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Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization
     

Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization

3.5 37
by Spencer Wells
 
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

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Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
ellalu More than 1 year ago
The book Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization by Spencer Wells has 230 pages. This book is a great one to read because it has a lot of scientific facts, which are very interesting, but does not require background science knowledge, so it stays appealing to the reader. The author talks about human genes and how the genes have evolved over time leading us into things we are used to seeing and doing everyday throughout the book which I greatly enjoyed. At some points in the novel Well's would use scientific terms that were described well but were too detailed which detracted from the overall content of the book. I enjoyed this book, there was a great amount of science that I learned from it. This book would be most appropriate for people seventeen and older because of its higher-level writing and scientific ideas that are somewhat hard to comprehend. The flow of the chapters of this book keeps a clear message of his argument and altogether made a great book.
Jellis2110 More than 1 year ago
I not only read the whole book, but read it twice. I underlined...highlighted...made notes in the margin...checked some of the primary sources. This book gives new information to the general reader in words that keep readers engaged. It isn't "stuffy" or too theoretical. It is down to earth and a really, really good read. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I admit, I did not make it all the way through the book. I stopped reading after the author's description of the Younger Dryas due to factual errors. Wells is clearly no expert on past climate. He touts ideas that were popular when he himself was in grad school (which he mentions numerous times was in the '80s'), and he did not bother updating. While it is true that the Younger Dryas -- the cold period about 12,000 years ago -- was very cold, the cause(s) of the Younger Dryas are **NOT** known. The theory he touts in the book about a massive drainage of Glacial Lake Agassiz (no longer exists but used to cover a good bit of Quebec) -- it sounds quite dramatic. In fact the biggest drainage of Agassiz did not occur until about 8,000 years ago (it is well-known through much geologic and climate and other evidence), during the period when it was 'warm'. (If you think about it, it makes more sense that an ice damn would collapse and release freshwater when it was under stress -- i.e., melting.) He did get the warm cold sequence right, at least. It made me ask myself if he had other mistakes. Or, if he put forth theories that have been discredited because they sound more dramatic. I stopped reading after this point because it seemed clear that the author did not adequately research the topic outside of his own research area. So, you'd need to be an expert in his area to know which parts of the book to 'trust' that he knows what he is talking about -- and to know which parts had 'dramatic license' applied. But, if you have this level of expertise, you probably would not need/want to read a popular science book on his topic. If you are looking for a nice story, but not to educate yourself, this book is fine. I for one am sorry that I am out $15.
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