Pandora's Seed

Pandora's Seed

The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization

Book - 2010
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"The author of The Journey of Man 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."--Publisher's description.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
Description: xvii, 230 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9781400062157
1400062152
9780713997552
Branch Call Number: 304.2 Wel

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rswcove
Jul 31, 2015

This book is interesting, but not quite satisfying, although I would argue that the problem is the opposite of what the other reviewers have argued is the problem. The problem is that the author has convincingly synthesized evolutionary biology and anthropology to conclude that we are in deep trouble, and then he lacks the intellectual courage to point out just of screwed we are.

s
stewstealth
Jul 10, 2013

This book is more of an essay on the author's beliefs then a true scientific approach to the varied subjects that he introduces. The basic premise is that when you change things there can be unforeseen consequences. Nothing to argue there. The problem for the prognosis of the future in the book ( and in other media ) is all the unforeseen advancements that will help humanity. Too much "Chicken Little" but it at least wasn't a polemic so it is worth reading,As in any complex system the author is right on some issues but rarely includes the counterpoints. If you hate your current world and your lifestyle you'll probably love this book.

h
horthhill
Apr 30, 2012

Pandora's Seed: Why the Hunter-Gatherer Holds the Key to Our Survival by Spencer Wells was somewhat disappointing. The early part of the book does a good job summarizing recent research in human genetics. Its strength is Wells expertise on using genetics to unravel human evolution and prehistoric migration. Unfortunately,the book falls apart in the final third and his travel anecotes were mostly neither compelling nor to the point.

r
ranXerox
Apr 24, 2011

An interesting book that suggests the rise of agriculturalism and the benefits of surplus food has implications far deeper than just the concomitant rise of government. He pairs this new form of organization with the biological reprecussions, suggesting that obesity, diseases such as malaria and mental health issues are a direct consequence. For example, you'll find out why sweetness was a good thing when we were finding food to eat as hunter/gatherers, but the strong selection attributes for this ability don't necessarily bode well when nearly everything has sugar added to it...
As with many of these types of books, it does drag on a bit...
Still, worth a read...

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