Art De Vany Essay Help


You make a few good points. I agree that my wording regarding the obesity stigma was somewhat unclear, so I made some small changes to improve it. It now read this way:

"De Vany argues that it is not entirely our fault we are fat, because we are genetically programmed to be lazy overeaters (p. 92), but also suggests that, though the stigma currently is maladaptive, our propensity to judge obese people too harshly probably evolved as an adaptation 'during evolutionary times, when obesity was rare and almost surely indicated that that person was taking more from the group than they were contributing to it' (p. 179)."

My point was not where he is placing blame, but that he was offering "just so" stories reducing cultural beliefs to heritable evolutionary adaptations with no evidence other than creative stories.

I'm not sure why you thing Taleb is on Art De Vany's diet, as it seems to me he has his own diet. Either way, De Vany himself seems to be doing well. I never once suggested that *no one* could do well on De Vany's diet. Indeed, it would be incredibly difficult to find any diet that *no one* could do well on.

I agree that De Vany does not completely condemn the egg yolk, but the deifnition of "now and then" is very vague. If you look through the "A Month on the New Evolution Diet," you will see that he discards most of the yolks.

For example:
p. 59 — three egg whites
p. 63 — two whites, one yolk
p. 64 — two egg whites
p. 65 — four egg whites, two egg yolks
p. 68 — one egg white
p. 70 — three egg whites, one yolk
p. 80 — unspecified number of eggs (let's say 3)
p. 82 — three whites, one or two yolks

So here we have 21 egg whites and 9 or 10 yolks. I'm not sure if this is entirely comprehensive but it is the references to eggs that caught my eye. He's clearly throwing away the majority of egg yolks.

I believe that Richard Nikoley gave this book a good review because Richard found the paleo movement largely through De Vany. I know a number of other people who found paleo through De Vany, and none of them, including Richard, throw away their yolks or use canola oil. Richard does not strike me as much of a 'follower' of anyone, but he has linked to lots of my articles and favorably reviewed much of my information. I don't think Richard judges information based on the age of the person writing it. However, I agree with you that it makes sense to learn from people who are older than we are. I try to do that as a general rule, though I don't give automatic deference to someone's point of view solely on that criterion.


“There is no such thing as successful aging because aging is damage.”
– Art De Vany

Dr. Arthur De Vany is nearly eighty years old and ripped. Better known as Art De Vany, he was signed as a professional baseball player in his youth and later earned his Ph.D. in Economics at UCLA. He is most famous for his “evolutionary fitness” approach to training and diet, and our conversation focuses on that.

During his time at UCLA, Art did many things, including creating mathematical and statistical models to precisely describe the motion picture market. Art is Professor Emeritus of Economics of the University of California, Irvine, and is a member of its acclaimed Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences.

A lifelong student of metabolism and fitness, Art has lived as a Paleo athlete for more than thirty years and is considered a “patriarch” of the Paleo movement.

He believes there is no such thing as “healthy” aging and that we can intervene to protect against the aging process. In this episode, we talk about his daily schedule, workout routines, why he never gets sick, ice ages, economics, philosophies of intermittent everything, and really dig into the details of a fascinating man.


Want to hear another episode from a guest that defies aging? — Listen to this interview with Jerzy Gregorek. In this episode, we discuss flexibility, strength, muscle gain, and fat loss at any age (stream below or right-click here to download):

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Art De Vany:

Facebook I | Facebook II (like Art himself, more active)

  • The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us about Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging by Arthur De Vany, PhD
  • Understanding the Stretch Reflex (or Myotatic Reflex) by Brad Walker, StretchCoach
  • The Inland Waterways: Institutions, Economics, And Policy by Arthur S. De Vany and Andrew J. Rettenmaier
  • Computability and Algorithmic Compression, Wheat and Tares
  • United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
  • What are fractals?
  • The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • When Bill Gates Walks into a Bar
  • Toba Catastrophe Theory
  • The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean
  • How Humans Learn: Lessons from the Sea Squirt by Sian Beilock Ph.D., Psychology Today
  • Myokine
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Arthur De Vany — Renewing Cycles
  • Autophagy: Process and Function by Noboru Mizushima, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
  • Glycolysis
  • The Legend of Tithonus
  • The Effect of Mitochondrial Density on Athletic Performance by Roger Schmitz, Moxy
  • How I Dropped to 5.6% Body Fat and Gained Muscle, Part 1, Art De Vany on Line via The Internet Archive
  • When the Sea Saved Humanity by Curtis W. Marean, Scientific American
  • Corm
  • Strength Training is Learning from Tail Events by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Medium
  • Hollywood Economics: How Extreme Uncertainty Shapes the Film Industry by Arthur De Vany
  • Pareto distribution
  • Arthur De Vany sample workout
  • How I Practice Evolutionary Fitness by Aaron McCloud
  • Is Endurance Exercise Really Beneficial?, Art De Vany
  • Eccentric training
  • Current Evidence That Exercise Can Increase the Number of Adult Stem Cells by Filippo Macaluso and Kathryn H. Myburgh, Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility
  • Proteasome
  • Peripheral vs. Ectopic Fat by Stephan Guyenet, Whole Health Source
  • My Life Extension Pilgrimage to Easter Island
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)
  • FGF21 is an Akt-regulated myokine by Yasuhiro Izumiya, et al., FEBS Letters
  • A Look at Ribosomes, British Society for Cell Biology
  • What is a Turing Machine?, University of Cambridge
  • Faust by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • FOXO1
  • Neural Darwinism: The Theory Of Neuronal Group Selection by Gerald Edelman
  • Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences – NYU
  • Kurtosis
  • Lessons from the Left Coast: What Hollywood Can Teach Pharma about Marketing by Maureen Winigrad, HLG Health Communications
  • What is Leptokurtic?
  • Melatonin
  • How Testosterone Supplementation Shuts Down HPTA by Rick Vallejo,
  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat by Loren Cordain
  • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Skin In the Game: The Thrills and Logic of Risk Taking by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • General equilibrium theory

Show Notes

  • Introductions from an undisclosed mountain location. [07:12]
  • How did Art get into economics? [08:17]
  • You can’t reduce your life to an algorithm — the Zen of evolutionary fitness. [11:10]
  • Bill Gates walks into a bar… [14:25]
  • How would Art predict the chance for a movie’s success if he were in charge of a studio? [14:48]
  • How did fitness and diet enter the scene for Art? [20:02]
  • Where do cavemen fit into the equation? [20:51]
  • Lessons from the sea squirt. [23:22]
  • On myokines, proteostasis, neurotrophic factors, and muscle degeneration. [23:58]
  • Aging is not programmed — it is the result of the failure of a renewal program. [25:56]
  • The legend of Tithonus. [28:55]
  • Mitochondrial density is all the rage. [29:46]
  • Did seafood save humanity? [31:24]
  • Brain expansion as a survival response. [32:59]
  • Why Art eats two meals a day. [34:02]
  • How Art proactively encourages low mitochondrial density. [36:26]
  • Is Art responsible for getting Nassim Nicholas Taleb into deadlifting? [37:13]
  • “Non-steady state exercise is very difficult to quantify.” [40:46]
  • What does Art’s exercise regimen look like? [41:26]
  • Time-efficient exercise has kept Art almost entirely injury free for over sixty years of working out. [48:59]
  • Why does Art prefer shorter rest intervals over longer ones? [50:04]
  • What does Art have for breakfast? When does he go to sleep? [50:38]
  • On meal intervals and intermittent fasting to fight muscle degeneration. [52:07]
  • What does Art have for dinner? [53:39]
  • How excess fat prevents stem cells from doing their job. [54:41]
  • What are the most common things people in the Paleo movement get wrong? [56:10]
  • What does Art have against coconut oil? [57:40]
  • How does Art take his eggs? [58:38]
  • Art’s thoughts on minimizing mTOR activation and use of rapamycin and metformin. [1:00:07]
  • Exercise your muscles, heal your liver. [1:04:51]
  • How is the ribosome like a universal Turing machine? [1:07:13]
  • To what part of his regimen does Art owe for not being sick in decades? [1:13:06]
  • Advice for alleviating depression. [1:16:33]
  • On the benefits and practice of cold exposure. [1:19:22]
  • What has Nassim Taleb taught Art? [1:20:10]
  • What’s your advantage: informational, analytical, or behavioral? [1:24:42]
  • Art regularly takes melatonin — but not for sleep. [1:27:37]
  • Why wouldn’t regular consumption of melatonin cause some type of malfunction? [1:31:09]
  • On human knowledge: what we can know vs. what we can’t know. [1:32:58]
  • Books Art has gifted or recommended most to others.  [1:36:55]
  • Areas Art considers dead ends in the quest for longevity. [1:40:48]
  • What does Art do to minimize the likelihood of injury during exercise? [1:44:50]
  • What kind of class would Art lead if he were to return to teaching? [1:47:20]
  • What would Art’s billboard say? [1:49:51]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:52:37]

People Mentioned

  • Physical Training, Dating Strategies, and Stories from the Early Days
  • The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour: How to Control Stress, Upgrade Your Nutrition, and Build the Mindset of a Gladiator
  • How to Secure Financial Freedom, Maximize Productivity, and Protect Your Health
  • Exploring Smart Drugs, Fasting, and Fat Loss — Dr. Rhonda Patrick
  • How to Build a Million-Dollar, One-Person Business – Case Studies from The 4-Hour Workweek

Posted on: May 12, 2017.

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