My attention was recently drawn to a site called 55 Theses that goes a step further and assembles Rose's ideas in an online series of posts, videos, and small essays - and then asks "knowing this, what can we do to make a difference in our own health and longevity?"
Quote:These theses are intended to supply a re-visioning of the scientific foundations of health and medicine. Rather than making small adjustments to a body of medical knowledge which has been developing by accretion since the time of Hippocrates, this re-visioning starts with a firm rejection of the present reductionist foundations of medicine. The human body is not an inert vessel that can be fairly viewed in terms of a definable set of chemical reactions. Rather, it is a product of an evolutionary process that has been ongoing for billions of years, an evolutionary process that has been directed by natural selection. As such, it will be argued that evolutionary biology provides the only secure foundation for understanding our health and for improving the practice of medicine.
I recommend taking an hour or two to walk through 55 Theses. In essence, it is a step by step overview that builds supporting evidence for specific changes in human lifestyle and diet that are predicted to lead to improved health and slower aging. In the end this largely boils down to "stop eating things that you are not well adapted to eat, from an evolutionary perspective."
Quote:Older adults from all human populations are not adequately adapted to agricultural patterns of nutrition and activity, resulting in an amplification of aging under such conditions.
Rose has bred breeding ever-longer lived flies for a great many years, and 55 Theses might be thought of as a framework for extending the same concepts to human practice - analogous to the way in which calorie restriction moved from the lab to a fair-sized community of scientifically-minded human practitioners. I see no reason why a Rosean lifestyle community couldn't arise in the same fashion: it would have a greater weight of scientific evidence behind it than most health-focused gatherings, though I think it has a little way to go in order to catch up with plain old calorie restriction and exercise in that regard. But if this is where the developer of 55 Theses is heading, more power to him I say.
So 55 Theses looks like a good attempt at a philosophy of scientific health practices, similar to the ethos of the calorie restriction community: act upon the implications of supported scientific knowledge of human biochemistry, so as to have the best chance possible of making the best use of our bodies over the long-term. There is uncertainty in all things, science included, and we're all aging - but that doesn't mean it's smart to run heedlessly forward, damaging yourself more than is necessary.
My own experience tracks this - I was initially struck by the new perspective for me that we are designed to be fit and active in mid to late life. But then progressing through the 55 Theses built my understanding and confidence in why this is so.
It also reinforced for me why it is so helpful to eat and live as evolution has shaped me.
This way all the power of evolution is brought to play on my health - not a bad partner to have I assure you.