Abstract Thought and the Birth of the Imagination

Picking up where we left off last week, Dr. Josh Stout is talking about the growth of the brain, how that related to change in diet from mostly carbohydrate based high fiber roots to a more meat rich diet.

Abstract Thought and the Birth of the Imagination
Photo by Jennifer Griffin / Unsplash

Picking up where we left off last week, we are talking about the growth of the brain, how that related to change in diet from mostly carbohydrate based high fiber roots to a more meat rich diet.

Eric 0:10

Friday, September 29th. And it is raining. This is episode three. 

Dr. Stout 0:19

All right. This is Dr. Stout picking up where we left off last week. We are talking about the growth of the brain, how that related to change in diet from mostly carbohydrate based high fiber roots to a more meat rich diet. Still a lot of digging for roots, but now it's changing to sort of softer and higher calorie content meat and that this was enabling a huge expansion of brain growth. And so there was the coevolution of our tools and our brains. So we got tools that could get through hydes and get into bone marrow and supply the fat that our developing brains would have needed as infants and and toddlers as they're as they're expanding really rapidly. So in evolution, there are often major changes and then things sort of coast along for a while and then there's more major changes in human evolution. Interestingly, the brain continued to get larger over a long period of time, so there was probably a continuous improvement in the diet. So we would have gone from being confrontational scavengers running out to a piece of meat and scaring the hyenas away to actual hunters. And so our pre adaptations for being bipeds, for being able to run long distances would have allowed us to do things like confrontational scavenging, not sorry, not confrontational, scavenging, persistence, hunting. So we would have been able to just run at an animal until it collapsed from exhaustion. So we are much like we have extra large brains, which are what we notice all the time. We are also unusually efficient at long distance movement in a way that at noon in the middle of the day, if we chase a large gazelle, we can run it to death and we would actually target the mature males because they're heavier. It's harder for them to run. And we do it right in the middle of the day when it's hottest for them because we're the only things that sweat. 

Eric 2:25

How long how long did this did this transition take from. 

Dr. Stout 2:29

So this is probably the next million and a half years. Things are going almost logarithmic faster. So it's 4 million years, then it's 2 million years. And the next thing we're going to be looking at is 200,000 years. So it was, you know, first is doubling and then it's powers of ten. Things are going much, much faster. So the brain is getting bigger, we're having more capabilities and then we discover fire and so fire becomes one of our other tools that we co-evolved with. And between that and the the stone tools are our ability to digest food starts to improve. We're able to get food digested essentially outside of our bodies. We mash it up, we cook it up until fire. Everything had been raw. And so now what fire does for you is it breaks apart. The food makes it much easier to absorb. 

Eric 3:17

Even the meat had been raw. 

Dr. Stout 3:19

Even the meat had been raw, and we might have cut it and pounded it a little bit to to soften it up. But, you know, we have that saying sit around and chew the fat. Everything was really, really tough. And certainly anything you pulled off of a dried carcass on the Serengeti that the hyenas hadn't taken yet was going to be kind of dry and tough. And so we were really good at chewing. We had the extra thick teeth. But now, interestingly, our teeth start to get smaller again. And so I we don't have the same teeth as the Australopithecines have, but they're still thicker than and larger than a chimp would have to flatter for grinding. So our diets have changed, but it's still really tough. And and we we have a lot of exercise in our mouth. Our our jaws are thick and strong and our facial muscles are are, you know, designed for being able to bite through a bow in order to rip meat off using our teeth from something that's already partially dried. But with fire, we're able to soften everything and start cooking. And so it probably was first roasting, maybe some boiling later, putting, you know, a tuber under a fire to to let it soften. And this is also detoxifying. A lot of plants a lot of plants have anti nutritional factors that will actually you could if you were eating nothing but soybeans raw, you would starve to death. They would actually block their own absorption of food. They have things that destroy proteins and prevent themselves from getting eaten. So raw foods were certainly our history, but it's not what we ended up evolving for. We evolved to eat, partially digested foods, the stuff that have pounded with our with our our tools and had it been softened and cooked. 

So our brains are getting larger and as at the same time as our stomach is getting smaller and so we're able to digest the food as efficiently. 

Eric 5:13

Why is our stomach getting smaller? 

Dr. Stout 5:15

Our stomach is getting smaller because we're able to give it pre processed food. It doesn't have to do as much work. And so we don't end up needing any more calories just to sit and exist than we did before. Even though our brain is now taking almost a fifth of our total calories, we have turned our brain into this freakish organ that is absorbing all of our energy. And what we've done is we've reduced our stomach size. And so the overall cost of existence has switched from being associated with digestion to being associated with, you know, supplying the brain with glucose and oxygen. So that's our main metabolic cost. 

So our brains have been growing, our our tools have been improving and you're seeing a continuous improvement in what would be the language areas. So the left hand side of the brain, the lowering of the larynx, so that we're able to form words more clearly. But our tools of them remain roughly the same for the last 2 million years. They're they're basically hand axes, their hand axes and choppers and varieties of those hand axes. 

Eric 6:26

Meaning meaning just carved pieces of stone. 

Dr. Stout 6:29

A large stone about the size of a cell phone that's sharp all the way around. And that, I speculate, was used for throwing mostly against members of our own species. They were our anti-personnel weapons. 

Eric 6:42

It's not it's not something on a stick like an axe, not. 

Dr. Stout 6:44

Something on a stick. And then starting around 300,000 years ago, 200,000 years ago, depending where and when I we start to develop spears. And so there's another transition. And this is the transition to the middle stone age. This is when Neanderthals are developing, when Denisovans are developing, and it's when we're starting to see the the first evidence of spears in in Africa. 

Eric 7:07

So we just jumped a bunch of time. 

Dr. Stout 7:10

Yeah. So we went from 2 million years ago, we suddenly get brains maybe a million years ago, we're getting fire. And then around 300,000 years ago, we're starting to get spears. And this this is another big change. So now we have the ability to have, you know, keep someone in far away from us with our spear. And this is probably also related to changes in in stature. So male Australia, the scenes are twice the size of females. Homo erectus is, you know, 15, 20% larger than the female. So we're getting closer to the modern differences. And assuming that we didn't stop competing for females, why would the males have become more equal in size to the females? We didn't, I don't think, switched to a monogamous relationship where there's no male male competition. I think what happened is we switched the competition to something done with spears. And so like what we'd seen in the transition to hand axes, we're using our tools as a way of fighting each other and display. So you wave the spear in the air and someone backs up. But again, you can have war. Bunch of guys with spears are so much more effective than a bunch of people with just hand axes. So this is a technology that spreads, spreads pretty rapidly and you see it reinvented in several different places. So it's happening in Europe with the Neanderthals, it's happening in Asia. 

Eric 8:30

So it's being passed along and also being invented sponges, right? As as the same time. 

Dr. Stout 8:36

As our brains get bigger, we figure out that a sharp stone on a stick is a huge reach advantage. 

Eric 8:41

So can I ask you, you just you discussed why, you know, and how our jaws became what they are in our facial structure. Why did we start devoting so much of our so a large quantity of our calories to our brains? Why did the brains develop the way that they did? Was it? Well. 

Dr. Stout 8:58

A large brain was the new adaptation. It's like a birds wing. So we have a new a large brain because it allows us to get more resources, but we need those resources to feed the large brain. 

Eric 9:09

So thinking was more important now in getting food. 

Dr. Stout 9:14

Absolutely was the only way we could make the tools that we were making. We had to pass these ideas along to each other. We had to have concepts. We had to have some way of of explaining things. 

Eric 9:25

A bigger brain actually led to greater survival, right? 

Dr. Stout 9:31

And now most predators tend to be smarter than most prey animals, just sort of as a general rule, you know, a killer whale is going to be smarter than a blue whale. And, you know, a coyote is going to be smarter than a deer. But we push that to a much higher level where we were becoming social predators that required social interactions. And our hunting became our main way of getting calories. A hunter gatherer on her own could support her offspring, maybe barely. Right. So you need about 1500 calories a day. That's about what you can gather in a day. If you're working hard, particularly with a toddler in tow, it might be only about a thousand. So you would slowly starve to death if you were trying to gather your own food. So you need someone who can bring meat. Now that might be the male and the female working together to get get meat. It could be just the male on their own. Up until recently, we tended to think of it as just the male on their own. But it turns out that females working, as, you know, part of the group pushing animals towards the hunters would have been a typical way that a whole tribe together would have been gathering resources. So again, it's it's social interaction combined with hunting ability, combined with language, combined with tools. So all the advantages we've already seen with brains are now coming together with fire AMD and our stones to give us new advantage is forgetting calories, which allows us to get bigger brains. So this is a continuous push towards larger and larger brains. It's, you know, something that was going on with very heavy selection. Whoever was smartest had more babies. And so that was, you know, the definition of Darwinian fitness. And then somewhere, somewhere around 150, maybe 200,000 years ago, well into the middle Paleolithic, after we'd had spears already, things started to change again. And we don't know exactly what was happening. For a while there was this sort of wonderful theory that there was a point mutation in the language gene and that this had given us the ability to have abstract thought. But it now it's looking like there was probably several mutations over a longer period of time, which probably is more real if you if you think about how things happen, it's usually not a bolt from the blue that makes everything happen all at once. 

Eric 11:57

What caused these several mutations over time? 

Dr. Stout 12:00

Well, what causes mutations is, is, is random chance Cosmic rays hit your DNA and something changes. Most of the time it's bad. But these were what are known as missense mutations. So they didn't change it to something that didn't work. It changed it to a different kind of amino acid. So from one amino acid to another, and now you've got to got to know an enzyme that's doing something else entirely. So the FOXP2 region of the gene, a region of the genome, is a collection of regulatory genes. It's not just a sort of single speech gene that gives you imagination, but it's rather a a region that controls brain development in general. And so any mutations in the in these in these brain development regions of the genome tend to be really bad. And that's how we found the FOXP2 gene. There was some mutations in it and people couldn't speak correctly, but their nonspeech intelligence hadn't gone down. It was just regarding speech. So we realized that there is an actual separation between speech and intelligence in terms of what you can measure. 

And so that was why people started looking into this region and found out that there were unique adaptations that made us different from the chimpanzees in the FOXP2 region and that they were highly selected for if they changed in any way. You did not pass on those genes. And some of the original studies, the problem was they only looked at Europeans and it turns out that Europeans had gone through a population bottleneck. So it looked like that these genes had been selected for much more recently rather than reality, which they were. They were older genes. Now it does appear that there is another portion of FOXP2, not the ones that originally found that it seems to have some overall regulatory function, which is also seeming to be relatively recent. But the authors were not going to speculate about exactly where or when it had happened, like the people had with the earlier gene. They decided not to not to go that far, but it seems as though there is a continuous series of of mutations in the language region of our genome and that some of these were happening probably during the Middle Paleolithic. Some of the genes you find in Neanderthals, which were outside of Africa as well as the African populations. So it means it had to have been before the split. But then when we actually left Africa, we when we interbred with Neanderthals, we did not take their language genes. All of the language genes that modern humans have stayed from, the genes that we developed in Africa, we did not cross out any of those genes. So we have several skin hair immune system genes that come from Neanderthals and, you know, populations that are not from sub-Sahara. So the people left Africa, they crossbred with Neanderthals, got a whole set of new genes, but not the language gene. So whatever it is that we have Neanderthals didn't have is highly conserved. Region did not crossbreed with Neanderthals. Anytime it did, those people got selected out. We maintained our language gene intact with with no modifications. So that's an important indication that it's vital to who we are. And so what do you see happening culturally that coincides with this change in the FOXP2 region? You start to see things that indicate a higher level of conception, abstract thought. So this is when we get the first art. So art starts about 80,000 years ago, and it's very simple. It looks like a hash tag made of some scratches on a piece of red stone. But we think that we were probably painting each other at this time. And the technology that you start to see. 

Eric 15:46

Painting each other really mean. 

Dr. Stout 15:46

Painting, body painting. Yeah. So so we find these palettes with red ochre, which is a great paint, but we don't find it painted on the walls yet. So we were purposely collecting paint and then putting it into a little shell to hold the paint. And we were scratching patterns in the stone you got the paint from, but there's no paint on the walls yet. So we assume that we are painting each other or maybe stone artifacts or sorry, sorry, you know, or maybe wooden things, but something, something that was not the cave walls yet. So we don't have evidence of that. But the art is there. And with the art you see advanced technologies like fishhooks and needles and both. 

Eric 16:26

Of these all of this happens at the same. 

Dr. Stout 16:28

Time. All of this happens at the same time. So this is, again, sort of the coevolution of our technology and our imagination and our diet. 

Eric 16:35

So with this this this development in in imagination and essentially theoretical thought that's transformed into the things that exist, this didn't happen. This isn't one thing. 

Dr. Stout 16:50

It wasn't one thing. It was it was a progression. But once it had all come together, then it stayed the same. Then it was heavily selected for whatever series of genes we got were really important. So for example, there seems to be a protein that is not expressed in humans, that is expressed in chimpanzees that was selected for at this particular time. That seems to be really important. It's a regulatory gene. We don't know exactly what it does and it's next to FOXP2. And so it seems to be involved with all of FOXP2. So it's the way the genes get expressed and. 

Eric 17:24

We know it's involved, but we just don't. 

Dr. Stout 17:26

Know. Not yet. There's well, there's too many things because regulatory genes can have other regulatory genes that regulate them and, and then they regulate other things, which might be genes that regulate everyone. 

Eric 17:37

Answers to some one. 

Dr. Stout 17:38

Yeah, exactly. So it's it's a whole bunch of, you know, feedback loops. And there was a bunch of mutations and then they stayed fixed essentially. And there is some variation, but they tend to be in regions that are not the key regulatory sites. So anyway, we're developing things like fishhooks. And if you think about if you think about what official can do and what it involves, this is where you really get the grasp of, of of the development imagination. You have to imagine a fish in the water that you can't see. You have to imagine what that fish is going to eat, what it wants, what it wants, exactly where it lives, what it wants. Because the fish aren't everywhere. They're in a particular spot. They're living next to that rock over there and you have to find them without seeing them and then somehow get it to bite at your fishhook. So you have to find the food it wants to eat. You then have to make a some sort of line to connect that fishhook to some sort of pole or way to get that fishhook out there. All of these things. It's a multistep process. Before you have a fish, right to to if you want to get into a carcass, all you need is a sharp rock. You can see the carcass right in front of you. You know, you need to cut it. You've got a rock in your hand. You just break that rock, you cut the carcass. Everything is very direct. But now things are much more abstract. They're they're stepping back up to another level. Same thing. 

Eric 18:59

Within 200,000 years. 

Dr. Stout 19:02

Or No, that took a million and a half. 

Eric 19:04

Years to get from. 

Dr. Stout 19:05

From where? Where we were to where we are now. Yeah. So we're around between 500,000 and 200,000 years. This is all happening. And by 200,000 years, it's. It's happened. Done. It's done. Yeah. And so it took about 300,000 years for it all to settle, but it took a million and a half years to get there. But we suddenly see these new technologies. It didn't happen that we got a bad fish hook and then a better fish hook - because none of it works until you can imagine the fish and none of it works until you're making thread and you have to thread is is useful, right? Ropes are always useful, but a really small rope isn't useful unless you're thinking of tying something up. You have to think of another thing involved. Nothing is direct with a thread and so it's the same with the needles. You know, you have to prepare a hide in some way. You have to make a thread to sew the hide. You have to imagine I'd really like to not freeze when it gets cold. And so I have to make this ahead of time and it has to go through several steps. You can't just take the hide off of something and wear it directly. You have to soften it mostly through chewing, but also through possibly boiling it in something. So these new technologies are all coming together. The control of fire, the control of AI, making fine, fine tools that work with other tools. And these are all happening more or less at the same time. And this sets the stage for us to leave Africa with these new technologies, we're able to leave now. Our ancestor is a million and a half years ago, had already left Africa, so the first set of technologies, the hand axe, probably enabled us to travel. Certainly the having stone tools, it all enabled us to follow the follow the herds out of Africa, to follow the the the grassland animals. And so we were a grassland predator following grassland animals. And so the elephants walked out of Africa and we followed them. That was a million and a half years ago. We probably tried a couple of times after that, but there were already people there that. So it was much more difficult to leave Africa. We may have left in two separate waves. The first wave was about 100,000 years ago. Doesn't seem to have survived. We don't have any genes from that. What we did find with we find human mitochondria in Neanderthals from about 100,000 years ago. We don't find it from before that, but we find it after that and we find art in Neanderthals starting around then. So I suspect that there was a wave out of Africa around 100,000 years ago, didn't survive crossbred with Neanderthals. They got our mitochondria and our speech genes and it enabled them to start making some primitive art, you know, handprints on the wall, nothing like, you know, a picture of a woolly mammoth or something like that. But lines on walls, handprints that sort of thing. And then 60,000 years ago, another wave of humans leaves Africa and we're able to survive. And we wipe out the Neanderthals within about 20,000 years. We wiped them out fairly quickly. So we are not necessarily nice. Well, we are very much social animals. We are social hunters. We can't get along without each other. Our babies will starve without help. Our societies will collapse if we don't work together. We're also genocidal murderers. We, while we wander into a new area and we eat everything we can if we can catch it. And so this is sort of the the the pattern of our history after this, every time we enter a new area, whoever has the best technology wins. Whoever is the worst technology disappears, just dies. And it's usually their Y-chromosome that disappears. It's usually the male chromosome. So it seems as though we're killing all the males and keeping the females. So the same thing that they that Columbus did when he got to the the Taino in Hispaniola, all of the Y chromosomes were gone within a couple of generations. The Taino had done to the same islands in Hispaniola 400 years previously. When they'd gotten there, there been people there already and all of the Y chromosomes disappeared. So this is absolutely something that is part of our history. 

Eric 23:17

It's something we do. 

Dr. Stout 23:18

It is something we do, but we also interbreed with the people there. And so the genes are not lost entirely. So even though we wiped out the Neanderthals, we have Neanderthal genes. It's only about 2% of our total genome. But we we share that. So in terms of sort of diet and exercise, what would have been happening at this time, again, transition to meat. But now we have much more a wider variety of of our foods. So we're able to eat marine sources of food, so we're able to go fishing. We have harpoons, right? That's another thing that involves knowing where something is. You have to have a harpoon point with barbs tied on to a stick with a line that then stops the thing not swimming away. You have to be able to understand how to aim a harpoon. You know, the diffraction means that the target you're looking at is is ten degrees over from where you actually have to aim. So our ability to get new sources and a greater variety of sources of food has greatly expanded. We're probably making snares, right? So a string can get you a rabbit, you chase the rabbit into the little noose and suddenly you have a smaller animal fairly easily. So this is a wide variety of foods is probably how we outcompeted the Neanderthals. It wasn't just all, you know, going up and killing them directly – but it was just eating all the foods that they would normally eat. And so you see us pushing out the Neanderthals, and with this comes a whole new level of art. And again, probably due to various pro-European biases, at first we thought this was only happening in Europe, but we're now finding out this is happening everywhere. We had to Indonesia and we start painting on the walls in Indonesia 40,000 years ago. We're painting the animals we hunt. We're seeing the same thing in Malaysia. We start seeing this in Europe. We're seeing woolly mammoths on the walls. We're seeing the the rhinos, white rhinos. 

Eric 25:11

Happening all around the world at the same time. 

Dr. Stout 25:14

We've left Africa with these superior language genes that allows this imagination and with imagination, with these new technologies, that imagination can give us with the new social interactions that we have, we also have the desire to paint what we see. 

Eric 25:29

So these these progressions are innate in us and developing all at the same time. Everywhere. 

Dr. Stout 25:35

Everywhere. Yeah. It's not confined to any single population, certainly in the earlier, more racist version of human evolution, there were a lot of suppositions that there was something special about European populations or something not special about sub-Saharan African populations, but that is not the case. These are all genes that evolved in Africa. We brought out of Africa. 

Eric 25:56

This was being human happening. 

Dr. Stout 25:58

Being human happening. And it came from an African population. Interestingly, Europeans probably had dark skin till about 4000, 5000 years ago. And it was a it was a middle Eastern farming population that displaced the hunter gatherers. The the supposed ubermensch as of early Europe would have had dark skin and been the tall hunters that the Nazis really loved. They were they were not what they would Nazis would have wanted them to look like that. Those were those were Middle Eastern farmers who came in and displaced them, possibly with a Neanderthal gene, making them unusually pale because Europeans are indeed paler than other other groups. But it is it is literally only skin deep. It's just it's just melanin. And they're there. It didn't even come from Europe. So it's it's interesting to think of how our sort of spiritual life is directly related to our development of technology and is directly related to the things we eat and how we live, the ability to keep ourselves warm in a cave means that we're able to survive the Ice Age winters, which means that we have a community sitting in the cave and painting on the walls, which means we start to think about, you know, the flickering lights and the things we see in our brains, and we start putting our imagination onto the walls of the cave. And this is the beginning of a, well, some sort of spiritual development and is accompanying a whole new set of things that we can eat. Our our teeth have continued to get smaller as our diet has gotten higher quality, our brains continue to get larger. And this is the largest our brain gets. So in the middle of the ice age, our brain is up to 1350 cc's, same size as in Neanderthal, but a very different shape. We have a much rounder brain. The left side of our brain. Our language brain is much larger and it's a thousand keys larger than a chimpanzee. So so a chimpanzee's brain is 350 cubic centimeters and a ice age hunter gatherer is brain with 1350 cubic centimeter. So much, much larger modern human brains that we're closer to 1150. We've shrunk again since then. So this was the apex of our just in terms of brain size. Now we don't again, have any of the actual brains left over, so we don't know what they would have looked like. We know folding in a brain is extremely important for the way regions communicate with each other and for the ability to process information. So a chimp's brain is not just smaller, it's also much less folded. So there's something about the development of the forebrain in humans, the development of language regions that includes very, very deep folds in the brain. And so this could have continued to happen, but probably was was fully developed by 50,000 years ago, let's say. So this is this is showing that we can't just think about how we live in terms of what foods we should eat outside of our entire our mental life. Everything we're doing is based on our ability to imagine things. So we were imagining our what we were hunting. We were then painting it on the walls. We were able to display our imagination. We were able to get into the minds of our actual the things we were actually eating. And it's something to think about in the modern world, how we've separated ourselves from our diet so that we no longer imagine the animals that we're interacting with in any way we are now essentially separated from them. We've also confined our diet in many ways. We eat only a few kinds of meat. We eat very few. I plants it all right. We only have a few staple plants that we eat. We have a few sort of condiment plants on the side like you know, here your side dishes. But we've we've now confined our diet to only a few different kinds of foods. And this is going to have profound effects on our on our health by having particularly high fibre diets with a variety of different sources, you're building structural diversity in your stomach as you eat. And this is going to provide different kinds of structural diversity for bacteria. So when you're building your your your microbiome, the the flora that live with you, I, you are actually limiting it by the numbers of kinds of foods you eat, particularly the high the high calorie I high carbohydrate easily easily digestible staple foods the starches. And I think that's really been our downfall since the development of farming. That's probably why our brains got smaller was the development of farming, you know, periodic starvation due to drought, etc. Only the small farmers survived. Farming communities tend in general to be smaller than ones with more meat in their diet. And all of these things are then accompanied by a whole range of problems for health. So we went from being people who would run for a mile and then take a couple of days off and then walk for a couple of miles and then dig something and then chop something to someone who had to work really hard all day. And so farming is bad for your back and it's bad for your joints, but at least you're getting decent exercise, you're strong, you're still moving. So these are these these are the kinds of transitions that are that are that are happening where we go from what we were evolved for, which was definitely hunter gatherer to something that we were not evolved for, which is living in one place in large groups, passing diseases to each other and digging all day. You know, we we went from being runners and walkers to being diggers, essentially, and that was a major, major change. And our species got smaller, our brains got smaller, we became shorter. We, we, we generally I, even though our populations went way up, we became much more numerous. We were we were not as healthy. And so when you want to think about health, you want to sort of think about this, this beginning period, the hunter gatherer period where we're developing early forms of a spiritual life, as also the time when we're developing probably our optimal diet, our optimal exercise routines. But it was not simply eating one kind of meat all the time. It was eating many different meats, eating much more of the entire animal. It would have been wide sources of carbohydrates, probably a lot of fasting, right? You would go for a couple of days without food before you'd find the food. When you get the meat, you need nothing but meat for a whole day because you can't preserve the meat very easily. And then you would be eating, you know, whatever roots or berries or whatever it is you can gather most of the time. So most days people are gathering maybe a thousand calories a day of purely carbohydrates, very high fiber. And then every once in a while, there's a huge influx of high calorie meat that keeps everyone alive. So it wasn't a life of just living on, you know, just muscle meat. It would have been a wide variety of foods with mostly carbohydrates most of the time. But then just bingeing on meat periodically and also periodic fasting. So if you think about many of the modern sort of diet approaches, they all work for different ways. So something like the Mediterranean diet works because it's really focusing on the complex carbohydrates and variety. Some of the what they call paleo diets might work because they're cutting out the sugars and they're cutting out those simple starches. So they lower the the glycemic response and the insulin response. These diets work for different reasons, but they work because they're approximating what we were evolved for. We were evolved for eating almost only vegetables most of the time and then having tremendous amounts of meat periodically. We were also evolved for large amounts of varied exercise, not just one thing, not digging all day, but lots of variety of exercise. And we evolved to have a spiritual life, to be part of a community, to work together to to, to imagine things and then put them onto the wall to see our inner life expressed in our community with each other and to see how our imagination develops. 

Eric 34:33

All right. Wow. That was thank you. It was fascinating. Where are we going next time? 

Dr. Stout 34:40

I'm not sure. I think I think we will start talking about specific aspects of the diet. So I'd like to talk about role of sugar. I would like to talk about the role of intermittent fasting. I would like to talk about things like various kinds of exercise that are not just one kind. I want to talk about the details of, of of of health that we've talked about. And then I'd like to talk about the role of the imagination in our lives. So I'd like to break down some of the themes I've been working on and and focus on those. 

Eric 35:12

Excellent. All right. Well, thank you very much. See you next time. 

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