Discussions of ‘The Paleo Diet’

Robb Wolf wrote "The Paleo Diet."
Robb Wolf wrote "The Paleo Diet."

The Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) Department presented Paleolithic nutrition expert Robb Wolf as part of their seminar series for the spring semester.

The seminar, “Darwinian Medicine: Maybe There IS Something to this Evolution Thing” attracted a full audience on Monday, Feb. 27 in Lecture Center 100.

Wolf is a former research biochemist and one of the leading experts in Paleolithic nutrition.

“Robb Wolf is a world-renowned expert and health and nutrition. He is a New York Times best-selling author,” Assistant Professor of History Hamilton Stapell said.

Wolf is the author of “The Paleo Diet.” The book takes a look at the “ancestral health” movement. This movement focuses on thinking about nutrition and exercise in terms of what our bodies were “designed” to do under ancestral conditions.

“The basic idea is that modern human environments — with large-scale societies, agriculture and advanced healthcare — are evolutionarily new, and our bodies did not evolve under these conditions,” Glenn Geher, director of the EvoS program and chair and professor of the Psychology Department, said. “Thinking about the conditions under which humans did evolve — and matching our diets and exercise regimens to those conditions — helps us achieve healthier lives.”

Darwinian Medicine takes human evolution into account. Geher said this approach looks at bodily processes and symptoms from the evolutionary perspective.

“Instead of simply ameliorating symptoms, this approach asks, ‘Why is this symptom typical of our species?’” Geher said.

Beginning in the fall of 2007, the EvoS program aims to show how relevant evolution is across academic disciplines. Geher said he believes that the program continues to spearhead the international evolutionary studies movement.

Currently, EvoS has nearly 40 minors and nearly 80 students signed up for EVO 301 (Evolutionary Studies Seminar) each spring.

“We’ve brought in some of the top minds worldwide on the topic of evolution for more than five years now and bringing in Robb Wolf will help us continue to maintain our reputation as one of the premier interdisciplinary evolution programs worldwide,” Geher said.