Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live
An exposé of pseudoscientific myths about our evolutionary past and how we should live today.We evolved to eat berries rather than bagels, to live in mud huts rather than condos, to sprint barefoot rather than play football—or did we? Are our bodies and brains truly at odds with modern life?... show more
An exposé of pseudoscientific myths about our evolutionary past and how we should live today.We evolved to eat berries rather than bagels, to live in mud huts rather than condos, to sprint barefoot rather than play football—or did we? Are our bodies and brains truly at odds with modern life? Although it may seem as though we have barely had time to shed our hunter-gatherer legacy, biologist Marlene Zuk reveals that the story is not so simple. Popular theories about how our ancestors lived—and why we should emulate them—are often based on speculation, not scientific evidence.Armed with a razor-sharp wit and brilliant, eye-opening research, Zuk takes us to the cutting edge of biology to show that evolution can work much faster than was previously realized, meaning that we are not biologically the same as our caveman ancestors.Contrary to what the glossy magazines would have us believe, we do not enjoy potato chips because they crunch just like the insects our forebears snacked on. And women don’t go into shoe-shopping frenzies because their prehistoric foremothers gathered resources for their clans.As Zuk compellingly argues, such beliefs incorrectly assume that we’re stuck—finished evolving—and have been for tens of thousands of years. She draws on fascinating evidence that examines everything from adults’ ability to drink milk to the texture of our ear wax to show that we’ve actually never stopped evolving. Our nostalgic visions of an ideal evolutionary past in which we ate, lived, and reproduced as we were “meant to” fail to recognize that we were never perfectly suited to our environment. Evolution is about change, and every organism is full of trade-offs.From debunking the caveman diet to unraveling gender stereotypes, Zuk delivers an engrossing analysis of widespread paleofantasies and the scientific evidence that undermines them, all the while broadening our understanding of our origins and what they can really tell us about our present and our future.
Publish date: March 18th 2013
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
, Food And Drink
, Popular Science
Entertaining rant (with footnotes) about how evolution is a constant, not a static thing and that a lot of the foundation of the so-called Palaeolithic diets and lifestyles are misinformed about how humans and diets work. My ancestors evolved to drink milk, others may vary.There is sometimes more d...
This book is an excellent antidote to all the paleo obsession of recent years. Yes, we may look physically identical to paleolithic humans, but we've come an awfully long way out of the stone age. The author explains very well how humans have continued to evolve, whether we perceive the small dif...
I am the sort of person who wonders:what kind of person argues about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? It isn't as if any factual evidence can be agreed upon. I don't think there's even widespread agreement that angels are minescule, is there?Anyway, now I know. "People on the internet...
The author uses the clever narrative device of using modern day caveman wannabes incorrect beliefs and tells a story that teaches the reader about prehistory, evolution, psychology, diet, genetics and etc.She'll state an incorrect caveman wannabe belief. Show why it's absurd. State that "the truth i...
Ah so here goes my first review! Ekkkk! Synopsis: "We evolved to eat berries rather than bagels, to live in caves rather than cities,for men to go off and hunt rather than take care of the kids;or did we? As Marlene Zuk reveals, theories about how our ancestors lived and why we should emulate them...