Saturday, August 13 • 10:40am - 11:20am
Chemophobia, Appeal to Nature and Paleo Puritanism

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When researchers of the Paleolithic diet first considered modern health-outcomes, they proclaimed strong evidence and unsentimental analysis. This rigour belied distortions based on the researchers' semiotic norms: the suggestions of “lean meat” and plenty of polyunsaturated fats, for example, just “happened” to reflect the 1980s milieux in which these researchers lived. As the diet has popularised, these meme “contaminants” have led to a full-blown fever of the Appeal to Nature fallacy, an inclination towards neo-Puritanism, an adoption of the Noble Savage trope and a co-option of the Prelapsarian yearning that pervades much of western culture. An analysis of some of the contradictions and strains in modern Paleo prescriptions and attitudes will be discussed, concrete examples of where these can cause actual harm will be suggested, and a logic “tool-kit” will be proposed to slice through vague health claims to reveal the truth beyond any beguiling just-so story.

avatar for Nick Mailer

Nick Mailer

After obtaining a degree from the University of Leeds in English and Philosophy, Nick co-authored the first book in the UK on the education possibilities of the Internet. He co-founded The Positive Internet Company, UK's premier open-source managed services organisation. He also founded... Read More →

Saturday August 13, 2016 10:40am - 11:20am MDT