Thursday, December 21, 2017

High Bar Squat Vs. Low Bar Squat

Why I don't do the low bar squat.

High bar squat or low bar squat, which is better?  That is the question many strength trainees ask and here I will explain why I favor the high bar squat.

I became interested in this question once I resumed training barbell squats in October 2017 after years unable/unwilling to do them due to injuries. As the title indicates, after doing some research, thought and experimentation with the two types of squatting, I have decided that the high bar squat has advantages for strength training and bodybuilding. Although I generally like Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength book and program, I think the high bar squat is a better choice for strength training and bodybuilding than the low bar squat that he recommends, for reasons given below.

Before diving in, let me emphasize that squatting for strength training may differ from squatting in order to lift as much weight as possible for competition. I argue that for building strength in the thighs and hips, the high bar squat is preferable to the low bar squat. However, for lifting as much weight as possible to win a powerlifting competition, the low bar squat might be best, at least for some people.

Why do we squat? To build full range strength and muscle size in the hips and thighs, particularly the front thighs, consisting of the quadriceps femoris. So, which builds greater full range strength in the hips and quadriceps, the high bar or low bar squat?

Continue reading here.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Monotheism The Unsurpassed Scourge and Scandal by Ramakrishna Puligandla | The Argument for Polytheism

In this video I read the full text of an essay written by philosopher and physicist Ramakrishna Puligandla, my mentor for my master's degree in philosophy.

Monotheism is often claimed to be the most profound religious insight, supposedly trumping our ancestral, primal polytheism, but in this essay Dr. Puligandla argues – actually, demonstrates – that the dogma of monotheism is profoundly illogical, false in fact and evil in consequences, while polytheism is profoundly logical, true in fact and benign in consequences.

I Reclaim Squatter's Rights (and other strength training updates for thi...

Cross Rib Roast and Ancestral/Primal Diet Rant

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dr. Ted Naiman on Blood Tests, Diabetes, Obesity, Carbohydrate and more ...

Ted Naiman, M.D., a former vegetarian who received medical training at the Seventh-Day Adventist Loma Linda University, discusses the most important metrics for tracking your health and disease risk, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and exercise.

Naiman says he considers waist:height ratio the most important test, followed by, in order of utility and importance: fasting glucose, triglyceride to HDL ratio, and fasting insulin.

Waist-to-height ratio is a free test of your insulin level.  You can do it at home.  All you need is a tape measure.  For the past few months, I've measured my waist almost every day.  The smaller your waist relative to your height, the lower your insulin level and greater your insulin sensitivity.

Fasting glucose can also be obtained at home with a glucometer.  You can purchase a home-use glucometer for less than $50.

Triglyceride:HDL ratio is a blood measure of insulin level and sensitivity.  You will need to get a blood test for this.  In the Phoenix valley, you can get blood tests from Healthwaves very inexpensively.  A complete lipid panel is only $25.  Similar services are available in other cities.  Naiman suggests getting your triglycerides as low as possible and your HDL as high as possible.

If you simply won't accept anything other than a direct test of your insulin level, you can order a fasting serum insulin test.

If you have a small waist, normal glucose, low triglycerides, and high HDL, you don't need to test your serum insulin.

When I measured my waist girth in September 2014, when I was eating a vegan plant-based diet according to appetite, it was 33.5":

By 2016, I realized that I wasn't going to get lean eating a low-fat whole foods plant based diet to satisfaction, which was generally about 2500 kcal per day and 15-20% of energy from fat.  I had tried restricting to 10% fat, but I was hungry constantly and would eat even more total calories, closer to 3000.  I resolved to restrict my food intake to 2100-2200 kcal per day lose the fat I didn't want.  I kept my plant protein intake high (100+ grams per day) because it helped reduce my appetite.  By late November, 2016,  my waist girth had reduced to about 31.5 inches when I took this photo:

However, I didn't think I was going to ever get my waist down below 31" as it had been when I was in high school, because I often had bloating from intestinal gas due to my high fiber intake, and I couldn't comfortably restrict my food intake to any greater degree for long enough to make a leaner condition sustainable.

Then I got the results from my Nov 25, 2016 blood test:

My globulin was below the normal range, suggesting possible dietary protein malabsorption or deficiency, despite eating at least 100 g of plant protein daily.  My phosphorus was below normal range, suggesting I was not getting adequate phosphorous from the whole foods vegan diet; I hypothesized this was due to the high levels of phytate in the grains and beans I was eating daily.  Total cholesterol was 154, but my triglycerides (78) were higher than my HDL (60).  I had 30% more triglycerides than HDL.

Although I had been having cravings for animal protein for several months prior to this test, I was trying to satisfy myself by eating large amounts of legumes, tofu, tempeh, and plant-based meat analogues.  I stuck with the vegan diet until March 2017, when I decided I needed to follow my highly evolved sensory guidance, not an ideology.  I then began eating some meat, and cutting out grains and beans, but still ate a lot of fruit, especially dates, and potatoes.  Since I was still eating a lot of fiber, sugars and starches,  I still had significant bloating.

In May of 2017 I started restricting carbohydrate to less than 100 g/d, but otherwise ate as much as I needed to feel satisfied.

As months passed, I found I preferred how I felt and functioned when I ate no more than 50 g carbohydrate per day.  This practically eliminated abdominal bloating.

For a some weeks, I did not monitor my caloric intake on a daily basis, because I wanted to regulate my food intake using only my senses of appetite, taste and satisfaction along with my mental and physical performance.  I ate as much as necessary to feel energized and satisfied.  My sparse Cronometer records show I ate as little as 2100 kcal on some days, as much as 2800 kcal on other days, the lower intakes occurring on more sedentary days and the higher intakes on more active days.

On June 2, 2017 I found my waist was below 31," near 30.75" for the first time since I was in high school:

Since then my waist has reduced to and remained stable at 30.5 – 30.625" on most mornings, and has occasionally dipped below that, while my total body muscle mass has steadily increased.  My diet is high in protein (25-30% energy), fat (60-65%), and cholesterol (1400 mg or more daily), and low in carbohydrate (generally not more than 50 g per day, and less than 10% of total energy intake).

Meanwhile, on June 22, 2017 I had another blood test.  My triglycerides remained at 78, but my HDL increased to 110.  Now I have 40% more HDL than triglycerides.  My globulin recovered to the normal range, my phosphorus almost recovered to the normal range.

From July 2017 forward, I have been eating according to appetite, and my Cronometer records show my kcalorie intake has either been either equal to or greater than my calculated expenditure on the vast majority of days.  Through September I was averaging about 2700 kcal, which is estimated to be about 350 kcal above my daily requirement for weight maintenance.  From July until the end of September I continued to lose body fat and gain muscle.  I took these photos of my waist at the end of the day on September 5, 2017:

Compare these two to the photo above from November 2016.  I am leaner and carry more muscle mass now on an ad libitum VLCHFHP animal-based diet than I was then on a high protein, high carbohydrate plant-based diet with calorie-restriction.

If Naiman is correct – and I think he is – this indicates that my chronic insulin level was significantly higher when I ate a plant-based diet, than it is now.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Dr. Ted Naiman Discusses Diet

Dr. Ted Naiman, M.D., discusses the impacts of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrate) on blood sugar and insulin levels (i.e. glycemic index and load), insulin resistance vs. insulin sensitivity, naturally selected human metabolic adaptations to prehistoric diet (wild foods), our likely maladaptation (from an evolutionary perspective) to foods relatively recently introduced (on an evolutionary time scale) to the human menu, and how this all may explain why the many diseases of civilization rarely or never occurred among hunter-gatherers.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Do High Fat Diets Support High Testosterone Levels?

Does a high saturated fat diet support high testosterone compared to a low-fat diet?  
You might assume that the idea that a high saturated fat diet supports high testosterone originates with promoters of high-fat, animal-based diets, and you'd be wrong. In fact promoters of low-fat whole foods plant-based diets have embraced this idea and used it to promote abstention from saturated fats and animal products.  
Research providing evidence that reducing total and saturated fat intake reduces testosterone levels OR makes androgens less available for action is not very difficult to find, because this has been proposed by proponents of low-fat diets as a mechanism by which low-fat and plant-based diets might prevent hormone-related cancers. 
Many rank-and-file followers of low-fat whole foods plant-based diets appear unaware that leading medical advocates of such diets frankly assert that high-fat and animal-based diets support high testosterone levels in comparison to their proposed low-fat and plant-based diets.
For example, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which promotes a low-fat vegan diet as a prevention for hormone-related cancers, asserts that a low-fat diet will reduce your sex hormone levels. 
Continue reading here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Demigod Body Project Progress Report #1

High Cholesterol Diet For Building Muscle: Is It Safe?

Is it safe to eat a high cholesterol diet to build muscle?  
In my video "Old School Post-Training Nutrition" I cited research suggesting that a high cholesterol diet may help build muscle.  However, due to widespread belief in the lipid hypothesis and the cholesterol scare, some people wonder whether it is smart to "sacrifice" low serum cholesterol for the sake of building muscle mass.  Some of these people suggest that increasing muscle mass has little or no benefits for health or life expectancy, and thus suggest it is irrational to trade cardiovascular health for what they believe is a merely cosmetic change to one's physique.  Are they right?
Continue reading this post on my website, here.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Is the U.S. becoming a One Party state?

Is the U.S. is becoming a One Party state, like the former Soviet Block?  It seems that increasingly only one party affiliation and set of views – the "liberal" one – is tolerated or acceptable, at least among those who control and deliver education and the mainstream media. Increasingly, academia, media, and public education are controlled by the One Party. This means advancement, entry and employment in these fields is controlled by One Party.   Its a kind of "soft" (or perhaps not so soft) thought control. Those who express views not approved by the gate keepers to graduation or employment just don't get good grades, don't get hired, or they may get fired, for having heretical views.  The attitude of "You're not welcome here" may also simply discourage any people with alternative views from even applying to work in fields dominated by the One Party.

Is it really desirable to have our educational system – from kindergarten to graduate school – as well as our media controlled by people who all belong to One Party?  How is this different from the Soviet or National Socialist systems where all education and media was controlled by One Party? 
Main points of this video along with documentation:

25% of sociologists identify as Marxists. Among sociologists, liberals outnumber conservatives 44:1.

Liberal or leftist professors outnumber conservatives 12:1. In 1968 it was only about 3:1.

Liberal or leftist professors of history outnumber conservatives 33:1.

In 2009, only 6% of U.S. scientists identified as Republicans. 55% identify as Democrat.

More than 90% of public school teachers vote Democrat. 79% identify as Democrat.

Out of all reporters for MSM, only 7% identify as Republican.

“while the majority of journalists described themselves as moderate, they were clearly to the left of the public.”

Among journalists, editors, reporters, donors from journalism, 96% donated to Democrat party.

Fascism is a collectivist ideology. "As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. The word derives from fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power: a tied bundle of rods with a protruding ax."

Almost all early fascists were Marxists. “Nazism” is short for National SOCIALISM. (Why don't the advocates of socialism acknowledge this?) Hitler was a socialist who based his collectivism on nationality; Marx, Lenin and Stalin based their socialism on class.

Can a Keto Diet Treat Cancer?

From a new article on  Can a Keto Diet treat Brain Cancer?

"Taking into account other types of cancer — including lung, breast, pancreatic, prostate and melanoma — a total of 23 clinical trials are currently registered at that are investigating the ketogenic diet as an adjunct to standard cancer therapy. Over the last decade, research investigating the ketogenic’s diet role in basic cancer research and in emerging therapies has burgeoned, with more than 170 studies or theoretical papers currently in the research literature. The number is increasing each month."

Why is there so much research on ketogenic diets for cancer, not so much on high carbohydrate diets (grain-based, macrobiotic, vegan, etc.)? Simply because it is a fact that cancer cells are glucose-dependent whereas healthy cells are not, so restricting glucose will harm cancer cells but not healthy cells.

The only way to get a metabolic effect similar to a ketogenic diet while eating a high carbohydrate diet like the usual grain-based macrobiotic or vegan diet is to severely restrict food (calorie) intake so that you rapidly lose body mass, forcing your body to get most of its energy from animal fat, i.e. the fat on your own body. I think this explains why most if not all reports of some success in controlling cancer with plant based diets (whether macrobiotic, raw, vegan, etc.) indicate that the subject has a dramatic loss of body weight during the "healing" phase.

The problem with a carbohydrate based diet for cancer management is that you can't starve yourself forever. At some point you have to start eating a sufficient number of calories to maintain health and function of non-cancerous tissues. If you do this with a glucose-rich diet such as the grain-based macrobiotic diet, you will recreate the conditions that favor the glucose-hungry cancer cells.

I hypothesize that this is why cancer has emerged in and even taken the lives of several prominent promoters of the grain-based macrobiotic diet, including among the Kushi family. 
Michio Kushi, promoter of the grain-based macrobiotic diet, and author of The Cancer Prevention Diet, which advocated a grain-based diet for prevention of cancer, died at 88 years from pancreatic cancer after a bout with colon cancer.

Michio's wife Aveline and daughter Lily both died after developing cervical cancer. As discussed in the linked article, cervical cancer is primarily linked to HPV, which according to conventional medicine is strongly linked to sexual promiscuity and transmission

Apparently cancer has also claimed the lives of several women who were highly faithful to a vegan macrobiotic diet and long-term teachers of macrobiotic cooking classes at the Kushi Institute.
The underlying hypothesis that animal fat and protein cause and promote cancer lacks a strong scientific basis. If it were so, fasting, which is running on your own body fat and protein, which are ANIMAL fat and protein, would promote cancer, when in fact it is well established that short-term fasting (i.e. running your body exclusively on mammalian fat and protein) strongly undermines cancer cells but preserves healthy cells.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Are Europeans an Endangered Subspecies Minority Ethnic Group?

In 2015, Europeans constituted not more than 15% of the world population.

At least 85% of the world population consists of non-white ethnic groups.

Non-whites are often said to be minorities, but this was only true in Europe and the U.S.A.  In the world population, non-white ethnic groups far outnumber Caucasians.  China alone, for example, has 3 times as many Asians as the total U.S. population, which is not even an entirely European nation any longer.

The fact is, Europeans – white people – are a minority in the world.  No less than 85% of the world population is non-European (non-white). 

When the population of a non-human animal species is threatened with demise, it is given "endangered species" status.

Joe Biden thinks it is "good" to replace the small European population in North America (not more than 300 million) with non-Europeans.

Biden says: "Its not going to stop, nor should we want it to stop.  We should be proud of it."  We should be proud of replacing the dwindling European population with other ethnic groups.  Its good to replace white people with non-whites.  Its the right thing.

The blackness of Africa is wonderful.  The Asian character of Asia is celebrated.  But the whiteness of America is simply unbearable.

Apparently, the whiteness of Europe is also unbearable. 

Sweden is a 172,756 square mile homeland to no more than 9.8 million white people of a unique ethnic group.  Africa has a land area of 11.73 million square miles – 68 times the size of Sweden – and is homeland for 1.2 BILLION Africans.  So Africans alone outnumber Swedes by about 100 to 1.  But a Swedish propaganda group apparently believes Africa, Asia, and the Middle East all put together are too small to accommodate Africans, Asians, and Middle Eastern people, while Sweden is too big to be populated only by native white Swedes, so it is time for white Swedes to be replaced by non-white people.  Light colored skin, hair and eyes and Scandinavian psychophysiology are just so unbearable, it is high time to get rid of them.

In 2015 Germany had a population of 81.41 million, not all native (white) Germans, and a land area of 137,983 square miles.  Germany is even smaller than Sweden, but according to some its also too big to be populated only by native white European ethnic Germans.  Some German politicians think its high time and good that Germans are being replaced by non-European ethnic groups:

Again, its a good thing to replace white people with non-whites.  It must be so.  Europeans are evil, the worst kind of people.  Only Europeans have done bad things in history, and Europeans have never done anything good enough to make up for all the bad they've done.  No one has ever benefited enough from culture, science or technology developed by Europeans.

How could they?  Just look at Europe.  Many Europeans still live in flimsy shacks without running water.  Europe doesn't have any buildings that are hundreds of years old.  Europeans don't have any art, literature, music, medicine or science of any value. Africans have been sending medical missionaries to Europe for more than a hundred years now. 

On the other hand, look at Africans in Africa.  They had running water before anyone else.  They built buildings and roads that have stood for centuries.  Their native art, literature, music and science are outstanding.  Their economy is strong and lifting the Europeans out of poverty.

Oh, wait, I've got it backwards. Africans have never on their own built a major enduring city in Africa in 3000 years.  Some structures still standing in Europe – such as those comprising Cambridge and Oxford Universities – were built in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, long before Europeans ventured into Africa; but there are no similar structures in Africa built by Africans alone in any historical time period.  In other words, its not the fault of Europeans that Africans didn't build any Oxford, Cambridge, Great Wall or Taj Mahal type structure in Africa by the 11th century or any other time.  Sorry, its just a fact, and this man is trying to get his people to come to terms with it.

Before you say "but the Egyptians were Africans...," analysis of the DNA of ancient Egyptian mummies indicates that they "shared little DNA with modern sub-Saharan Africans" and "were more closely related to ancient Europeans and Anatolians than to modern Egyptians."

Nevertheless, Europeans are so bad, so destructive, so useless, and non-Europeans are so good, so constructive, so productive, that Europeans must go.

National Geographic magazine celebrates "the new Europeans."  Its totally acceptable for non-Europeans to take over Europe.  We must accept it.  If we don't, we're hateful bigots and racists.

Wait.  If Europeans were invading and replacing the populations in non-European nations, would it be considered "good"?  

Why do these people think it is good to replace Europeans with non-Europeans? Would they also celebrate replacement of any non-European population with Europeans?

Does the (apparently, at this point, planned) replacement of Europeans with non-Europeans qualify as 'ethnic cleansing'?

If not, why not?

The U.N. defines "genocide" as follows:

What if you force members of the group to pay taxes at a level that makes it difficult for a man by himself to provide for a family, and makes it necessary for women to work outside the home in order for a family to "make a living," so the women can't focus on quality child care, then you use that tax money to provide support for migrants and 'refugees' who have a higher fertility rate than the indigenous group?  Will that qualify as "Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part"?

I know, its not "deliberate," right?  (Are you sure?)

What if you demonize white men ('the patriarchy'), then teach young, smart white women (those who make it to university) to hate and avoid men – especially white men (through feminism), or to use birth control when they are young and most fertile, and to delay attempts to have children until they have 'succeeded' in professions, and are far less fertile?  Will that constitute "imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group"?

By Source, Fair use,

What if you teach and encourage a whole generation (my generation) of the group (Europeans) that they should avoid bearing children because there is an urgent need to stop a "population bomb" (which was by the way only happening only in Africa and Asia, i.e. among non-whites), then 30 years later you tell them there is now a "demographic crisis" that requires the injection of different, more fertile ethnic groups from Africa and Asia?  Will that constitute "imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group" or "Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part"?

I know, you might say "it wasn't imposed," right? 

What if the tax dollars taken primarily from white people are used by the State's broadcasting company to fund programs that encourage Europeans to mate with non-Europeans – another way to get rid of the European ethnic groups – and celebrate the disappearance of European people and their replacement with non-Europeans?  Such as the video produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

Is it looking deliberate yet?

Have these policies and programs prevented births among white people of European ethnicity?  Is the white population of the world in decline?

Well, in America, white deaths exceed white births, so "the white population isn't replacing itself."

Across Europe, more white people are dying than being born

In the U.S.  "minority" (i.e. non-white) infants outnumber white infants.

Is the fact that all of these doctrines and policies culminated in a dwindling birth rate among and now demographic replacement of Europeans in their own lands just an accident?

Of course.  There is no plan to erase white people.  Only demented lunatic backwater inbred conspiracy theorists would think that.  The fact that politicians are vigorously promoting replacement of Europeans in Europe and North America through unchecked immigration does not demonstrate intent to get rid of Europeans. Its just a coincidence that it all worked out this way. 

And just be sure that you don't defend the Europeans.  If you think Europeans deserve protection or should be defended from replacement by non-Europeans, or deserve a homeland of their own, or it would be nice if white couples had more white babies, you are a "racist" and "white supremacist."

If an African prefers living with Africans – his own kin–, that's just natural and moral.  If an Asian prefers living with Asians – his own kin –, that's just natural and moral.  If an Arab prefers living with Arabs – his own kin –, that's just natural and moral.

But if a European prefers living with Europeans – his own kin – rather than with non-Europeans who don't share his biology, psychology, or values, he's a moral failure, a racist, and an evil white supremacist.  Europeans MUST accept the invasion of non-Europeans into their lands, else they are the worst kind of criminal.

Its just a forgone conclusion that Europe will cease to be "monolithic" i.e. European.  According to Barbara Spectre, Europe "must" become multicultural i.e. non-European.  It is just an absolute requirement.  We can have African nations, we can have Asian nations, but we just can't have any white nations.

And if any Europeans want to preserve their native lands for themselves?  That also is "extreme," "right wing," criminal and "racist."

Its okay for the majority Africans to kick the minority Europeans out of South Africa.

Its also acceptable for Asian majorities to keep European minorities out of Asia.  Its okay for Japanese to keep Japan Japanese, or Chinese to keep China Chinese, for Indians to keep India Indian, for Thais to keep Thailand Thai, and so on.  We need cultural and ethnic diversity.

But apparently some think we don't need whites (who are themselves highly diverse in skin, hair and eye color at the very least) as part of that diversity, and whites have no rights to keep their homelands for themselves.  If any Europeans want to keep Europe and the U.S. for Europeans, if any German wants to keep Germany German, any Scandinavian wants to keep Scandinavia Scandinavian, or any Briton wants to keep Britain British, well they are the most vile, despicable people who have ever existed.  Foul racists.  Hateful people.  The worst kind.  

Because only white people are ethnocentric, all non-whites live in perfect harmony, and its "literally impossible to be racist to a white person." 

Because, most importantly, Europeans aren't minorities.  



White people of European genetic stock are a unique human subspecies.

The European subspecies of humankind became biologically and psychologically unique, with distinctly unusual and highly diverse hair, eye, and skin colors through long times of geographic isolation and adaptation to a uniquely demanding European environment.
Click on image to read the full text.

Tigers are an endangered species because their populations are decreasing:

Currently there exist six distinct subspecies of tigers, each adapted to a specific habitat and of value in itself.  According to
"Of the original nine subspecies of tigers, three have become extinct in the last 80 years; an average of one every 20 years. It has been predicted all tigers may become extinct in the wild within the next decade."

"Poaching, habitat loss and fragmentation have reduced the global population of tigers from over 100,000 in the 1900′s, to less than 4,000 in the 1970′s.

"Today, four of the remaining subspecies of tigers are considered endangered by the IUCN, while two of the subspecies are considered “critically” endangered. The total number of all the wild populations of the six remaining subspecies of tigers (Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan, Siberian, South China, and Sumatran) is estimated to be between 3,000 – 3,600 tigers."
Each of the remaining subspecies of tiger is unique.  Bengal tigers are not Siberian tigers.

Siberian Tiger.  Threatened.  By Appaloosa - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Bengal Tiger.  Threatened.  By Bjørn Christian Tørrissen - Own work by uploader,, CC BY-SA 3.0,

No conservation zoologist would advocate breeding Siberian tigers with Bengal tigers, because this would produce offspring that are neither adapted to Siberia nor adapted to the tropical Indian subcontinent.  These subspecies are unique and our goal is to preserve each subspecies and therewith the diversity of tigers.

Europeans are a distinct minority ethnic population that is dwindling in numbers, like an endangered species.

It appears that some groups have an intent to get rid of the unique European subspecies through promoting ethnic interbreeding that will inevitably erase expression of the unique but recessive traits of ethnic Europeans (such as light color of skin, hair, and eyes).

Because whiteness is just unbearable? 

So, at what point do white people – Europeans – deserve the same protection and breeding support that we gave to the bald eagle and the spotted owl?

Do Europeans warrant protection as an endangered minority?

Or is it "right" that the whites be extinguished in their own homelands?


This white woman shares why she doesn't want to become a minority in her native land. 

Evidence of Human Activity in Southern California Dating to 130,000 years ago!

A report just published in Nature on April 27, 2017 suggests discovery of evidence of human activity in southern California dating to 130,000 years ago.  The evidence consists of mastadon bones that bear marks suggesting processing with stone tools, along with what appear to be hammerstones and anvils). 

"The CM [Cerutti Mastadon] site contains spiral-fractured bone and molar fragments, indicating that breakage occured while fresh. Several of these fragments also preserve evidence of percussion. The occurrence and distribution of bone, molar and stone refits suggest that breakage occurred at the site of burial. Five large cobbles (hammerstones and anvils) in the CM bone bed display use-wear and impact marks, and are hydraulically anomalous relative to the low-energy context of the enclosing sandy silt stratum. 230Th/U radiometric analysis of multiple bone specimens using diffusion–adsorption–decay dating models indicates a burial date of 130.7 ± 9.4 thousand years ago. These findings confirm the presence of an unidentified species of Homo at the CM site during the last interglacial period (MIS 5e; early late Pleistocene), indicating that humans with manual dexterity and the experiential knowledge to use hammerstones and anvils processed mastodon limb bones for marrow extraction and/or raw material for tool production."

Note that if this site does indeed represent evidence of human occupation of north America 130,000 years ago, the people were hunting and processing mastadons, animals that stood 7-9 feet tall and weighed ~7 tons.  Imagine the amount of meat and fat obtained from just one of those animals.  Hunting would have been high risk, but very very high reward. 

The following video presents some of the evidence and its strengths and weaknesses.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Discovery Channel: Ice Age Columbus

Discovery Channel produced this docu-drama presenting the recently discovered evidence that Europeans of the stone-age Solutrean culture reached eastern North America perhaps 2000 years before Asians (ancestors of "native" Americans) entered North American from the Northwest over the Bering land bridge.  I find the drama they created unlikely, but the scientific evidence is compelling.  It appears that Europeans did in fact reach North America long before "native Americans" did. 

Here's Smithsonian Anthropologist Dr. Dennis Stanford giving a lecture on the same evidence of the prehistoric peopling of America by Solutreans, obtained by studying ancient projectile points and mitochondrial DNA evidence.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

FRSP Week 9 #2 Ep 20 | Hard Training and Testing A Straddle Split Tip From Emmet Louis

In this episode of the Full Range Strength Series I do some hard training and try a trick for improving the straddle split that I learned from Emmet Louis via Tom Merrick (Bodyweight Warrior).

Monday, May 22, 2017

FRSP Week 7 #3 Ep 15 | Rocking that Heart Rate!

In episode 15 of the Full Range Strength Series, I reach 83% of my maximum heart rate after just 4 strength training exercise sets, and I evaluate this months straddle split progress.

Graecopithecus Casts Doubt on "Out of Africa" Story of Human Origins

As reported in PLOS | One today, a 7.2 million year old fossil named Graecopithecus, from late Miocene Europe, suggests that the human line may have originated in the Eastern Mediterranean (i.e. Europe), not Africa.  
"In this study, we propose based on root morphology a new possible candidate for the hominin clade, Graecopithecus freybergi from Europe. " [...]
"In contrast to the Ponginae, Graecopithecus shares derived characters with African apes (ventrally shallow roots, buccolingually broad molar roots; [32, 75]). Therefore, we consider four principle alternative interpretations of its phylogenetic position: Graecopithecus is a stem-hominine (last common ancestor of African apes and Homo), a gorillin, a panin, or a hominin." [...]
"Accordingly, the most parsimonious interpretation of the phylogenetic position of Graecopithecus is that it is a hominin, although we acknowledge that the known sample of fossil hominin root configurations is too small for definitive conclusions."[...]
"Taken at face value, the derived characters of Graecopithecus (p4 root morphology and possibly canine root length) may indicate the presence of a hominin in the Balkans at 7.2 Ma." [...]
"Therefore, we submit that the dental root attributes of Graecopithecus suggest hominin affinities, such that its hominin status cannot be excluded. If this status is confirmed by additional fossil evidence, Graecopithecus would be the oldest known hominin and the oldest known crown hominine, as the evidence for the gorillin status of Chororapithecus is much weaker than the hominin status of Graecopithecus [8]. More fossils are needed but at this point it seems likely that the Eastern Mediterranean needs to be considered as just as likely a place of hominine diversification and hominin origins as tropical Africa." provides more information on Graecopithecus: apparently the species inhabited a savannah habitat and remains were found with large grass-feeding herbivores.
"The phytolith record provides evidence of severe droughts, and the charcoal analysis indicates recurring vegetation fires," said Böhme. "In summary, we reconstruct a savannah, which fits with the giraffes, gazelles, antelopes, and rhinoceroses that were found together with Graecopithecus," Spassov added.
"The incipient formation of a desert in North Africa more than seven million years ago and the spread of savannahs in Southern Europe may have played a central role in the splitting of the human and chimpanzee lineages," said Böhme. She calls this hypothesis the North Side Story, recalling the thesis of Yves Coppens, known as East Side Story.
More information: Potential hominin affinities of Graecopithecus from the Late Miocene of Europe, PLOS ONE (2017).
Messinian age and savannah environment of the possible hominin Graecopithecus from Europe, PLOS ONE (2017).

Read more at:
 The full text is "Messinian age and savannah environment of the possible hominin Graecopithecus from Europe" at PLOS | One.

This might support my suggestion that humans are descended not from a chimpanzee-like frugivore, but a savannah-dwelling largely or heavily insectivorous (i.e. carnivorous) ancestor .  As I wrote there:

....before there existed some putative pre-human (i.e. non-human) ancestors who ate plant-based diets, the ancestors of the primate line were insectivores, i.e. carnivores who specialized in eating insects.  From
"Transitional primate-like creatures were evolving by the end of the Mesozoic Era (ca. 65.5 million years ago)....The few placental mammals that existed at that time mainly consisted of the insectivore ancestors of primates."
These carnivorous ancestors of primates continued until about 55 million years ago when some creatures resembling modern prosimians emerged.  But notes:
"Among the numerous Miocene primate species were the ancestors of all modern apes and humans.  By 14 million years ago, the group of apes that included our ancestors was apparently in the process of adapting to life on the edges of the expanding savannas in Southern Europe." 
[Graecopithecus was found in Southern Europe.]

The human line descends from those primates that specialized in living on the savannas, not those – like the ancestors of chimps – that specialized in the arboreal habitats.  On savannas, the predominant form of plant-life is grass, while fruits are relatively scarce, especially during Ice Ages.  Thus, an animal can thrive on a savanna only if it eats grass, or animals that eat grass.  Humans are obviously not grass-eaters – we don't have the multi-compartment guts adapted to fiber fermentation that is typical of grass-eating animals.  But an insectivore can find plenty of grass-eating insects, such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, moth larvae, grubs, crickets, and billbug larvae.  It can also find small grass-eating molluscs like snails.

The nutritional profile of insects is quite similar to wild game:

Insects are wild game.  Therefore an insectivore is already a predator adapted to eating wild game.  Insectivores have simple, carnivore-type guts.   An insectivorous species would have to evolve new behaviors or gut features – hindgut fermentation vats – to become predominantly frugivorous and deal with the fiber abundant in plants, as has occurred in the great apes but not in humans. The great apes have enormous guts adapted to fermenting fiber to convert it into saturated fats, mostly butyrate; healthy humans do not:

We have strong evidence that early Pleistocene humans – definite members of our genus – were ambush predators 2 million years ago.   We know that all definitely human ancestors –  from Homo habilis 2 mya to present – were hunters and meat-eaters.  Dunn could justify his claim only by referring to the putative habits of ancient species who were not human and are only suspected human ancestors (e.g. Australpiths), while ignoring the heavy meat-eating habits of those species that we know were human.  Is that scientifically honest?

The truth is all known human ancestors of modern humans, i.e. Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, and Denisovans were predators, not vegetarians.  Only non-human species that might have been part of the human lineage,  such as Austalopiths, were largely plant-eaters.  The hypothesis that human ancestors were nearly all vegetarians can't explain what we know about human evolution, and does not align with what we know about the Earth's climate, flora and fauna changes during the period of time when the human lineage evolved and moved out of Africa. 

An insectivore is a hunter, a predator.  Humans have been deliberate predators for at least 2 million years.  Which is the most likely evolutionary scenario: 


While the savannas are expanding and forests shrinking during the millions of predominantly Ice Age years, natural selection acts on an insectivorous savanna species to favor those that prefer to eat fruits and vegetables that don't exist on the savanna and are disappearing due to the cold and dry climate, ultimately converting that insectivore with a simple carnivore-type gut into a frugivorous, hindgut fermenter arboreal species; then natural selection changes course completely, starts favoring the savanna-dwelling meat-eaters among those fruit-eaters, progressively selects against the hindgut fermenters and eventually changes the members of this lineage back into a savanna-dwelling apex predator species with a relatively simple, reduced volume carnivore-type gut with gastric acidity greater than most carnivores and comparable to scavenger species (the human line starting at least 2 mya with Homo habilis).

Source:  Voegtlin, The Stone Age Diet, p. 44
Source:  Voegtlin, The Stone Age Diet, p. 45

While the savannas are expanding and forests shrinking (starting towards the end of the Miocene, up to ~ 6 mya), natural selection favors the reproduction of those members of an  insectivorous savanna species who capitalize on the increasing abundance of grass-eating insects, then favors those who can capture and eat the even more energy-dense grass-eating mammals (various rodents such as rabbits and gerbils), then among those favors the individuals who are able to capture larger and larger, more and more energy-dense, fat-rich game, ultimately transforming the originally puny predatory primate (the insectivore) into a mega-primate, the most predatory ape of all, the human, who hunted elephants for a living?

It seems to me that the second scenario is far more likely to be what happened.  In fact, due to the biological leaps and outright reversals (in dentition and intestinal form and function) required, I would venture that the probability of the first scenario is near zero.  If chimps and humans have a common ancestor, that ancestor was likely primarily an insectivore (chimps still are somewhat insectivorous).  The chimp line likely represents the descendants of that last common ancestor (LCA) who chose to specialize in an arboreal habitat.  The descendants of the LCA who specialized in a savanna habitat retained their dominant predatory way of life, and this line slowly graduated from insects and worms to snakes, amphibians and other small animals, then to larger and larger savanna animals until finally the highly carnivorous human emerged by 2 mya.


More information: Potential hominin affinities of Graecopithecus from the Late Miocene of Europe, PLOS ONE (2017).
Messinian age and savannah environment of the possible hominin Graecopithecus from Europe, PLOS ONE (2017).

Read more at:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tooth decay bacteria evolved as diet changed › News in Science (ABC Science)

Tooth decay bacteria evolved as diet changed › News in Science (ABC Science)

"Mesolithic hunter-gatherers living on a meat-dominated, grain-free diet
had much healthier mouths that we have today, with almost no cavities
and gum disease-associated bacteria, a genetic study of ancient dental
plaque has revealed."

"What we found was that the early [hunter-gatherer] groups really had
a lot lower frequencies of any of the disease-associated bacteria
compared to what you see today [and] that the number of species per
person's mouth, or the diversity, was much higher in the past," says
"If they've got more [bacterial] diversity that means that those
people's mouths were more resilient to stresses, and probably less
likely to develop disease."

"Gum disease and heart health

"However, while the researchers noted that bacteria associated with dental cavities such as S. mutans
became dominant around the time of the Industrial Revolution, the
frequency of bacteria associated with periodontal diseases such as
gingivitis has not changed much since farming began.
"This may have implications for the notion that gum disease and
associated bacteria are a significant contributor to the recent increase
in conditions such as cardiovascular disease and atherosclerotic
plaques, says co-author Professor Alan Cooper, director of the
Australian Centre for Ancient DNA.
"It has been suggested that the presence of this permanent
inflammation state along the gums was promoting an immune inflammatory
response, which in turn leads to cardiovascular disease," says Cooper.