman, and still a rare treat to most humans today? And why must the best substitute for meat have phytoestrogens in it?! It simply isn’t fair.

I can’t find any philosophy that can fix this. Creationism says that we should have plenty of children to fill the earth, but why would God punish us with cheaper, low quality food and environmental destruction for obeying Him? Why would He create a food, soy, that hurts us? Obviously, overpopulation IS a factor!

However, evolution also fails. If meat was a rare treat for cavemen, why haven’t we evolved to consume soy to get necessary protein without suffering the consequences? If evolution were true, we should be able to! Both evolution and creationism fail to explain this!

Finally, why won’t traditional diets match with what evolution has intended, if they have been followed for countless thousands of years? It’s always been a tradition to eat 3 meals a day, just like getting 8 hours of sleep. It’s almost part of human nature, yet we now know that 6 smaller meals is healthier. Soy has also been eaten for as long as history. How could we have been wrong for thousands of years!?

Have our bodies really gone through unbelievable change in the last few hundred years? Is this punctuated equilibrium in action? Am I crazy?[/quote]

I just deleted a long response to this…all I’ll say is you must be 17 years old and just finished smoking a joint.

At the end of the day none of that stuff matters at all.

The dietary and sleep contraints are due to a variety of social pressures.

Our genes are virtually the same as our ancestors’. They did not eat soy. They ate a lot of meat, fruits, and vegetables.

I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but I suggest you find new sources.

Is it fair that I’m so awesome? Probably not. But I’m happy with it and I like to share my awesomeness with all of you. It’s only fair.

To whoever said they like pancakes - I make awesome buttermilk pancakes with real maple syrup every Saturday morning. Just more awesomeness from me.

DB

Don’t boggart that joint, biatch!

[quote]Deserteaglle wrote:
I just deleted a long response to this…all I’ll say is you must be 17 years old and just finished smoking a joint.

At the end of the day none of that stuff matters at all.[/quote]

Agreed. When I was 17 and smoking a ton of pot I thought I was a philosopher king. Turns out I was just bored and killing time. However, I did find my own answers to existential and anthropological questions like these through reading books by Jared Diamond (Pulitzer prize winner, in fact) and Stephen Jay Gould. Stop thinking and get to reading.

A serious flaw in your logic: it took out bodies 100,000+ years to evolve into the form they are now, optimized for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but about 2,000 years ago we started agriculture and in the last 100 years we have changed our environment and nutrition radically. If we were to keep everything the same for the next 100,000 or so years we would evolve into a being optimized for this industrialized lifestyle (assuming we don’t thwart natural selection with modern medicine and science).

[quote]dswithers wrote:
A serious flaw in your logic: it took out bodies 100,000+ years to evolve into the form they are now, optimized for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but about 2,000 years ago we started agriculture and in the last 100 years we have changed our environment and nutrition radically. If we were to keep everything the same for the next 100,000 or so years we would evolve into a being optimized for this industrialized lifestyle (assuming we don’t thwart natural selection with modern medicine and science).[/quote]

Serious flaws in your logic: there is substantial evidence of domesticated agriculture and water management from as early as the 6th century BC. In fact, they are accepted as very real by anthropologists and as potential reasons for the formation of early states. And remember, just because we don’t have evidence of something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Moreover, we have indications of agricultural domestication earlier than that (goes hand-in-hand with the theory of agriculture and water management as a means of cultural aggregation and development… and it’s why there are chiefdoms that date thousands of years before states), but they are contentiously debated.

Alright, let’s have a look…

[quote]Higher Game wrote:
I’ll be blunt here because this is a heavy issue I want off my chest. Not literally, but it’s still weighing on me, and I wonder if anyone else thinks this way.

Is it fair how the body responds to diet, exercise, training, etc? The evolutionist says yes, because it’s natural, and the creationist says yes, since God did it. However, the creationist might say we’ve declined due to sin, and the evolutionist might say we’ve devolved due to artificial constraints on diet, such as industrial civilization and factory farming, or actually any form of agriculture, really.[/quote]

The evidence in this paragraph doesn’t support what you seem to imply with your question. You ask whether it’s fair that the body responds positively to proper diet and training. The answer, whether you think it to be ‘fair’ or not (still not sure why you used that term), is that the body is biologically designed to respond to a stimulus a certain way. It responds to training by building muscle, if proper nutrients and rest are in place. If responds by eating itself if those things aren’t in place. It’s trying to survive, because it’s an organism. That’s what organisms do.

Whether you believe that design comes from God, from evolution, or both, is up to you. If we’ve declined due to sin, that’s a moral fault, and not a physical one is it not? Plus, I fail to see your evidence that man has physically declined since our transition from pre-historic man. I doubt many cavemen could squat 600 lbs. That simply wasn’t important to them. Survival was. Again, our bodies adapt to their surroundings and stimuli. If some modern men are beginning to waste away, that would again seem, as you pointed out, as largely a consequence of a poor modern diet (trans-fats, etc.). However, that would hardly seem a ‘devolution’ as you term it. Seeing as life span has increased steadily as we’ve progressed (yes, even life span while not assisted by medication), I find it difficult to find any supporting evidence for your point there.

The notion that working longer, or working ‘harder’ in this sense, should equal more gains is a man-made one, not one that was preternaturally instilled in all walks of life. If a caveman happened upon a carcass and was fed by it, he was still fed. If a caveman had to spend all day chasing down an animal to get the same amount of meat, he too was fed. But the first caveman was better off. He had the opportunity to store extra energy, or spend energy on other endeavors. The natural state is to spend as little energy as possible in sustaining oneself, such that stored energy can be used in times of need. Think of it as a prehistoric version of “train smarter, not longer.”

Modern day culture, through a lack of such constraints, has enabled people to become obese, as they constantly have a supply of readily availble food, but don’t necessarily have to burn calories to get it. Again, while I agree with it personally, the notion that he who works hardest should be rewarded most is not natural in the physiological sense, it’s socially, or religiously taught.

Holy freakout Batman! First, I understand that soy is not ideal for men, as it does possibly lower testosterone levels. But I don’t remember it being labeled the next great plague. Consider this, are all, or even most soy products completely natural? No, they’re not. Would it seem natural to you to live solely off soybeans? I doubt it. It’s not nearly a perfect food, in so much as there is no perfect food. There’s a reason we have a variety of meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. on the planet. You need to use a variety of them to have a quality nutrient profile. That’s natural, and common sense. And I think you shot your own theory in the foot. Soy likely won’t kill anyone unless that’s all they consume. That kinda makes it hard for it to be the principal cause of any ‘collapse.’

Cavemen ate meat as often as they could acquire it. It had more to do with their ability to catch it than any sheer scarcity. And the world has never been truly equitably divided in terms of foodstuffs. Heard of deserts? Antarctica? Any scenario of worldwide redistribution of something like meat is silly, and hardly “natural.” As to your other point, no, bodybuilding isn’t necessarily ‘natural.’ Does that make it bad? I don’t think so, though like most things it can be taken too far. It’s simply a form of self-improvement enabled by a lack of constraints (energy into other endeavors since the need to survive is satisfied). In that sense, it is as natural as any other non-essential pursuit man might undertake.

God hasn’t punished anyone with cheaper, lower quality food and environmental destruction for obeying him. Those things we have done ourselves. The impetus? Well, they’re are several. Desire for power, greed for wealth, convenience, among others, are partly responsible. Furthermore, “filling the earth” isn’t the same thing as “overfilling,” agreed? For your final point, again about soy, perhaps it can be dangerous. You know what? It’s not going to hurt you in small doses. And you know what else? It’s hardly the only food on this planet, even among the natural ones, that doesn’t have bad properties if eaten in excess.

This paragraph is almost too fraught with faulty logic. I’ve already discussed the meat ‘scarcity,’ so I won’t repeat myself. And what is your fascination with soy? You are aware that its super-prevalence today is largely a man-made phenomenon right? You keep mixing that up with God, evolution, and nature. And even if evolution was/is the principal ‘culprit’ here in that we haven’t evolved to where soy is perfect for us, you’re ignoring the fact that evolution can take millennia. Why would you expect it, if it were ‘supposed’ to happen, to have already done so? Adaptation may happen more quickly, evolution does not.

Well, here you’re just wrong. 3 meals a day isn’t natural, it’s a by-product of the agrarian (and later industrial) working schedule. Big breakfast to sustain through work of the morning, lunch to refuel for work into early evening, dinner because time is available. Early men were mostly scavengers and hunters, they ate whenever and however frequently they could. The 3-meal-a-day practice was a human decision based on current economic factors. It still persists today.

Ugh, again with the soy. Look, if you eat soybeans or their oils in small amounts, you’ll have little to no problems. It’s when they constitute a major part of your diet that issues arise. And again, that’s true of virtually everything! Try eating only chicken, or only lettuce, or only peanuts. You’ll run into problems as well.

I think you’ve severely over-reacted to something you read about soy. Either that, or you went deliberately pseudo-philosophical to make someone respond. If that’s the case, well done. Otherwise, relax, the world’s not ending just yet.

Why do I feel I just wasted an enormous amount of time?

Dammit, last waxing philosophical post I respond to.


Nothing is fair. There are no rules.

Now put your head under a pillow and cry.

Fuck the whole concept of “fair”.

[quote]ovalpline wrote:
Deserteaglle wrote:
I just deleted a long response to this…all I’ll say is you must be 17 years old and just finished smoking a joint.

At the end of the day none of that stuff matters at all.

Agreed. When I was 17 and smoking a ton of pot I thought I was a philosopher king. Turns out I was just bored and killing time. However, I did find my own answers to existential and anthropological questions like these through reading books by Jared Diamond (Pulitzer prize winner, in fact) and Stephen Jay Gould. Stop thinking and get to reading.

[/quote]

Could I interest you in the top shelf of my bookcase then…lololol. I really don’t know what I’m supposed to do with all of them now, but I hesitate to really sell them. I guess I can tell people I have an extensive library. Maybe I just like to see a book of Zen right next to Nietsche.

[quote]Higher Game wrote:
Is it fair how the body responds to diet, exercise, training, etc? The evolutionist says yes, because it’s natural, and the creationist says yes, since God did it. However, the creationist might say we’ve declined due to sin, and the evolutionist might say we’ve devolved due to artificial constraints on diet, such as industrial civilization and factory farming, or actually any form of agriculture, really.[/quote]

Nothings really fair, things just “are”. I don’t think you can really “de-evolve”, you just adapt to best fit into the circumstances around you at the give point in time. Like one of the other posters wrote if everything stayed constant for the next 100 000+ years we would evolve to be better suited in that particular type of world.

[quote]
Here’s one thing. A hour working in the gym will give better results than working all day, 8+ hours. Overtraining, duh. But, is this fair? Why should someone who works harder get punished for working harder? Who designed this!?[/quote]

An hour working in the gym will give better results for the average person. There are other factors such as job, nutrition, stress, family, that its not feasible to train for long periods of time.

However, you can adapt to training for hours at a time. Take for example all of the manual labor jobs in the early 1900’s many jobs consisted of digging or carrying heavy items for shifts of 8-12 hours long, the people who worked these jobs were used to it after a while and it was “natural” for them.

Also what about elite athletes and special operations forces during their training. They often are “overtrained” but they build up to it and eventually their bodies become accustomed to the high workload.

[quote]
Here’s another one. Why is soy so harmful? Phytoestrogens aside, it’s loaded with healthy compounds, protein, and vitamins. It’s the perfect food to feed a human population exploding out of control. Maybe there’s a reason for the estrogen? Maybe it’s nature’s way of telling us that it’s time to restart evolution by killing the weak and getting our population under control? If we don’t do it, the soy will do it for us, and we have to live with a lower quality of life in the mean time, for generations! Yet, it can still sustain us nutrition wise, so the collapse won’t be too hard. Is this planned? [/quote]

Soy isn’t that harmful and besides no one ever forced man to eat soy, there are lots of foods available to be eaten. Besides there are lots of other things that can be ingested which will cause the body harm.

[quote]
Another one. Most sociologists say that Westerners eat far too much meat, and if it were fairly distributed around the world, it would only be eaten once a month or so, which is in line with evolution and how cavemen ate. Is bodybuilding even NATURAL!?! How could it be if meat was a rare treat to caveman, and still a rare treat to most humans today? And why must the best substitute for meat have phytoestrogens in it?! It simply isn’t fair.[/quote]

You could say meat was a rare treat, but your reasoning would have to be changed. It was only a rare treat if/when they found it. If there were many animals around to be hunted and everytime they were hunted they were able to bring back an animal to eat that’s not a rare occasion. On the otherhand though, if animals were hard to come by because of location or weather or other circumstances, then whenever they did find meat to have, it could be considered a rare treat.

[quote]
However, evolution also fails. If meat was a rare treat for cavemen, why haven’t we evolved to consume soy to get necessary protein without suffering the consequences? If evolution were true, we should be able to! Both evolution and creationism fail to explain this! [/quote]

Once again, if every person ate soy regularily in their diet for the next 100 000+ years, or if that was the only available protein source, then we would eventually evolve so as to better utilize it as a food source. But since we don’t eat it or need to eat it often that isn’t the case.

[quote]
Have our bodies really gone through unbelievable change in the last few hundred years? Is this punctuated equilibrium in action? Am I crazy? [/quote]

Not really, and yes you are crazy. I don’t feel like typing anymore.

Try reading: The Making of the Fittest; DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by: Sean B Carroll, it’s a good informative read and should help you to answer some of your questions.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Nothing is fair. There are no rules.

Now put your head under a pillow and cry.

Fuck the whole concept of “fair”.[/quote]

If life was fair we would all be able to do this.

But then again, our society would deteriate because none of us would leave our bedrooms anymore.

I don’t know about that. There’s something about women that just can’t be replaced by auto-fellatio. I can think of a few things actually.

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:
Why is there air?[/quote]

Exactly.

To the O/P: Speaking from an evolutionary point of view, many things just ARE. So to tie this in to your lifting 8 hours a day example - whether something is fair or not is irrelevent. Our bodies have evolved so they are best suited (most “fit”) for survival in a given situation. Lifting for 8 hours a day has never been advantagous for whatever reason, so we have not evolved to cope with such demands as they have not been necessary for survival.

For the human body to be designed “fairly” would require that evolution has direction or a meaning, for why an orgnaism has evolved the way it has. This isn’t the way it works. Evolutionary fitness is whatever is most succesfful in a GIVEN ENVIRONMENT to enhance survival.

A million years ago it wasn’t planned with any foresight that in time you will want to lift weights for 8 hours a day. You are the end result of what has survived best through the ages.