Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization by Spencer Wells PDF

By Spencer Wells

ISBN-10: 0679603743

ISBN-13: 9780679603740

ISBN-10: 1400062152

ISBN-13: 9781400062157

 In the adventure of guy, popular geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells traced human evolution again to our earliest ancestors, making a impressive and readable map of our far away earlier. Now, in his exciting new publication, he examines our cultural inheritance for you to locate the turning aspect that led us to the trail we're on this day, one he believes we needs to veer from on the way to survive.Pandora’s Seed takes us on a robust and provocative globe-trotting journey of human background, again to a seminal occasion approximately 10000 years in the past, while our species made a thorough shift in its lifestyle: We grew to become farmers instead of hunter-gatherers, surroundings in movement a momentous chain of occasions which could no longer were foreseen on the time.Although this selection to manage our personal nutrition provide is what propelled us into the trendy global, Wells demonstrates—using the most recent genetic and anthropological data—that this type of dramatic shift in way of life had a draw back that we’re purely now commencing to realize. starting to be grain vegetation eventually made people extra sedentary and bad and made the planet extra crowded. The increasing inhabitants and the necessity to apportion constrained assets corresponding to water created hierarchies and inequalities. the will to control—and not cooperate with—nature altered the idea that of faith, making deities fewer and extra influential, foreshadowing today’s fanaticisms. The proximity of people and animals bred ailments that metastasized through the years. Freedom of stream and selection have been changed by means of a strain to paintings that's the forebear of the anxiousness and melancholy hundreds of thousands believe this day. Wells deals a hopeful prescription for changing a lifestyles to which we have been consistently ailing appropriate, recommending that we modify our priorities and self-destructive appetites prior to it’s too late.A riveting and obtainable clinical detective tale, Pandora’s Seed is an eye-opening e-book for somebody enthusiastic about the previous and anxious in regards to the future. 

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Additional info for Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization

Sample text

While horseshoe crabs and sharks are recognizable in the fossil record from over 100 million years ago, the hominid lineage—composed of apes that walk upright like us—doesn’t appear until around 5 million years ago. 3 million years ago, with the first large-brained hominids to make stone tools, Homo habilis, and their descendants Homo erectus. Hominids with an even larger brain, looking more like us, appear around 500,000 years ago, but they still don’t belong to our species. In other words, we are rank newcomers on the evolutionary scene.

Is there some sort of fatal mismatch between Western culture and our biology that is making us ill? And if there is such a mismatch, how did our present culture come to dominate? Surely we are the masters of our own fate and we created the culture that is best suited to us, rather than our culture driving us? The answer to this question was a long time in coming, much to the chagrin of my patient editors at Random House and Penguin. It took me on a global quest to discover the similarities between what happened thousands of years ago and what is happening now, as we face what promises to be another apparent turning point in our evolution.

I began my answer as a scientist, describing the importance of basic research in which there is no particular practical application. Governments fund such work in many subjects, I explained, because it is possible that some new finding may end up being very important in fields that are more pragmatic—medicine, for instance. Moreover, what defines us as a species is our complex culture, and scientific inquiry for its own sake is an important part of understanding our role in the world. Imagine encountering intelligent life from another planet, I said; would such an auspicious meeting include explaining mundane details like how the latest video-game console operates or would it focus on who we are as two highly evolved species and what brought us to our present state of being?

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Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization by Spencer Wells

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