The diet is based on evolutionary thought in that it presupposes the early human diet was based on scarcity as humans battled against Nature for survival. And that the Paleo diet matches our level of evolution, and is suited to or even assisted in the transformation to human from prehuman. However, there is available information that challenges if not disproves such assumptions about early humanity. It seems, in fact, that ancient Afrikan hunters perceived Nature, not as hostile, but as accommodating and congenial. According to archaeological evidence, the ancient savannas teemed with animal life, suggesting the prehistoric hunter had a greater variation of wildlife than contemporary hunters.
A study of the San by Richard Lee is instructive. The San live in the desert, an environment of little resources and even less water. One would think such an environment would produce an inadequate diet and therefore a pessimistic worldview. Lee discovered the San daily caloric intake was 2,140 calories, which is more than the American Recommended Daily Allowance. Also, Lee determined the San were selective eaters. Of the 223 variety of animal species, they ate only fifty- four species, and only seventeen of them formed the core meat consumed. What is more surprising however, is their diet consisted of mainly vegetables. He found the population was healthy and showed no “clinical-level” symptoms of vitamin deficiency.
The above information refutes evolutionary biological theory, which states that natural selection had sufficient time to genetically adapt the metabolism and physiology of Paleolithic humans to the varying dietary conditions of that era. But what was so varying about the life of early Afrikan hunters? The warm climate and abundant wildlife offered choice and plenty. Drawing from Lee's study, ancient hunters had an even greater variety of meats, and through vegeculture, which is the replanting or transplanting of plants from one area to another, they were able to ensure their vegetable food sources. (Other foods that were available to Paleolithic hunters were wild fruit, berries, mushrooms, juicy green leaves, stems and roots.) There was no struggle to survive as scarcity was not an issue. Maybe in the caves of Europe there was scarcity, perhaps starvation, but not in Afrika. Therefore there was no need for species adaptation. So why are we using Europe as our reference? Oh, I forgot, the diet is a Western (European) creation.
Proponents of the Paleo diet further argue that in the 10,000 years since the invention of agriculture and its consequent major change in the human diet, natural selection has had too little time to make the optimal genetic adaptations to the new diet. Thus, even with the coming of the Neolithic Revolution (which developed during the period of Afrikan hegemony) the species has not physiologically and metabolically adapted, resulting in the contemporary human diet, being deficient, and in turn contributing to many of the so-called diseases of civilization or affluence. This too is a fallacious argument because 100 years ago, the five leading causes of death in the U.S. were Pneumonia, Influenza, Tuberculosis , Diarrhea , Heart disease and Stroke, which indicates that diet was not the main disease causing factor. If the failure to adapt to the Neolithic Revolution and the concomitant change in diet were the culprit, then surely its effects would have been exhibited 100 years ago, so the Neolithic Revolution cannot be the offending agent. If anything the Industrial Revolution is to blame. But again the Industrial Revolution has been with us for some time now, so why would its inimical effects become evident in only the last 40 years or so ?