Pandora's Seed: the unforeseen cost of civilization

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Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
2010
Language:
English
Description
In The Journey of Man, renowned geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells traced human evolution back to our earliest ancestors, creating a remarkable and readable map of our distant past. Now, in his thrilling new book, he examines our cultural inheritance in order to find the turning point that led us to the path we are on today, one he believes we must veer from in order to survive.Pandora’s Seed takes us on a powerful and provocative globe-trotting tour of human history, back to a seminal event roughly ten thousand years ago, when our species made a radical shift in its way of life: We became farmers rather than hunter-gatherers, setting in motion a momentous chain of events that could not have been foreseen at the time.Although this decision to control our own food supply is what propelled us into the modern world, Wells demonstrates—using the latest genetic and anthropological data—that such a dramatic shift in lifestyle had a downside that we’re only now beginning to recognize. Growing grain crops ultimately made humans more sedentary and unhealthy and made the planet more crowded. The expanding population and the need to apportion limited resources such as water created hierarchies and inequalities. The desire to control—and no longer cooperate with—nature altered the concept of religion, making deities fewer and more influential, foreshadowing today’s fanaticisms. The proximity of humans and animals bred diseases that metastasized over time. Freedom of movement and choice were replaced by a pressure to work that is the forebear of the anxiety and depression millions feel today. Wells offers a hopeful prescription for altering a life to which we were always ill suited, recommending that we change our priorities and self-destructive appetites before it’s too late.A riveting and accessible scientific detective story, Pandora’s Seed is an eye-opening book for anyone fascinated by the past and concerned about the future.
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ISBN:
9781400196265
9780679603740
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full_title pandora s seed the unforeseen cost of civilization
author wells spencer
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-10-20 04:43:08AM

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Ten thousand years ago, our species made a radical shift in its way of life: We became farmers rather than hunter-gatherers. Although this decision propelled us into the modern world, renowned geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells demonstrates that such a dramatic change in lifestyle had a downside that we're only now beginning to recognize. Growing grain crops ultimately made humans more sedentary and unhealthy and made the planet more crowded. The expanding population and the need to apportion limited resources created hierarchies and inequalities. Freedom of movement was replaced by a pressure to work that is the forebear of the anxiety millions feel today. Spencer Wells offers a hopeful prescription for altering a life to which we were always ill-suited. Pandora's Seed is an eye-opening book for anyone fascinated by the past and concerned about the future.

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subject_facet Agriculture -- Environmental aspects, Civilization -- History, Nature -- Effect of human beings on
title_display Pandora's Seed
title_full Pandora's Seed The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization, Pandora's seed [electronic resource] : the unforeseen cost of civilization / Spencer Wells
title_short Pandora's Seed
title_sub the unforeseen cost of civilization
topic_facet History, Nonfiction, Science, Sociology