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how did Grok die?

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  • how did Grok die?

    As most primal people (I guess), I like to do some thinking and 'research' of my own, if I encounter some questions. MDA has been a wonderful resource for this.

    One question I had recently: 'How did Grok die'?

    Probably mainly because of trauma (being eaten, hunting accidents, ...) or calamities and maybe infectious diseases (although they probably caused more deads after the domestication of animals (see Jared Diamonds wonderful book Guns, germs and steel).

    But, if trauma/calamities/infections didn't kill Grok, how did he die?

    Searching the internet did not answer my question. I also tried looking at how wild animals die in their natural environment. There's also not a lot of information on this.

    Does anybody know what dieing of 'old age' really means?



  • #2

    Dying of old age? I guess it means living with a generalized gradual deterioration of organ function until an acute trauma or illness comes along that overwhelms their diminished capacity. I think there's also a "domino effect" where dysfunction in one system destabilizes others until several vital organs are not working adequately...


    • #3

      Orangutans and Chimps Gorillas in the wild tend to live until 45 or so - I guess when their teeth finally rot and fall out they can't chew and they die - if we didnt see dentists we would probably have no teeth by 45 ...


      • #4

        Paneristi, you really think we'd have no teeth at 45 (with no dentists or fluoridated water)? I'm not sure... especially without all the grains and sugars, our teeth would be in much better shape, right?

        Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.


        • #5


          One question I had recently: &#39;How did Grok die&#39;?</blockquote>

          Ask Mark. He&#39;s his character. :-)

          I think people in hunter-gatherer communities might die from accident or illness. I think sometimes they grew to a ripe old age but eventually became too enfeebled to move with their band. But moving was necessary: hunters must follow the game. When that happened among the Bushmen they gave the elderly person or people some food and water and set a temporary shelter up for them. There would be goodbyes and the band would go. Everyone knew that the old people would decline as the food and water ran out, and a predator would eventually move in. They knew; the people leaving them knew. I believe there was regret and sadness but little drama, because everyone also knew the young needed food if life was to carry on.


          • #6

            No teeth? Most of the fossil skeletons seen have plenty of teeth...

            Also, many animals tend to crawl off somewhere to hide and die, when they are too sick or old, if it is not by brute trauma.

            Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
            Current weight: 199
            Goal: 145


            • #7

              Korg killed him!


              • #8

                It&#39;s possible to get some references on the scenario I posit. I tried googling using the following keywords:

                anthropology abandon "old people"



                • #9

                  this all sounds a bit like Logan&#39;s run.

                  I suspect that accidental death rates were lower than they are today. Animal attacks were probably also somewhat rare, I doubt grok was hunted by carnivores. Grok and carnivores may competed for the same kill, but I suspect Grok rarely made it a life or death battle. Murder, who knows, probably. Grok would be more likely to fight with a neighbor than a tiger.

                  Grok died of what we die of, infection, disease, and starvation. Things brought on by poor nutrition and stress - surprise, surprise. When food was available, he was healthy. When it wasn&#39;t he suffered. Winter was hard, drought was harder. It has also been observed in bones that he suffered from arthritis. That&#39;s right an inflammatory disease! Lets face it, at times Grok had to "over train" he had to lift heavy and carry heavy things day in and day out, there were no rest days.

                  It doesn&#39;t mean that living the Grok way is wrong, it just means that life was hard for Grok. We are trying to learn (remember) how to live like Grok in the best of times, not replicate all aspects of his life. Doing so would shorten yours.

                  My $.02

                  It's grandma, but you can call me sir.


                  • #10

                    granny, the consensus today is that once past childhood, many paleolithic people lived long lives. Women did die in childbirth, and accidents of living happened with regularity.

                    Just saw a show a month ago about the Neanderthals and the early homo sapiens. The former were MUCH more prone to accidents in hunting because they could only figure out how to get close to a giant camel, say, to kill it, but the hs&#39;s could stay back with their bows and airborne spears. The N&#39;s show lots of broken bones and probable deaths from hunting, the hs&#39;s not so much.

                    There&#39;s that matter of average lifespan vs. average age at death. Two very, very different statistics. Right here in the good ole USA one hundred years ago the average lifespan was barely more than biblical, about 45. But with the advent of public health measures like good water and sewers, this skyrocketed upward. Medicine plays a role, too, but it&#39;s less than most people think.


                    • #11

                      Agreed -- broken bones and infections from hunting accidents were fatal in many cases. I guess I was thinking of falling to your death and things like that which cause sudden death. Being kicked by a camel may not kill you on the spot, but the injuries will likely shorten your life. Cars have greatly increased our sudden death.

                      I think the question was, if grok wasn&#39;t murdered, eaten, or drowned, how did grok die? The answer is the same as today. Organ failure. Brought on by chronic disease, infection, and poor nutrition.

                      It's grandma, but you can call me sir.


                      • #12

                        Hello people,

                        Thanks for your input so far. As I posted in my original question, I think most of our ancestors died of trauma (hunt, tribal wars, musculoskeletal injury, ...), infections, calamities (drought, tropical storms, ...).

                        I&#39;m not really interested in what of the above mentioned causes is more or less important. I&#39;m really interested in the other causes of death.

                        What if Grok did not die of trauma, infection or disaster? Because that is how we should die! Most of us will not die of infection, trauma and disaster. Let&#39;s hope none of us have to...

                        Per-Olof Astrand wrote an article already in 1992: Physical Activity and Fitness (Am J Clin Nutr l992;55: 123 1S-6S.) (pdf full text is available: Interesting read by the way!!!

                        In this article he cites:

                        “Rowe and Khan (1) point out “Research in aging has emphasized average age-related losses and neglected the substantial heterogeneity of older persons. The effects of the aging process itself have been exaggerated, and the modifying effects of diet, exercise, personal habits, and psychosocial factors underestimated. Within the category of normal aging, a distinction Within the category of normal aging, a distinction can be made between usual aging, in which extrinsic factors heighten the effects of aging alone, and successful aging, in which extrinsic factors play a neutral or positive role. Research on the risks associated with usual aging and strategies to modify them should help elucidate how a transition from usual to successful

                        aging can be facilitated.” So, the key question is to what extent impairment, morbidity, and mortality are inevitable consequences of the individual’s innate genetic composition, ie, intrinsic factors, and to what extent environment and the individual’s lifestyle, ie, extrinsic

                        factors, can modify these processes.”

                        I think that we (here at MDA) couldn’t agree more. What has usually been seen as a part of normal aging, now does NOT have to be normal, it could be environmental or contextual (diet, lifestyle, …). Muscle wasting is not an effect of aging, on the contrary, it could be the cause of aging, to give an example.

                        So my question remains: ‘How does Grok die, if he does not suffer trauma, infection and disaster?’

                        Sorry for the lengthy post ?


                        • #13

                          Given that life span has changed dramatically in the 20th century I would argue the genetics doesn&#39;t have much to do with it. I would say it is entirely about lifestyle and environment.

                          Grok died when his body could no longer endure the punishment of living. Each injury, infection, and famine shortened his life. The same systems that are in play today, inflammation and infection takes it&#39;s toll on the body.

                          It probably wasn&#39;t heart disease or cancer as those appear to be modern manifestations of inflammation and take 40 years to develop.

                          It's grandma, but you can call me sir.


                          • #14


                            It's grandma, but you can call me sir.


                            • #15

                              Well Mark&#39;s Grok is a notional individual from 10,000 years ago, isn&#39;t he?

                              There&#39;s probably no way of knowing, since remains from that long ago aren&#39;t common. And where you have got skeletal remains if there&#39;s nothing in the way of traumatic injury on the bones and no traces of disease in the bones, how would you know what took someone off?

                              All you can really do is look for "ethnographic parallels" - i.e., look at the few remaining hunter-gatherers living traditional lifestyles and eating their traditional foods. That might be problematic, since some of these last remnants have probably been pushed into more marginal areas of land, where a living is harder to make (c.f., the Bushmen and the Kalahari desert) which might skew your results. Also, as time goes on even isolated groups are more likely to be affected by outside influences.

                              It might be useful to look at 19th century accounts. Some of these people&#39;s lives were written about quite extensively just before that way of life was lost forever.

                              I think you&#39;re quite right in saying a more natural nutrient-rich diet high in meat (particularly organ meats) or fish would have kept people healthier and that many of the diseases of modern life are actually degenerative diseases brought on by bad nutrition.

                              I saw an 84 year-old Siberian tribesman out hunting on TV the other week. He was upright in his bearing and seemed sprightly and fit. He might have been in his forties or fifties. He could also take his gloves off and strew moss over a trap with very delicate movements of his fingers. The ex-special forces man in his thirties who was with him, who&#39;s climbed Everest, who demonstrated plunging naked into a lake in the same programme, and who is game for just about anything, said he&#39;d just not have been able to do that himself. This is partly about being used to the cold, but not just.

                              But I suppose there comes a time when even a man like that is tired out - perhaps not till he&#39;s over 100, but still it comes.

                              There&#39;s an interesting piece on the Machiguenga at the WAPF. And being from the WAPF, what these people eat is detailed. They sound like an interesting lot. What&#39;s said about the young, as opposed to the old is very interesting:

                              "Machiguenga children are intelligent, extremely placid yet curious, and the best adjusted I have encountered in any culture."


                              I wonder how much of a part poor diet plays in "maladjusted" behaviour among children in modern Western countries. (Obviously, it&#39;s not just the diet with the Machiguenga but the whole way of life, but that&#39;s an important factor.)