User talk:Richardf630

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Hello, Richardf630, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question and then place {{helpme}} before the question on your talk page. Again, welcome! JFW | T@lk 11:16, 24 March 2008 (UTC)


Hi, I noticed you removed the image of legumes with the caption indicating that they were rarely eaten by Paleolithic humans. This is verified in the caption by a peer-reviewed source and further explained in the "nutrition" section. For what reason did you remove the image? Thanks. --Phenylalanine (talk) 16:01, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Hello. I hope I didn't misread the caption, but I though the caption said that Paleolithic people didn't eat legumes, or rarely ate legumes. Given this uncontroversial assertion of fact, it seemed really misleading to me to have a picture of legumes in the "nutrition" section. Why not include a picture of Twinkies and say "they didn't eat these, either." If there's to be a photo in the nutrition section, shouldn't it be of something that was actually a common component of paleolithic nutrition?

Yea. You're right. ;-) --Phenylalanine (talk) 18:04, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I replaced the picture of the beans on the Paleolithic article with a new more relevant picture.--Fang 23 (talk) 20:39, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Phenylalanine: Thanks for the cordial and productive exchange. Cheers.Richardf630 (talk) 22:07, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Fang: Grapes? There is some marginal evidence of wine fermentation, I suppose. But the staple of paleolithic diet and nutrition was animal protein. Can't we put up a picture of a mule deer or wild boar? I certainly don't want to upset anyone by putting in a picture of venison, but that is what paleolithic hominids ate. Wild boar.jpgRichardf630 (talk) 22:11, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Maybe we should add both the wild boar picture above and a picture of tubers or some other plant Paleolithic people frequently consumed since several (but certainly not all) scientists posit that plants rather then meat was the staple of Paleolithic diets or that both meat and plants contributed equally to Paleolithic diets (also I fixed both of our pictures so they will be smaller because they are taking up room on this talk page (also thank you for your help on the Paleolithic article).--Fang 23 (talk) 00:12, 8 April 2008 (UTC)


I added the deer picture and changed the caption on the grape picture to "People first began fermenting grapes in animal skin pouches to create wine during the Paleolithic" to make it more accurate tell me what you think I changed it to make the picture more relevant so we could keep it in the article because it is a very good picture.--Fang 23 (talk) 01:11, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Nicely done. Richardf630 (talk) 10:28, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I am curious about the following statement in the article: "There is insufficient data to determine with any certainty the relative proportions of plant and animal foods in the diets of Paleolithic humans." This is attributed to Richards. I don't think the statement fits the source. As I read him, Richards' published work in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests precisely the opposite of the statement - Richards says that the technology (examination of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in bone and tooth enamel) has improved to the point where we CAN be reasonably certain about the relative proportions of plant and animal foods in the diets of Paleolithic humans. I will give Richards a re-read today to verify. Your thoughts?Richardf630 (talk) 10:37, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree this source should be reread but maybe he is saying in his essay (I never read it) that it is generally assumed that There is insufficient data to determine with any certainty the relative proportions of plant and animal foods in the diets of Paleolithic humans and that he disagrees that we cannot know the relative proportions of plant and animal food in Paleolithic diets.--Fang 23 (talk) 18:58, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Re-read Richards and as I suspected, the meaning of Richards' findings are not properly summarized by the statement in the article. Essentially, Richards' reviews studies using modern chemical technology which examine paleolithic remains (bones and teeth) and determine - through the presence and prevalence of carbon and nitrogen isotopes - the diet of the source of these bones. The technology demonstrates that for the five sets of Neanderthal bones from Europe (130,000 - 30,000 BP) that were tested, there is direct evidence that these folks were "top-level carnivores" getting the overwhelming majority of food energy and protein from animals.

I am not aware of any criticism of this technology, or reason to believe that this direct evidence is anything less than compelling.

The problem, as Richards concedes, is that the technology only provides direct evidence of what Neanderthals ate in Europe between 130k-30k BP. The experiments so far don't tell us what was eaten at other times in other places by other paleolithic hominids.

So Richards article is far more direct and directive, yet also far less generally applicable, than the wiki statement suggests.Richardf630 (talk) 16:26, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

There are some other problems here concerning the sources for the statement: "competing theories suggest that Paleolithic humans may have consumed a plant-based diet in general" 1. "Theory" is the wrong word. "Gravity" is a theory. "Natural selection" or "evolution" is a theory. "Relativity" is a theory. To be a theory, the formulation must fit with all available observations - and be so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter it. The notion that paleolithic hominids may have consumed a plant-based diet is a "suggestion," or perhaps (if we want to be generous) a "hypothesis". 2. Christine Fielder's Sexual Paradox is used a source for this statement. Her work concerns modern !Kung hunter-gatherer societies, not paleolithic hominids. This is an inappropriate source for this statement. 3. Sue Rowland's Pre-History, Pre-Civilization, and Paleolithic People is used a source for this statement. This is a web-only, otherwise unpublished article, using some dubious sources. Among the reliable sources Rowland does source are Dahlberg and Ehrenberg. 4. The text book Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction (James Edward McClellan, Harold Dorn) is used as a source for this statement. The text book contradicts the "plant-based diet in general" statement in the wikipedia entry - "paleolithic food collectors were nomadic, following the migrations of animals and the seasonal growth of plants."

Thanks a lot for the comments. I added some of the sources you mention. I'll look into these issues as soon as I have the time. Cheers! --Phenylalanine (talk) 18:23, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I specifically added the papers by Bar-Yosef et al and Richards. I'll respond on the "Paleolithic" article's talk page. --Phenylalanine (talk) 02:59, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I corrected the inaccurate statement sourced to Richards. It may need some expanding. --Phenylalanine (talk) 13:32, 12 April 2008 (UTC)