Skip to comments.The Poop On Ancient Man
Posted on 07/02/2004 7:44:11 PM PDT by blamEdited on 07/02/2004 8:45:58 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
Hendrik Poinar is holding a small plastic vial containing some of the oldest DNA ever extracted from human remains. The snips of genetic material are from a native American who made his home 8,000 years ago in a massive cliff-side rock shelter in southwestern Texas.
I notice a lot of anthropologists/archaeologists are beginning to call these ancient Americans, paleo-Americans.
Should I give a crap for future anthropologists?
FREEPMAIL ME to get on or off the list.
"I notice a lot of anthropologists/archaeologists are beginning to call these ancient Americans, paleo-Americans."
Maybe this will take some of the tar out of those snooty Indians.
"Billman discovered one other significant item, a coprolite - a pile of preserved human fecal matter - in the center of a fireplace. He concluded that after the fire had died, someone had squatted over the hearth and defecated. The coprolite has become a key part of the cannibalism puzzle. It has been analyzed for the presence of human protein, which would prove the ingestion of human flesh. The results are expected to be published this year."
The results are in and the coprolite contained human protein proving Christy Turner's theory. The Indians are mum.
It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it.
Imagine what they will say about Wash DC in the future...lol.
I hate it when that happens.
I hadn't thought about that. As soon as results start coming in that they don't like...they'll be in court wanting to bury the crap too.
I wouldn't have thought poop to be a good source for DNA, but then perhaps it does contain a lot of a human's enzymes and digestive juices. Saliva works, so why not from the other end...
I say we clone one of those guys to see what he looks like, and refer to THOSE people as "native Americans".
Some years ago an anthropologist reconstruction an ancient Native American's diet by analyzing coprolites. Being a good "participatory" scientist instead of just a theoretician, he then proceeded to eat that diet himself for a time -- fish, cactus pads, etc. As I recall, he said, "I lost 20 lbs and never felt better in my life."
brain outruns keyboard sometimes...
Probably similar to the Neanderthal diet.
We already have at least two reconstructed skeletons, Kennewick Man (9,300 yo) and Spirit Cave Man. Spirit Cave Man is 9,400 years old and the oldest mummy ever discovered in the Americas, he looks suprisingly like Kennewick Man.
Probably pretty much whatever they could find that didn't eat them first.
Whereas the reconstructionist was analyzing southwestern Natives who lived near a river, hence the cactus, fish, and various desert plants. Even in a desert, there's a lot of useful plant food -- more than the ancient mammoth steppe. However native diets, before agriculture, were ALWAYS high in animal products, in ALL parts of the world, even the warmer areas.
Interesting reading: Guts and Grease -- the Diet of Native Americans. Paleo-European diets were similar.
The internal lining of the human intestine is frequently shed and regrown.
Inaccurate. When Dr. Atkins slipped on the ice and fell (an accident that could have happened to anyone, including a Neanderthal!), he was admitted to the hospital and at admission was weighed in at 195 lbs -- a healthy weight for his height (6-something).
While he languished in a coma with a fractured skill and other injuries, he suffered fluid swelling (edema), causing him to bloat up to about 260 lbs at his death. Various dishonest Atkins haters seized on this final figure as "proof" that he was ~65 lbs overweight at his death -- but in fact, he was fit and healthy until his accident.
Sorry. That's all I had heard. Thanks for the correction.
Wait a minute. People LOSE weight when in a coma, don't they?
Heard about this. Now Southwestern prehistory is really being reinterpreted. I had always heard about the Anasazi, Sinagua, Fremont, etc. being peaceful yeoman farmers, but I had always wondered why they built "cliff dwellings".
I used to figure it was because of the Apaches and Navajos, but those groups really came in from the northeast not more than 50-100 years before the Spanish.
Now they're looking at the role of Mesoamericans in founding Chaco (the Mayas and Toltecs practiced ritual cannibalism at that time) and the role of warfare in the disintegration of the Anasazi civilization.
I hope to read a book called Prehistoric Warfare in the American Southwest, by Steven LeBlanc. He and Turner are really responsible for this reinterpretation.
No problem. My ire is directed at those who knowingly spread the misinformation far and wide. It's astonishing how much hatred the Atkins diet inspires, and the dishonest lengths some folks will go to discredit it. And yet for many people it's absolutely the only diet that works! But it's un-PC because it's not vegetarian.
BTW.. Neanderthals were ultra muscular: Valerius Geist -- the Neanderthal Paradigm
It depends on the nature of their injuries. Also, probably how long the coma lasts -- someone in a coma for years likely would lose a lot of muscle weight. But Dr. Atkins was only in a coma for a few weeks.
Also... hospital food is loaded with carbs! If they were giving him IV glucose that would totally screw up ketosis and possibly cause a lot of weight gain in a hurry.
Ketosis is what the Atkins dies does for you. You lose weight because of poor health. You could do the same with a stiff combination of wiskey, tobacco and influenza. In fact, that combination might also bring on the same irritability, mood swings, memory loss and fanaticism.
Ketosis is the presence of ketones ("short-chain" 2 or 4 carbon fatty acid molecules) in the blood. When serum glucose (blood sugar) is not available, the liver metabolizes fat ("long-chain" > 4 carbon molecules) to produce glycogen and ketone bodies. The glycogen molecules are then further broken down to glucose and water. The ketones are expelled in the urine and respiration.
Poor or good health has nothing to do with it. Just the bodies preference of getting energy from sugar or fat (for Atkins dieters body fat).
The energy from fat does not pass the blood/brain barrier as energy from sugar does.
My mother has a masters in Dietetics. She is terrified of what the Atkins does to the brain, kidneys and liver. My uncle, on the other hand, is an Atkins religious fanatic. But since he has gone on it, he has turned into a moody, fanatical, irritible nut. He scares me now and has blown up with so many irrational accusations against those who love him.
I hope the problem is reversible and he gets back to normal when (I hope) he dumps it. I want my uncle back.
The liver will metabolize fatty acids and produce ketone bodies plus glycogen.
As I said above, the glycogen is then further broken down to glucose + water.
Both glucose and some common ketones, in particular acetoacetate, will both cross the blood/brain barrier. The brain will preferentially use glucose but acetoacetate is a serviceable source of energy for the brain as an alternate.
But that is besides the point; On Atkins, you'll never get the point of zero serum glucose. The 20 grams of carbohydrates allowed in the first restrictive phase is more than enough to supply the brain's normal requirements of glucose.
My uncle, on the other hand, is an Atkins religious fanatic. But since he has gone on it, he has turned into a moody, fanatical, irritible nut.
Atkins (and South Beach) strictly limit carbs and sugars for two weeks to break the addictive (and it is an addiction) pattern. After that, you'll add in healthy carbs as long as you continue to lose weight (remain in ketosis i.e. metabolizing body fat). Once you get to the target weight, you add enough carbohydrates to maintain it.
I'm sorry, but if this has gone on for more than two weeks it is not Atkins and it sounds like your uncle is a " religious, fanatical, irritible nut".
I like Turner. My son got his PhD from ASU and occassionally bumped into him.
Here's a book I read that you may find interesting. Nancy makes a compelling argument.
Did a group of thirteenth-century Japanese journey to the American Southwest, there to merge with the people, language, and religion of the Zuni tribe?"
For many years, anthropologists have understood the Zuni in the American Southwest to occupy a special place in Native American culture and ethnography. Their language, religion, and blood type are startlingly different from all other tribes. Most puzzling, the Zuni appear to have much in common with the people of Japan.
Coprolites are nothing new (pun pun) - they've been studied for years.
A question: would things like biting the inside of your lips or sucking the blood from a wound to prevent infection put human (your own) protein in your stool? I suspect the answer is yes, but not in the amounts found, but I'm still curious.
I expect digestive juices would destroy the DNA but, I don't know. I was wondering how they kept the DNA of the eater seperated from the DNA of the eaten. This may explain that...don't know though.
BTW, makes me wonder how their (Zuni) DNA compares with the Ainu of Japan.
Yes, and so would sniffing back a nosebleed, or internal bleeding from various parasites. However, the researchers found human MUSCLE protein in the coprolites -- which can only be from cannibalism.
Gee, then why did my chronic fatigue disappear, why did my skin rashes improve, why did I run faster and sleep better and work harder? BTW, ketosis is the NORMAL state of the human body -- reliable, regular meals with enough starch to keep us out of ketosis are a civilized innovation.
You could do the same with a stiff combination of whiskey, tobacco and influenza.
If that were true, America would not have a weight problem.
In fact, that combination might also bring on the same irritability, mood swings, memory loss and fanaticism.
That's only a short term phenomenon. Once the body fully adapts, you'll feel better than ever.
I gave this some thought over the last 2 days. Two ideas came to mind:
(1) Perhaps your uncle, like so many others, diligently followed the PC weightloss methods (low-cal, low-fat, aerobics, etc) and never succeeded. Then (again, like so many others), he tried the "eeeeeeevil" Atkins diet, the one that all the "right" people abominate, and voila, it worked! Yet, when he's finally found something that works, everyone turns against him. That, coupled with the feeling that the government, the medical profession, the health food/fitness advocates, and just about everyone else has been lying to him for 30 years, can make a man just a bit "moody", "fanatical", and "irritable". The fact that he has someone in the family with a "Master in Dietetics" who is just as biochemically wrong as everyone else, only added fuel to the fire.
Have you tried just laying off of the Atkins subject and congratulating him on his weight loss? He just might be a little less " "moody", "fanatical", and "irritable" if everyone would quit persecuting him.
But perhaps I'm projecting, as that is sort of how I felt. Having a Ph.D. in chemistry, however, I was better able to fend off people's quasi-scientific attacks but I still faced a lot of social scorn and a lot of people who just kept on preaching my doom and gloom to me no matter how many times I gently, patiently explained to them that they (and the government, and a million doctors, etc) were simply biochemically wrong. All that nagging gets really old, sometimes. At one point I got so sick of explaining myself (futilely) that I did lash out with something to the effect of, "I DON'T CARE IF IT SHORTENS MY LIFE, I'D RATHER HAVE A LEAN, ACTIVE, HAPPY AND SHORT LIFE THAN A LONG MISERABLE FAT ONE!!!"
(2) The second thought I had, was "serotonin". For some people the adjustment to high-fat/low carb may be difficult NOT because of any fuel shortage in the brain, but because low carb means lower serotonin levels, at least temporarily. If that's the case, and it doesn't resolve, then an alternative to Atkins might be Dr. Mauro DiPasquale's "Anabolic Diet" (no, there are no drugs involved, it's a diet originally designed for bodybuilders.)
The basic difference is, you're on essentially an Atkins induction phase for 5-6 days, then on free carb intake for 1-2. For me, this allowed me to eat freely on the weekends, for dating, etc, and for your uncle it might just give him the serotonin boost he needs to tolerate low-carbing the rest of the week. (I lost a lot of weight on that, with no increase in running mileage. And running got easier,even before the weight started to drop.)
Te wierd thing is that he wasn't fat at all. He was in great shape. He just got on Atkins to help his fat wife (reeeeealy fat).
I know it's an unhealthy and innatural thing to do to yourself, but I have not given him a hard time about it. Not at all. Really, nobody does. The guy was, as far back as I cqn remember, a stable and decent guy. Now, he is such an unhappy, wierd and unstable guy. Bitchy and moody. Fanatical about his Atkins god, which he didn't even need.
I cannot explain it, but I know that low carb regimens affect the brain like that. Now I avoid him, which is easy, because he avoids all us foolish, carless, carb-eating-devils.
I do have to challenge the "unhealty" and "unnatural" claim though. Reliable anthropological records indicate that whole ethnic groups lived that way for centuries. Atkins is VERY natural, at least for some of us.