Evening Lectures - Pensacola

Art De Vany

THE TALK: On Being a Long-Lived, Lean, Muscular, Fast Twitch Phenotype

October 13, 2022


Art’s talk and his life is about honoring and mimicking a form of the diet and physical activities of our ancient, Paleo, past. That may be why he is called the Godfather of Paleo or a patriarch of Paleo (NY Times, London Times, La Stampa, LA Times). He may be the oldest living practitioner of the Paleo lifestyle at the age of 85 and 50 years of “living Paleo.” Social media pundits have prematurely announced his death many times. But, at a lean, muscular weight of 195 pounds and 8 percent body fat, he is rarely sick and is not going to die for a long, long time. His talk will focus on the simple implementation of his healthy, modern Paleo diet and exercise –it will be a “how to do it’’ talk with a sketch of the physiology that provides a foundation for each element, with an emphasis on the brain-body connection to health and longevity. As is well-known, and often confused by critics of Paleo, “Nothing in biology makes sense unless seen through the eye of evolution.”


Art is a retired Professor of Economics and a Member of the Institute of Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at UCI. He is well-known as a transportation, movie, energy and complexity scientist. He was the first to recognize that the route structure in airline transport must evolve into a hub and spoke structure in order to accommodate the wide body jet in a forecast he published in 1970. He also predicted and provided a property-rights foundation for an emergent market in spectrum in 1969 in a lead article in the Stanford Law Review. He may be proudest of his paper showing that a volunteer armed force was feasible and desirable and that arguments against it were flawed empirically and ethically.

His many papers on the movie industry opened a path to empirical research in high uncertainty industries and set a foundation for rigorous research in industries where “nobody knows anything.” He has testified in countless trials in motion pictures, energy and transportation and created a security, the Extremal Security, to securitize highly uncertain products, for which the probability distribution may not have a mean nor a finite variance–a Lévy-stable distribution.

His research in these issues led him to apply similar ideas to the human evolutionary experience and thus conclude that high variance probabilities dominated our evolutionary past and that rare, high magnitude events dominated human history. Humans are unique in their ability to anticipate and adapt to rare, threatening events, which is our evolutionary advantage over other species. Just about 80k years ago, only about 1200 humans survived the Ice Ages in the Rift Valley of Africa and on the southern shore of Africa. We inherited their genes and their mitochondria–the L3 variant of Mitochondrial Eve who lived about 125,000 years ago, from whom all present variants derive.

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