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Barefoot Running Debate

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, Jan 21, 2010.

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  1. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    We have a new thread running on this:
  2. Paulo Silva

    Paulo Silva Active Member

    Vibram FiveFingers/City Sports All-Star Barefoot Running Clinic

    Corrado Giambalvo, Professor Dan Lieberman, and author Christopher McDougall were the All-Stars behind our Barefoot Running Clinic that Vibram FiveFingers hosted with City Sports on marathon weekend in Boston.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  3. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Just like our ancestors... right up until they run on asphalt, concrete etc- about as for from natural as you get. Prof Lieberman comment?
  4. Also add to that the much much less weight of our ancestors as well.

    I was at a Viking museum awhile ago. Whenever I thought of a Viking I thought of a huge man, blonde called Sven. The grave finds of the Vikings show 150 -160 cm men who may have weighed 60 -70 max.
  5. CamWhite

    CamWhite Active Member

    Lieberman mentions that millions of years ago, running was a necessity. After some quick internet research, it appears that humans have only been on this planet for around 200,000 years.
  6. paradigmshiftfitness

    paradigmshiftfitness Welcome New Poster

    Great information!

    I'd like more information on the following quote from above by Mr Payne:
    "...and do not forget that weak intrinsic muscles of the foot actually cause a supinated high arch foot."

    I'm trying to wrap my small brain around the concept of this, and I was wondering if someone could explain the process of that(and in as much anatomical detail as possible).

    In health,
  7. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    In those with a motor neuropathy that starts distally (ie a weakness first in the plantar intrinsic muscles) develop a higher arch supinated foot. Mainly because a key role of the plantar intrinsic muscles is to plantarflex the bases of the proximal phalanx against the ground during propulsion. If they are weak, the the prox phalanx is not held firmly on the ground and 'claws' --> metatarsals plantarflex --> high arched foot..... its seen all the time in diabetes - its called the 'intrinsic minus foot'

    Also keep in mind that the instrinsic muscles do not actually fire until weight begins to come off the heel, so not amount of strengthening them is going to help a flat pronated foot as most cases of this happen before the heel comes off the ground....
  8. paradigmshiftfitness

    paradigmshiftfitness Welcome New Poster


    Thanks for the information. It makes sense that the metatarsals will PF while the distal phalanx will claw if their is not enough for to keep the proximal phalanx against the ground during propulsion. It also makes sense that strengthening them for the purpose of getting the foot out of a over pronation condition (especially with a massive FF varus) will not help because it's too late by then.

    Would you say that strengthening the foot intrinsics might be a good idea for other situations that are weight bearing, but not necessarily for forward ambulation?

  9. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I see nothing wrong with strengthening the intrinsic muscles. However, during static stance, the EMG studies show that they don't normally fire, so strengthenig ain't going to change anything at this stage. Strengthening has only the potential to change things after the heel starts to unload during gait and even then, that is when the force of propulsion come in and how can such tiny muscles resist those force? I don't care how strong they are, I just can not believe they can resist it. But strengthening them should facilitate their role in keeping the proximal phalanx stable on the ground for the foot to move over.
  10. Paulo Silva

    Paulo Silva Active Member

  11. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I have found this thread/debate fairly late in the discussion but I have read it through (from alpha to omega). I have an interest in this area as I am an experienced runner as well as a Podiatrist.

    This is certainly is an exhaustive topic... in part due to biased world views/paradigms which get rehashed over & over again (despite evidence &/or logic/reason); ambiguity & variability of the nature of factors associated with the past research (& potential research)... & interpretation thereof.

    There have been many points that have already been discussed so far that were also my concern & interest (i.e. biased interpretation & evangelical traits associated with the barefoot brigade; all or nothing mindset with the issue of barefoot running; the structure of running shoes; foot strike/running technique & to some degree running training). However, I wanted to express alternative feelings/views which kept on resurfacing about this topic which has not yet been discussed but have been closely linked to the reasoning for running barefoot... particularly by two individuals whom of which appear to have been most often linked, cited, referenced as being the authority (or even ascribed guru status) on this now ‘fashionable’ movement. I am referring to Professor Lieberman (with his research i.e. Foot strike patterns...) & Christopher McDougall (with his book i.e. Born to Run).

    Putting aside comments like the following from Professor Lieberman...
    I want to focus on another perspective he is expounding on in association with this topic.

    I must openly admit from the start that it is of a controversial nature (going by history i.e. that of academic association & of personal experience)... I would also have to include that this controversy also involves religious/metaphysical association but I would prefer not to go down this particular path for obvious reasons which all here should understand... after all, we are discussing at present what should be observational/experimental based fields of science.

    Initially I had to go through a paradigm shift & question the world views/philosophies & evidence that I grew up on & was taught as a student. I have had to go where the evidence leads... of which however, do not violate natural laws & principles.

    I can also understand why the issue I am about to refer to isn’t readily discussed, questioned & subsequently challenged/debated for fear of intellectual suicide... & even discrimination. It would (& does) seem acceptable that most (if not all) fields of study can have divergent viewpoints without attracting the perils stated in the previous sentence... except it seems one field... that being the issue of Origins – where did we come from & how did we get here? These two (potentially profound) questions seem to be academically totally devoid of any contrary association other than primarily one so called theory... to the point where an alternative explanation is forbidden in academic circles. These two questions alone can potentially tell us a lot about the intentions, consequences & reality relating to the material/immaterial factors (organic/inorganic; natural/supernatural) contained within the universe, thus subsequently may potentially give us greater insight into topics of this nature. However, having said this I do not feel it is an absolute prerequisite into the study & understanding of issues involving barefoot/shod running & the associated sciences (i.e. biomechanics/pathophysiology).

    Professor Lieberman (professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University) must think otherwise as he uses the theory (or is it merely conjecture) of evolution as the basis of his premise regarding barefoot running (i.e. quote: “The differences between shod and unshod running have evolutionary underpinnings."). With Lieberman (as well as others i.e. Madhusudhan Venkadesan, Adam I. Daoud associated with the study) being evolutionary Biologist(s) what should I (we) expect? Is it solely due to his academic background (biasness) we get this heavily laden point of view on this topic? In virtually all (in fact every single one) of the statements from him (whether on paper or on video) that I have read (& watched) have this reasoning as the basis of the premise... to take the shoes off & run as we “evolved to run with no shoes”. Christopher McDougall also uses this line of reasoning riddled throughout his book ‘Born to Run’.

    I am going to primarily quote Professor Lieberman’s work ( Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners ) as well as quotes from Barefoot Running: How Humans Ran Comfortably and Safely Before the Invention of Shoes. McDougall probably received at least some of his views from Lieberman anyway – probably to pad his book with a ‘science’ edge... thus I won't bother with his work.

    Natural selection (which is a valid scientific observation) would have little relevance in foot strike patterns in the evolutionary perspective given (even if this premise was valid). There are potentially far greater anatomical/physiological traits that would play a much greater part to play in the running ability & subsequent running endurance of humans (or the stated ‘human precursor’). RFS & FFS patterns on the supposedly often quoted softer ground surface (back in this era of pre-concrete) would I hope be determined by the individual instantaneously, or at least within the first few steps of running. We can easily test (observe) this fact for ourselves.

    The debate surrounding hominid bipedality is sometimes fought more on the grounds of presuppositions than it is on factual data. Biases towards one hypothesis can colour researchers’ interpretations of the adaptive role of morphological structures, & thus the biology & behaviour of extinct animals.

    In the alleged process of humans evolving from primates, evolutionists have considered the most important event to be the evolution of bipedal locomotion. This event is even more important than the enlargement of the brain or the fabrication of stone tools. In fact, in many evolutionary scenarios, bipedalism is thought to be the cause of the enlargement of the brain (i.e. chasing down animals for the eating of meat – a baffling view for a vegetarian like myself) & stone tool making.

    Perhaps the most famous icon of “human evolution” in modern times has been the one cited by Professor Lieberman. That being - Australopithecus afarensis... & a specimen known as ‘Lucy’ has been boldly proclaimed as the ancestor of all humanity in magazines, television shows, books, newspapers, & museums. Only 40% complete, some anthropologists/researchers have speculated that she was a fully bipedal creature possessing the perfect blend of ape-like & human-like anatomical features. Is this a fact?

    The Laetoli Footprints in 1978 by Mary Leakey’s team was welcome confirmation to evolutionists of the early evolution of bipedalism.


    They based their case on the fact that A. afarensis fossils were also found at Laetoli & that the only fossil reconstruction of the A. Afarensis foot was arched, & hence compatible with the Laetoli Footprints. We have been told (both in the scientific & in the popular literature) that Lucy was bipedal & that she is what our evolutionary ancestor at that time looked like... or close to it.

    Fairly recent evidence has come forth that Lucy has the morphology of a knuckle-walker (Richmond, B.G. & Strait, D.S., Evidence that humans evolved from a knuckle-walking ancestor, Nature 404(6776):382, 2000 - pp. 382–385) which is a distinctly quadrupedal specialization characteristic of some living apes & is quite different than walking upright. Richmond & Strait identify four skeletal features of the distal radius of the living knuckle-walking apes, chimpanzees & gorillas. They also identify similar morphological features on two early ‘hominids’, including Lucy:
    “A UPGMA clustering diagram... illustrates the similarity between the radii of A. anamensis and A. afarensis and those of the knuckle-walking African apes, indicating that these hominids retain the derived wrist morphology of knuckle-walkers.” (Richmond & Strait, Ref. 3, p. 383).

    In an interview, Richmond stated that after they analysed the wrist characteristics of living knuckle-walkers, he & Strait walked across the hall to check plaster casts at the National Museum of Natural History... presto!... she had the morphology that was classic for knuckle-walkers (Stokstad, E., Hominid ancestors may have knuckled walked, Science 287 (5461):2131, 2000).

    However, the finding of the knuckle-walking morphology in Lucy has added confusion to the supposed hominid phylogeny. Lucy was thought to be the ancestor of A. africanus because Lucy’s skull was more chimpanzee-like, but now the foot bones and lower leg of a new A. africanus specimen unexpectedly are more ape-like than Lucy. (Collard, M. & Aiello, L.C., From forelimbs to two legs, Nature 404 (6776):340, 2000). A. africanus also has more ape-like limb proportions than Lucy. On the other hand A. africanus did not have the knuckle-walking morphology that Richmond & Strait discovered in Lucy. So it seems that different parts of the body tell a different evolutionary story:
    “‘The work by Richmond & Strait further complicates the picture: it suggests that A. afarensis retained some knuckle-walking features, whereas A. africanus did not. It is no longer a case of the skull pointing to one set of phylogenetic relationships, & the postcranial skeleton—everything but the skull - to another. Rather, different parts of the post cranium may not support the same phylogenetic hypothesis.’” (Collard, M. & Aiello, L.C., From forelimbs to two legs, Nature 404 (6776):340, 2000).

    Maybe there is no evolutionary relationship at all, & these are all unique, extinct apes?

    One gets the impression that much subjective judgment goes into phylogenies. Reading between the lines, one also sees the subjective nature of choosing characters in determining evolutionary relationships. If a similar character cannot be related by evolution, it is simply assumed to be due to parallel or convergent evolution, in other words to a hypothetical similar environment.

    Now here it gets a bit more interesting from a Podiatrist point of view...
    Finally, a report in the August 2005 Scientific American suggests that there might be another problem. William E.H. Harcourt-Smith (American Museum of Natural History) & Charles E. Hilton (Western Michigan University) challenge Lucy’s bipedality. They claim that the fossil reconstruction of the A. afarensis foot is based on a mixture of fossils, some from the 3.2 million year old A. afarensis collection, and some from the 1.8 million year old Homo habilis collection. Specifically, they claim that one of the bones, the navicular, used to determine that the A. afarensis foot was arched, actually was a Homo habilis fossil foot bone, not an A. afarensis fossil foot bone. Intentional deception, maybe??... to prop up a failing paradigm (it wouldn't be the first time). Presenting their findings at the seventy-fourth Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Milwaukee, 6–9 April 2005, these researchers state again what has been known for years - that the Laetoli Footprints are virtually indistinguishable from modern arched footprints made by humans who are habitually unshod. Harcourt-Smith & Hilton then studied the naviculars of A. afarensis, H. habilis, chimpanzees, & gorillas. The measurements of the H. Habilis navicular were within the modern human range. The A. Afarensis navicular, on the other hand, was very much like that of the flat-footed apes, meaning that it was very unlikely that A. afarensis had an arched foot, as humans have. They conclude that ‘A. afarensis almost certainly did not walk like us or, by extension, like the hominids at Laetoli.’ (Wong, K., Footprints to fill, Scientific American, pp.18–19, August 2005).

    Professor Lieberman...
    Anecdotal indeed: As stated... “as the foot apparently evolved to do...”; “controlled prospective studies are needed to test the hypothesis”... also on your premise (human/foot evolution) as well.

    There are other observational aspects associated with the human foot (including the spine) which I believe to be designed (engineered) to have bipedal intentions right from the origin... with no association with quadrupeds or knuckle-walkers. I won’t discuss this now due to time & length of this already lengthy post.

    Professor Lieberman...
    Hope indeed... How?! I haven’t even heard of “evolutionary medicine” let alone figure out how it can possibly help my patients or myself as a runner.

    Hence Professor Lieberman’s use of the evolutionary paradigm on this topic is merely biased conjecture... riddled with unscientific (pseudo-scientific) reasoning. Take away the evolutionary hype from Lieberman’s (& McDougall’s) stance on this topic & all you have is a point of view (story) on why un-shod running could be beneficial based on the traits that are often associated with it (i.e. mid-foot striking).

    Lieberman & McDougall may be enthusiastically ambitious but may appear also to be more fascinated with fame & fortune than with serious science. The claims made by the cardinal exponents of the barefoot brigade may have given rise to a new era in running: one of smoke & mirrors, in which style triumphs over substance, logic & reasoning.

    There are other areas of this topic I am interested in... that being the role of minimalist footwear in running training & racing. The design of running shoes... as well as injury prevention (i.e. exercises, drills etc...). For the record I have been a runner for about 25 years – started off as a middle-distance runner & am now a distance runner. I primarily train in the Nike Free 3.0 (although, not for much longer I hear – thanks Nike!!) & have reached up to about 180km week in this shoe in the winter months. Oh; for the interest of those running on the ‘barefoot’ (inverted commas Dr Kirby) side of the fence... I also own a pair of Vibram Fivefingers... & I would not be foolish enough to race a marathon in them as I would much rather attract attention to myself with the time/place I received & not on what I am wearing... or not wearing!

    I also have doubts (personal opinion) about the following photograph i.e. I very much doubt that the Kenyan boy on the left would naturally run this way... but that’s probably best left for another time:

  12. zimmy

    zimmy Member


    I can certainly understand that this barefoot/minimalist running thing makes little sense to you if you don't believe in the theory of evolution or as someone else once said: "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution". I do think, however, that the validity of the theory of evolution has and should be discussed elsewhere.

    You correctly point out that the hypothesis that running has played an important role in human evolution is at the core of the argument made by Lieberman. I do not agree, however, that this argument is "merely biased conjecture... riddled with unscientific (pseudo-scientific) reasoning" as you put it. On the contrary, I think what he is proposing is an interesting research programme. While not proving anything, the recent Nature paper by Lieberman aswell as the study by Kerrigan are certainly interesting in this perspective.

    I'm a bit surprised that the evolutionary perspective is so little discussed in this thread. In the absense of clinical/epidemiological studies, putting some emphasis on the evolutionary argument and experimenting with barefoot running on a personal basis, is not being a nutcase.

  13. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    This will be an interesting read - like a modern day Born to Run perhaps. The bible part II for barefoot runners?


    Particularly interested in the "latest science behind the benefits of barefoot running, including findings of Dr. Daniel Lieberman’s 2010 British Science Journal Nature study". Like to see how it was interpreted.
  14. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I would love to see what that is about. There is NO science that I am aware of about the benefits of barefoot running. And there was nothing in Lieberman's study about the benefits! Even Lieberman himself stated that in the disclaimer on his website becasue of the way his research was being interpreted.
  15. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Hi zimmy,
    It seems a welcome is in order :welcome: ... as I see you have just joined the forum & was apparently inspired to post shortly after. Thanks for specifically responding to my post & I trust zimmy will continue to contribute more in the future.

    You can understand?... how/why?? On the contrary, I understand the "barefoot/minimalist running thing" fairly well I think... I just don't believe this topic should be associated with evolution. I even understand why it has been associated with evolution which is why I wrote what I did at post # 411. This was the point... I gave reasons why it isn't an intelligent premise to take on this issue. The reasons & facts outlined in my post were specific to the speculative evolutionary perspective used by Professor Lieberman i.e. 'human-precursor' bipedalism. Being that I have a sincere interest in running, Podiatry as well as the topic of Origins; this thread & views expressed in the cited literature certainly inspired me to put forward an alternative opinion on the barefoot topic. You do not need to believe in evolution to understand this topic & you do not need to use evolution to conduct meaningful research on this topic.

    Theodore Dobzhansky was a prominent geneticist & evolutionary biologist who had an agenda when writing the above cited piece... he was criticising anti-evolution Creationism & espousing theistic evolution (as he apparently believed in God). He felt the need to do so as evolution was starting (early 1970's) to be critiqued more formally (i.e. advancement of molecular biology) as well as the growing I.D movement to have I.D taught in public schools in the US. This movement often used moronic reasoning to substantiate their views (& still do). The piece was written over 35 years ago & Dr. Dobzhansky did pass away way back in 1975, thus his views are not particularly valid today... particularly in light of the advancement of the sciences.

    It can be a potentially interesting research program... providing it is done so properly, with valid, usable information coming from it. In other words... not allowing presuppositions associated with historical/forensic interpretational type science (i.e. paleontology, evolutionary biology) get in the way of, or over ride factual data obtained from observational/experimental science (i.e. biomechanics, physics/mathematics). The above quote you cited... "merely biased conjecture... riddled with unscientific (pseudo-scientific) reasoning" was written in relation to the use of the evolutionary examples stated in this particular study... one of which has been associated with deception (i.e. mixed bone samples) in an attempt to prop up a failing paradigm. A paradigm that was a key premise in Lieberman’s paper.

    Yes, this is my point... it proved very little... for reasons alluded to in my post. Take away the evolutionary hype/padding (I stand by the terms of “biased conjecture”) from the study & you are left with some mildly interesting superficial views on the nature of footstrike patterns between differently conditioned runners with differing techniques, differing structure/physiology in association with state of foot attire. The study certainly has potential but the final results/conclusion didn’t enlighten me further than what I already knew (except without the specific figures). This sort of study needs to reveal more in relation to the relationship between potential adverse forces relating to footwear structure, foot strike contact zones & lower limb morphology... which may then give rise to a running injury.

    Yes, however I did give reasons for this as far as my perspective (that of seriously questioning/critiquing the evolutionary paradigm in today’s climate). Maybe others too saw little relevance to the evolution slant & thus could not be bothered to bring it up; then again there are likely others who do not question evolution due to the degree of credulity/dogmatism in light of the supposed history of the transitional workings of nature proclaimed so many times through various forms via the media & academia.

    I am unsure as to what context the above is written? Are you referring to Lieberman or me? Also regarding the link associated with “nutcase” (www.runningbarefootisbad.com)... Is this alluding to the manager of the website being a “nutcase” or the websites target movement being a “nutcase”?

    I agree. I had no intentions to hijack this thread & direct it towards a Creation/evolution debate. It is a barefoot running debate with “evolutionary underpinnings” (quote Lieberman... “The differences between shod and unshod running have evolutionary underpinnings." ) related to one of the prime studies (& prime advocates) of the discussion (not including McDougall’s book). The validity of the evolutionary perspective & examples stated by Dr Lieberman is what I intend to put forward on the table.

    Some interesting quotes stated regarding the book...

    "Both recreational athletes and professional athletes will learn how to become stronger, faster and lighter in all activities."

    "If you answer “YES” to any of the questions below,
    than this book is for you!

    •Have you been searching for a way to overcome injury?
    •Are you currently running with pain? (shin splints, knee pain, hip pain, etc?)
    •Are you new to running and hope to avoid injury?
    •Are you a recreational runner hoping to run with less impact?
    Are you a performance athlete desiring to run a faster 5K, 10K, marathon or ultramarathon?
    •Are you an endurance athlete looking to run further, lighter and more efficiently?
    •Are you an athlete who uses running as a cross training activity, but want to stay injury free?
    •Have you always viewed running as a chore and want to rediscover the joy and fun of running?"

    "Topics include all of the following:

    •A Special Greeting from Barefoot Ted
    •A Foreword by Danny Dreyer, the best selling author of ChiRunning and ChiWalking
    The latest science behind the benefits of barefoot running, including findings of Dr. Daniel Lieberman’s 2010 British Science Journal Nature study.
    •How to heal and stay injury free
    •Building balance, strength, endurance
    •Building strong feet, legs, hips, muscles, tendons & joints
    •Developing strong pads on the bottoms of your feet
    •Training routines including cross training
    •How to use shoes as a helpful tool
    •Adjusting to different surfaces & terrain
    Meditation, quieting the mind and connecting with nature"
  16. zimmy

    zimmy Member

    I agree that you can do research on the function of the foot in running on a proximate level. The evolutionary perspective, however, adds to this by by providing hypotheses about the ultimate causes of various adaptations. If running played an important role in human evolution it follows that the bare human foot should be optimized for running to a high degree. As a result of trade-offs with other functions of the foot, the relatively recent use of footwear, and running perhaps becoming less important with the arrival of agriculture etc., some of these adaptations to running may have been lost to some extent but even so, the evolutionary perspective suggest that it may be hard to make any significant improvements to the running capability of the human foot and that many forms of shoes instead may have a detrimental injurious effect overall. You may want to read some papers on evolutionary medicine. In short, the evolutionary perspective leads to some interesting research questions.

    In your first post on this issue you state the following:
    I'm not sure how to interpret this but you seem to believe in something other than evolution. If you believe that some god-like creature "designed" or "engineered" us, there would be no reason to believe that we should be better adapted to running without rather than with shoes as far as I can see.

    Which advancements?
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  17. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Hi zimmy,
    It would seem I need to be more open & lay my cards on the table (so to speak). The premise of my perspective is that of ultimate causation (ultimate level). That being, I believe the human body (in fact everything in the biosphere & universe) has a higher order intelligence associated with its design & function i.e. symmetry, articulating surfaces of the hundreds of joints, positioning of tendon attachments etc... also the symbiotic relationship found in the biosphere & universe for life (i.e. anthropic principle).

    I am starting to know the nature of your cards in relation to the barefoot issue (in relation to the last sentence of above quote). With that aside... as far as your evolutionary perspective on this topic is concerned you rightly state it is a hypothesis (I say conjecture). You (& others) may view this hypothesis in the realms of ultimate causation however the perspective is speculative & subsequently associated with error & even deception/fraud to prop up a failing paradigm (i.e. case for bipedalism using different Navicular as stated in post 411).

    Your view of running playing an “important role in human evolution” does not resonate with me. I believe the human body (foot) was created/designed to run.
    You state...“some of these adaptations to running may have been lost to some extent”... What adaptations are you talking about? However, the change/loss of genetic information is all that has been evident in the study of life forms... not the acquisition of millions of new genetic information of new functional complexity.

    Getting back to your view of causation (i.e. proximate, ultimate). My perspective on this topic (& that of Origins) does not violate the principle of causation. That being... the cause of all subsequent causes must itself be uncaused. That meaning... there must be a cause which is the cause of all subsequent causes but is not itself caused (an eternal entity) by some other cause... otherwise the chain keeps going back (i.e. traversing through eternity – illogical??... as there cannot be an infinite regress of causation). This principle of causation trouble Einstein due to the following...

    The common evolutionary perspective is that there was some form of a Big Bang. Just to prove I’m not making this up, one of the greatest scientific minds on the planet – Professor Stephen J. Hawking (wrote the number 1 scientific book of all time – "A Brief History Of Time") said that almost everyone believes that the universe, in fact time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang. Here is something interesting... if you have a beginning, by definition you must have a beginner (this troubled Einstein). Einstein tried to find ways round it but Edwin Hubble confirmed he was on the right track... that being... there looks to be a beginning. But who or what was the “beginner”? Thus the evolutionary (materialist) perspective on this (confirmed by Dr Dawkins) is that... this grand, glorious, enormous universe came out of nothing that we know... for nothing that we know... by nothing that we know... because of nothing that we know. I just don’t have enough faith to believe in this “hypothesis”. To believe life can come from non-life is a medieval concept... & shouldn’t be used as the basis of their premise by intelligent researchers in fields such as this. I subsequently believe that evolution has actually hindered research.

    You may find them interesting... but are they valid, functional & necessary... & subsequently a waste of precious time, bits/bytes & paper. As I have said, this field of “evolutionary ‘medicine” has not helped my patients nor myself. However, your above cited wiki page on evolutionary medicine (even named Darwinian Medicine :confused:) talks about the evolution of pathogens in terms of their virulence, resistance to antibiotics, and subversion of an individual’s immune system. In this regard the amazing attributes of the immune system goes far beyond the scope of the evolutionary explanation... there is a more logical ultimate causation behind the obvious intelligence of this particular system.

    There are other explanations/evidence which many do not hear about in regards to pathogens & the resistance to antibiotics which is common knowledge to microbiologists. That being:

    1. Some germs already had the resistance: In this kind of instance, the information to resist the antibiotic was already there in the bacterial population - it did not arise by itself, or in response to the antibiotic. That some germs were already resistant to man-made antibiotics before these were invented is common knowledge to microbiologists. Soil samples from villages where modern antibiotics had never been used show that some of the germs are already resistant to drugs like methicillin which have never existed in nature. Bacteria revived from the frozen intestines of explorers who died in polar expeditions carried resistance to several modern antibiotics, which had not been invented when the explorers died (R. McGuire, ‘Eerie: Human Arctic fossils yield resistant bacteria’ Medical Tribune December 29, 1988, pp. 1, 23.).

    2. Some germs directly transfer their resistance to others: In an amazing process, the closest thing to sex in bacteria, one germ inserts a tiny tube into another, & a little loop of DNA called a ‘plasmid’ transfers from one to another. This sort of gene transfer, which can obviously pass on information for resistance to a drug, can even happen between different species of bacteria.

    3. Some germs become resistant through mutation: Interestingly, where this happens, there is no clearcut evidence of information arising. All such mutations appear to be losses of information, degenerative changes. For example, loss of a control gene may enhance resistance to penicillin. Remember, bugs will always be that... just bugs!

    Well I think part of your query has now already been answered above (i.e. perspective on the Origins topic). As far as the query regarding footwear... I haven’t as yet detailed further on my views from post 411...
    In short I thus believe that footwear should not adversely inhibit the natural function of the feet. This is where it gets complicated due to the many individual & varied traits of the lower limb in the world. However, to simplify due to this already lengthy post; I feel the midsole of the shoe should be flat (meaning that there is no pitch between the heel & forefoot) & not too thick. Footwear serves to protect the feet... not attempt to alter its function which can also alter the style of the runner & thus contribute to more adverse forces (i.e. eccentric loading forces). For those individuals which require some degree of support due to unconducive osseous structural integrity then a custom type orthotic is beneficial to help them continue to partake in the sport they love without meeting their injury threshold around the next bend. Maybe more on this later. The following are pictures of footwear that serve me well...


    Vibram FF - with added poron inside.

    Nike Free 3.0.

    However, these may not serve others quite as well.

    Ummm, well... there is many (to say the least). I’d like to think (hope) we have had some degree of advancement in the various disciplines of science in the past 35 years i.e. Genetics (completion of the Human Genome Project), Micro-Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Quantum Physics, Medicine... Podiatry etc...

    The views of a ‘few’ should not be reflective of the views of all.
  18. zimmy

    zimmy Member

    Hi Matthew,

    What you are saying is all very interesting. I'm sure you will enjoy this little tune.

    Best regards,
  19. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Hello Zimmy
    As you seem to like the evolutionary aspect of the barefoot running debate, can you clear a few things up for me?
    How long does it take to evolve adaptations?
    You note that we were well adapted to running thousands of years ago as a means of survival. Do you think that the type of running and terrain were the same as today?
    Man had modified our environment by laying down footpaths, pavements, sidewalks, roads (in the past 50 years), and then has 're-discovered' running- for recreation rather than survival (in the past 30 years).
    So we have a population that thas, through the years, become more sedentary. The arrival of agriculture (since you mention it) would allow less athletic groups to survive and breed over generations. Add in the industial revolution, and, while whe are at it, fast food and consumerism and generally we have a lazy population who may not actually have been 'Born to Run' (not saying they shouldn't though...)
    Maybe these thousands of years are not enough time to breed out the inherent ability to run... well that's ok, but then we go back to the environment having changed since then.
    Is this an evolutionary perspective?

    Barefoot running clearly is beneficial to some people, but just as clearly detrimental for others.
    I would prefer to look at why it helps some and how do we predict who it will help so we don't have people getting stress fractures from following the advice of unqualified armchair experts.
  20. zimmy

    zimmy Member

    Most of the morphological traits involved are likely to be polygenic (influenced by genes at a relative large number of loci). How fast such traits evolve will depend on the strength of selection and the amount of additative genetic variance in the trait. As is evident from animal and plant breeding, large evolutionary changes can occur in just a few generations, beyond the range of variation found in the initial population, if selection is strong. See any introductory textbook on quantitative genetics. Once persistance hunting appeared as a novel new method of obtaining food, selection may have been very strong for a few hundred generations.

    So called genetic correlations with other traits (caused by pleiotropic genetic effects) and selection pressures operating on these other traits may create so called indirect selection in the opposite direction. Such genetic correlation and the resulting indirect selection can be viewed as a cost associated with a trait such as "running ability".

    Natural surfaces are quite variable: http://www.thisfabtrek.com/journey/africa/mauritania/20051225-nema/bedouin1-4.jpg
    I don't think man-made surfaces such as asphalt is particularly difficult to run on with proper conditioning.

    Yes, nothing comes without a cost so there is likely to be some cost associated with the evolved genetic basis underlying the physiological ability to run long distances. So once a direct survival advantage associated with running disappears or weakens, there is going to be some selection against these traits. We clearly do not know how large these costs are and how fast evolved adaptations to running are being lost.

    I would think that our current sedentary lifestyle plays a bigger role here. So it is more a question of what can be achieved with proper training. Another prediction of evolutionary medicine would be that the body is more likely to respond well (through evolved plasticity) to challenges which have occured in our evolutionary past.

    In the complementary perspective of evolutionary medicine, foot conditions such as athletes foot, blisters, black toenails, corns, calluses can be interpreted as result of putting the foot in an environment (shoes) different from the environment in which the foot evolved. I cannot imagine that there is anything controversial about that (there are of course other more proximate causes aswell). So based on our past evolutionary history, I really don't think it is a far-fetched hypothesis that also many of the injuries associated with running may also be a result of shoes which certainly warrants further research.
  21. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Ok- well comments like above suggest to me that you don't really grasp some basic concepts of overuse injuries.
    Contrary to what you state above, asphalt is more likely to cause problems because it is so regular and even.
    Every step you take is applying the same ground reaction force at the same angle- this gives a much greater chance of injury as the cumulative load is applied to the same tissues the same way.
    Some people are fortunate enough to have flexibility/ alignment/strength that may be able to handle this repetitive motion, but there are many that do not have this, and footwear and or orthoses may be able to help them in someway like an adapter.
    Asphalt is easier to run on if you are concerned about something like an acute ankle injury, but I am sure there are many runners out there who are like me and would much prefer to run on a natural undulating terrain (which may or may not be hard... this is not as important as the variability).
    This is where I feel the evolution argument falls down- most of the time we are running on surfaces we have not evolved to run on... do you think we have evolved at all since running for recreation became popular?
    For what it is worth, when asked about barefoot running I advise people that if they want to try it, do it carefully , progressively, and on natural terrain (and i would only advise it if I thought they had reasonable enough mechanics to handle it).
    Many of these problems often are not related to shoes, and often footwear can be part of the management. The only exception I can see on your list would be athlete's foot. I am currently working in an environment where people are habitually in open shoes and live in tiled houses where they go without footwear. I have lost count of the number of people who present with problems which they relate to being barefoot around the house. In addition the rate of heel fissures, and callouses is higher than I can recall in Australia. Don't see much athletes foot though...
  22. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thank you Zimmy for the tune... only from Texas hey. I did enjoy it, however, the tune did come back to haunt me later that day when I went for a run... it kept playing over & over in my head :wacko:. Yet I feel the event did lead to something constructive as I did my tempo (steady state run) run on an undulating rocky bush trail. Reaching speeds of nearly 3min/km I came across two wallabies (creatures from the kangaroo family – if you’re not familiar with Australian wildlife) that effortlessly took off & left me behind. I then pondered on the running ability of us humans & that of the primate family. This run was of about 15km on a course which required jumping down rocks on the way out & subsequently bounding up them on the way home. Despite the lack of endurance capabilities present in the primate family the main comparative attributes that kept resurfacing (between bouts of that tune popping up) was that of the physiology/biomechanics involved & the apparent conducive pathways needed to take place for this presumed unguided evolutionary course.

    The physiological implications are wonderfully diverse & must make a thoughtful person stand in awe of the complexity required for such an ordinary thing as running. How could so many multiple, independent adaptations converge on the ability to run? How many lucky mutations did that require? How many additional adaptations are required for running up and down stairs, running up and down hills, or hopping from boulder to boulder either running down or up a mountain?

    Keep in mind that it’s not just the skeleton, joints & muscles that need to be adapted for these things. All the body’s systems must be prepared for the jolts of running: circulatory, endocrine, reproductive, nervous, sensory, digestive, excretory, lymphatic & respiratory (as well as heat dissipation) - from the subcellular level, to the tissue, to the organ, to the integrated body. A lucky mutation here or there will accomplish nothing, & will likely be selected against & removed, unless every change is synchronized to the whole function.

    Experimental science has shown that epistatic interactions prevent this, effectively falsifying the neo-Darwinian paradigm. Looking at the results & conclusions of experiments by three evolutionary biologists at the Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de Valencia in Spain (Rafael Sanjuán, Andrés Moya, and Santiago F. Elena, “Evolution: The contribution of epistasis to the architecture of fitness in an RNA virus,”) (abstract here).
    The team was looking for epistatic interactions i.e. the effects of multiple independent (non-allelic) mutations on each other, rather than the effects of single mutations alone. These interactions can be antagonistic or synergistic: they can work against one another or with one another. Epistasis is defined as “any interaction of nonallelic genes, especially the suppression by one gene of the effect of a nonallelic gene.” Of note in this paper are the opening lines in the abstract that tell how rarely this important concept has been studied before (i.e. never - at date of publication)...

    “The tendency for genetic architectures to exhibit epistasis among mutations plays a central role in the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology and in theoretical descriptions of many evolutionary processes. Nevertheless, few studies unquestionably show whether, and how, mutations typically interact. Beneficial mutations are especially difficult to identify because of their scarcity. Consequently, epistasis among pairs of this important class of mutations has, to our knowledge, never before been explored. “

    They performed two classes of experiments to measure the effects of epistasis on mutations...

    “Interactions among genome components should be of special relevance in compacted genomes such as those of RNA viruses. To tackle these issues, we first generated 47 genotypes of vesicular stomatitis virus carrying pairs of nucleotide substitution mutations whose separated and combined deleterious effects on fitness were determined. Several pairs exhibited significant interactions for fitness, including antagonistic and synergistic epistasis. Synthetic lethals represented 50% of the latter. In a second set of experiments, 15 genotypes carrying pairs of beneficial mutations were also created. In this case, all significant interactions were antagonistic.”

    In other words, none of their pairs of mutations occupied the necessary box labelled “beneficial & synergistic.” Half of the synergistic (working-together) actions they measured were “synthetic lethals” (killed each other). The other 50% maybe didn’t kill the organisms but still decreased fitness overall. The second experiment was all the more depressing... given two beneficial mutations in the same organism, all significant interactions were antagonistic - they often counteract one another.

    In the above cited paper, the researchers found that beneficial mutations do not add up, even in the best of circumstances. Neo-Darwinian theory assumes that beneficial mutations act independently, but the team found that of the eight actual best-case scenarios (two beneficial mutations working antagonistically, since none worked synergistically) over half decreased the total fitness of the result from what would be expected if the beneficial mutations acted alone. They called this “decompensatory epistasis”. What does this mean to neo-Darwinian theory?

    “Indeed, when epistasis is decompensatory, both beneficial alleles involved in the interaction cannot spread to fixation in the population, because the double mutant is less fit than each single mutant.”

    This drastically undercuts any hope for evolutionary progress. Beneficial mutations are “scarce” to begin with, but more is not better – it’s worse. Like adding hot sauce to ice cream, the benefits of each counteract one another when combined. “As a consequence,” they continue, describing the only hope left...

    “lineages bearing alternative beneficial mutations should compete with each other on their way to fixation & as a consequence of asexuality and clonal interference, and only the best competitor will eventually become fixed in the population.”

    That is, only one beneficial mutation can become fixed at a time, even in the best case scenario...

    "... antagonistic epistasis represents the most abundant type of interaction among beneficial mutations, with several cases showing decompensatory epistasis.”

    So there. These scientists finally put neo-Darwinism to the test in a microcosm that should have shown (if the principles were correct) a clear case of fitness increasing as a result of natural selection acting on beneficial mutations. It failed. Not only were no instances of synergistic beneficial mutations detected, the beneficial mutations that were artificially inserted worked against each other! Neo-Darwinism is falsified! And it was falsified not by creationists, but by evolutionary biologists working in the lab at an institute for the study of biological evolution!

    I even believe (vaguely remember) that Professor Lieberman was involved in a study back in 2004 that pointed out that running is not a by-product of walking – it requires too many independent structural adaptations.

    Putting aside many speculative points that doesn’t resonate with me (or science on the whole).You seem to be painting a grim picture of the future of running for us humans. This planet contains a vast contrast between humans who are extremely active & those who are extremely sedentary. From your line of reasoning... what does the supposed future hold for us? Could it be the species of Homo Sapien could split to something like what is depicted the 1960 film of H. G. Wells’ “The Time Machine”? Where there could be a split to post-human races like i.e. the Eloi & the Morlocks (of the film).

    We must notice the stark contrast between the measurable science & the fluffy speculation about evolution i.e. in the writings of Professor Lieberman (with his research i.e. Foot strike patterns...) & Christopher McDougall (i.e. Born to Run). Necessity is the mother of invention, not evolution: invention is intelligent design; evolution, on the contrary, is mindless & directionless... based ultimately on accidents.

    Any scientific hypothesis must be testable & subject to falsification by experiment. It is not enough to tell just-so stories & describe things in glittering generalities with armchair scenarios. Neo-Darwinian theory: the idea that natural selection acting on “scarce” beneficial mutations can produce all the diversity of life (including the physiological/biomechanical requirements needed for that of some primate lineage to run my 15km course) must be testable if it is to be declared scientific. It is practical/real experiences like this that help us (at least me) realise the implications involved in a topic such as this.

    Of course there is nothing controversial about the above stated conditions being the result with some individuals (not all) who of which have provided a conducive environment (i.e. poor fitting footwear, inappropriate footwear) for these conditions to occur. It happens... you find the cause, deal with it & move on. I can easily provide another list which can be associated with barefoot running... ‘barefoot’ (minimalist footwear) running a marathon for example (I’m sure Professor Lieberman could have enlightened you after his London experience in the Vibrams). These are superficial results of the lifestyle we choose & it does not need to embrace evolutionary medicine (Darwinian medicine) to understand it. Call me dim... but I just do not get it!

    However, I have been thinking of late about this field in which you embrace to substantiate your views. This field of evolutionary medicine does seem to have influences & repercussions... & the only natural progression I can see which embraces this evolutionary paradigm is the potentially destructive & debasement field of Eugenics... the pioneer of which was Sir Francis Galton, who was none other than the cousin of Charles Darwin.

    Yes, I agree (all here on this forum also agree) it warrants further research but (I feel) not in association with the premise based on as you stated... “past evolutionary history”. We should study what lays before us... the ideal parameters of the foot (structure & movement) in association with the ideal parameters of foot protection which do not inhibit the ideal function of the foot, which in turn should enable us to gain strength, efficiency & fitness during our training & enhance speed/performance during our racing. It is these aspects I have been looking into.

    Subsequently I have come up with a means to train in minimalist type footwear (for want of a better term) to enable a more natural (uninhibited) foot function but not at the expense where foot health can potentially be compromised via bruising, cuts, puncture wounds etc... However, the goal (I feel) with training as opposed to racing is to increase O2 consumption (increase metabolic cost) for extra strength & fitness, thus I have added weight to the lower limb (but not in association with the shoe) for some sessions of my training. Conversely with racing, we want a light shoe to decrease O2 consumption (decrease metabolic cost) but not to the point where the foot/lower limb (i.e. muscles) have to work harder, thus less efficient for a race environment where as most energy is needed towards optimum performance endeavours (particularly for the marathon). Thus a light shoe with a light custom made semi-rigid (or semi-flex - whatever term is more appropriate) orthotic inside to aid in efficiency (i.e. reducing degree of muscle effort), shock-absorption & energy return whilst running at a higher speed for as long as possible is the objective.

    If only I was thinking of this 10 years ago.
  23. Griff

    Griff Moderator

  24. Tipsytoes

    Tipsytoes Member

    Had a very interesting "barefoot" moment this weekend at a presentation on gait. One of the people in the audience made a comment that going barefoot would cure all gait issues and further that going barefoot and using only the toes was the best way to store impact energy in the muscles and then release it to propel one forward. Commentor said "studies have shown" that the major purpose for several large muscle groups was energy storage for the rebound, and not energy generation... The presentor replied with "I wrote that study, and that is not what I said."

    (Apparently actual energy storage is miniscule, but the idea of a free lunch seems to be quite seductive. A perpetual motion machine right there in our legs if only we take off our shoes!)
  25. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I love it! We see that all the time. That has been my big gripe in this thread and others about barefoot running. Its the way the barefoot running community misue, misrepresent and misquote research to say something that it did not.
  26. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Ouch- shot doooownnnn....
  27. zimmy

    zimmy Member

    So which paper are you talking about here?
  28. Tipsytoes

    Tipsytoes Member

    Their interaction lasted all of 10 or 15 seconds. Neither cited the paper they were referring to. So in answer to the question "which paper were they talking about?" I'm sorry, but I have to say that I don't know.
  29. I was interviewed by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper a few weeks ago on the topic of barefoot running. Here is the article that was published today.

    Attached Files:

  30. CamWhite

    CamWhite Active Member

  31. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    The following has been touted (advertised) as the "Barefoot Running Bible" on an Australian based running forum...


    The following are quotes from the linked website from that forum site... found here.

    ..."cutting-edge science". "cutting-edge", give me a break! I can guess what 'science' the author of this piece could be referring to & part of it aint science (in the true context of the term... philosophy maybe!) & subsequently it is at least 10 parsecs from what we know (or should term) as "cutting-edge".

    Well, it may have revealed everything what Mr McDougall knew about running was wrong (i.e. with constant injuries - obviously something wasn't sinking in) but some people have been nutting over these related questions for quite a while... longer than the expressed supposed 'enlightenment' of the fellowship of McDougall, Lieberman & the mysterious runners from the mysterious Canyon lands. Come to think of it... it sounds like an intriguing plot for a movie. What's the bet that one will result???

    I am further intrigued by the claims... & curious - do deer live in that region? More importantly... "Olympic marathoner"... which one??!! I really would like to know.

    "Modern existence" is plagued be a great many things. In short... poor diet & lifestyle factors (choices)... i.e. fast, fatty, nutrient deprived food accompanied by laziness is the basis of the "diseases and strife that plague modern existence"... not the state of foot attire... or the philosophy thereof.

    The mysterious loner has been given a name... "Caballo Blanco" - otherwise known as "Horse" or even "Space Horse" (that sounds even more mysterious). He even has his own website... no really, he does... here.

    WOW! ... You can say that again.

    Yep, my presumption of quote 1 seems to be correct i.e. Professor Lieberman at his "high-tech science labs at Harvard." Where would this topic be without those “high-tech” science labs to substantiate this movement.

    Indeed all of us were born to run... because we were Created to run. However, who would have thought that "the secret of happiness is right at your feet". I have alternative views on this statement. However, as silly as the statement is, it does sound like a good slogan for Podiatry... hey, maybe for Podiatry Arena.

    With the above quotes in mind, I think the following award is now well overdue...


    As I have said before: Some barefooter convertees may be enthusiastically ambitious but may appear also to be more fascinated with fame & fortune than with serious science. The claims made by the cardinal exponents of the barefoot brigade may have given rise to a new era in running: one of smoke & mirrors, in which style triumphs over substance, logic & reasoning.
  32. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Having read 'Born to Run', there is no cutting edge science in it! Just nonsensical misinterpretation and mispresentation of science.

    It still amazes me how many people are that gullible that they fell for so much fiction in that book.

    I did get am email from a barefoot runner the other day as a result of them reading here at Podiatry Arena, which I though was quite neat. In part they said:
  33. zimmy

    zimmy Member

    I think an award for the most "stupid religious quote of the week" would be more appropriate. Seriously though, am I the only one who find Matthew's take on the issues in this thread a bit ... bizarre? Or are you all evolution deniers?

    How about you Professor Payne, what are your views on the theory of evolution?
  34. CamWhite

    CamWhite Active Member

    I read "Born to Run" last month while traveling, and tried to read it with an open mind. Here are my takeaway thoughts:

    * An entertaining read about a mystical tribe of people that embraced running for the pure passion of running. Interesting characters like Caballo Blanco tossed in.

    * A beautiful job of product placement. If you want to run like these people, you need to be wearing Vibram 5 Fingers.

    * Brazen, unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of barefoot or scantily-shod running. This invites controversy, and solidly places zealots on either side of the debate. As long as the debate rages, there's money to be made.

    * McDougall and company travel the world espousing the benefits of barefoot running, collect handsome speaking fees, sell books and are generously supported by Vibram Five Fingers. Best-seller book royalties, speaking fees and paid endorsements - absolutely brilliant.

    * Reports of running injuries associated with VFF, especially stress fractures, are reported in waves. Barefoot Ted or McDougall pull-out in agonizing pain from a barefoot "fun-run" event. The media looks at the mounting scientific evidence about health dangers of barefoot running, and jump on to a "juicy" story discrediting barefoot running. The Tamahura tribe is photographed running in Brooks Beast shoes. :D

    * After 3 years, Vibram 5 Fingers, and a rash of Chinese knock-offs fall out of favor. McDougall & company count their money.

    Conclusion: Excellent entrepreneurship, at the expense of a ton of suckers.
  35. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Welcome back zimmy.

    I must admit I had second thoughts about posting that image as it could potentially be a thorn in the sole of some barefooters out there... who didn't see the humour of it. However, I felt the image & associated text represented the issues discussed on this topic (thread) rather well.

    Anyway, I had hoped your comprehension of my previous posts was satisfactory to at least understand the direction I was coming from. I (thought) at least I tried to articulate the points quite clearly. For starters zimmy, I am not (was not) talking about religion... I was discussing the origin of life in association with its use by the expounded supposed acclaimed key researcher on this topic of Barefoot Running i.e. evolutionary biologist Professor Lieberman. Did he or did he not use evolution as the basis behind his reasoning on this topic? Does he always (from at least what I have read in articles & seen in videos) use this same evolutionary premise as the basis for his reasoning?

    OK then, with that in mind, I have an alternative view on this perspective... & I expressed it... & I am entitled to express this alternative point of view in relation to the topic. I gave reasons for it; I provided evidence of it & provided scientific research to counteract the evolutionary perspective supported by Professor Lieberman & yourself. If what I have said has been inappropriate, false or deceitful in any way then please provide an example.

    Tolerance is usually granted in one direction (particularly in academia) when it comes to the issue of the origin of life - & that is towards the evolutionist. However, I must admit the tolerance on this forum has been a pleasant surprise (thank you all). I am a Creationist as a result of much thought on the matter (I had no religious upbringing) . I do not, nor intend to push these views onto anybody & I certainly avoid a religious dialogue. I simply express an alternative point of view which isn't adequately expressed or discussed due to reasons outlined in post # 411 i.e.
    Isn't this worth considering? Isn’t a potentially more positive & logical (i.e. post #417 ) perspective to Lieberman’s viewpoint worth investigating?

    Why do you find it bizarre? Like I have said, my take on this thread has been directly related to the topic & the issues surrounding it. I'll admit, considered by many as unconventional... but I feel I have expressed some valid points & valid reasons for concern. Which brings me to the next issue...
    What is this "stupid religious quote of the week"... or was it just a comeback take on my barefoot image.

    I have provided reasons why this is unfortunately a sensitive/controversial topic i.e. discrimination. I personally feel to single one person out on his/her view on this issue is not appropriate.

    I personally feel to open the door to an Intelligent source to that of which I would describe as an intelligently designed (sorry, no pun intended) structure (i.e. the lower limb) can potentially give us greater insight on this topic & the associated issues involved i.e. barefoot running, running footwear design, biomechanics, injuries etc...
  36. zimmy

    zimmy Member

    I did some research and apparantly you have adopted that image from some anti-evolution, creationist website. So yes, I suppose it represents your point of view rather well...

    Yes. Get it. No need to shout brother.

    It's very unclear to me what you actually believe. If I remember correctly you claim that we (home sapiens?) have been "designed to have bipedal intentions right from the origin". By whom? How on earth did that happen? Why is it that we share so many characteristics (a large part of our DNA) etc.. with other primates? That would be very unlikely under a creationist theory but is a prediction of the theory of evolution. So this is (some of the) evidence supporting the theory of evolution.

    I find your anti-evolution standpoint bizarre because there is an overwhelming number of facts which supports the theory of evolution. Go read something on the topic, e.g. "why evolution is true" by Jerry Coyne rather than spending your time on creationist websites. If you really think you have disproved evolution, why don't you submit your findings to a major scientific journal?

    I find your statement "we were Created to run" "stupid" as there is no evidence whatsoever supporting it. The fossil record provides (some) evidence supporting that running capability evolved about 2 million years ago. See Lieberman's (2004) paper and references therein.

    Let the guy speak for himself.
  37. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I have seen this claim made many times by those in the barefoot running community when arguing with critics. Why do they bring that up for? What has it got to do with evolution?
    This has nothing to do with evolution. My views on evolution have nothing to do with it. To me, its all about the misrepresentation and misquoting and misunderstanding of the research by the evangelists from the Church of barefoot Running.

    If I am an evolution denier or not, what has that got to do with the way the research is being totally misused and misquoted?

    How many times in this thread and others have I said I have nothing against barefoot running. I just have a problem with the nonsensical and unsubstantiated claims that get made for it.
  38. zimmy

    zimmy Member

    I'm sorry for repeating myself, but if we evolved without shoes, that is, if the genetic basis underlying the physiology of our feet are a result of millions of years of natural selection operating on quantitative genetic variation, one would expect our bare feet to be fairly well adapted to the demands of walking and running, just like the feet of other animals. Yes, there is more to it than just this but this is at the core of the argument.

    For someone who does not believe that we are a result of evolution, no such prediction follows.

    So, seriously, how you can say that evolution is irrelevant is beyond me. If we are going to take you seriously, it is of course relevant to know what your view on the theory of evolution is. While focusing on the "misrepresentation and misinterpretation of research" you seem to repeatedly overlook the core of the argument. So, again, what is your view on the theory of evolution?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  39. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Evolution is irrevalent to this debate. What has evoluition got to do with the way that the barefoot running community misintepret, misrepresent and misquote research?

    I not debating if barefoot running is good or bad. I debating the misinterpretation, misrepresnetation and misquoting of the research and the nonsensical claims made by so many barefoot runners.

    My views on evolution are totally irrelevant to how the research is being interpreted.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  40. zimmy

    zimmy Member

    [sarcasm]Yeah... the issue of misrepresentation and misquoting is obviously much more important than the real issue of whether barefoot running is good or bad[/sarcasm]
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