Pandora's Seed: Why the Hunter-Gatherer Holds the Key to Our Survival

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Random House, 2011 - Nature - 256 pages
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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 Seedis an eye-opening book for anyone fascinated by the past and concerned about the future.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GlennBell - LibraryThing

Spencer Wells provides a discussion of the differences between our hunter gatherer past and our more recent farming based lifestyle. He covers a plethora of implications and follows the changes in ... Read full review

PANDORA'S SEED: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A population geneticist examines how human endeavors have shaped the world and finds that not all the changes have been beneficial.When prehistoric man first sowed seeds some 10,000 years ago, they ... Read full review

Contents

Growing a New Culture
25
Diseased
61
Demented
92
FastForward
123
Heated Argument
152
Toward a New Mythos
184
II
211
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

 
Spencer Wells is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor at Cornell University. He leads the Genographic Project, which is collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of DNA samples from people around the world in order to decipher how our ancestors populated the planet. Wells received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral work at Stanford and Oxford. He has written two books, The Journey of Man and Deep Ancestry. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, a documentary filmmaker.
 


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