The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
How Paleo Influences Neolithic
Pandora's Seed in a great read that helps tie the relevance between our paleolithic hunter-gatherer pasts with the Neolithic present day. It shows how the conscience decision to plant seeds and raise domesticated animals lead to an inevitable investment to a grounded location (unlike hunter-gatherers) that lead to surpluses of food and property that lead to governments and religion that lead to wars, and the rest is history. The line is something like the Agricultural Revolution on one end and the Industrial Revolution and modern day on the other.
The book does an excellent job of putting all the puzzle pieces together connecting the dots of our ancient ancestors to today giving us a more complete look at why we are facing the crises we are facing such as global climate change, a crumbling economy, and even touching areas like psychology and human health.
It tends to keep itself fairly general touching many different subjects but always illustrating their connections. This book has a good amount of breadth, and as expected, not too much depth in any one area. I enjoyed it a lot.
Pandora's Seed is not a bad book, but it is not what I expected. I agree with what Dr. Wells had to say about our present society. It just seemed a bit of a stretch to blame all of the world's problems on Neolithic agriculture.