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Mismatch: Why Our World No Longer Fits Our Bodies
This is a fascinating look at the consequences of living in an era when our human behaviour has outstripped classical Darwinian processes: we have created a modern, artificial world that is out of tune with our evolved bodies. The authors examine the health consequences, and propose intervention.
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published September 28th 2006)
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This isn't what I was hoping for. It reads like a collection of different case studies and the authors don't attempt to make a broad message until the last few pages. I really wanted them to bring it all together and I felt like they failed at that task. It's like a long research paper with plentiful evidence but no discussion or conclusion sections.
Like the Sherpas in the rarefied-air iodine-deprived foothills of the Himalayas, citizens of developed-world countries live in an environment that is poorly suited to human nature. Zoo animals often live much longer than wild animals; we live in the zoo of our own creation, so a great many more people live to be old than was the case during almost all of human history. The mismatch between biological puberty and social maturity has never been greater. This is all true, but something like 5 milli ...more
Mar 25, 2011 Helen rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
A great introduction to the field of Evolutionary Medicine from a non-technical perspective. For anyone with a good knowledge of human evolution, the middle of the book can be tiring as it overviews the fossil record - but the application of evolutionary principles of human biology and health are highly thought-provoking; should be required reading for medical doctors.
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“It is often thought that the life of the hunter-gatherer was one of feast and famine. But most available data suggest that they were surprisingly healthy and had a fairly stable diet and lifestyle. Not so the primitive farmers. In years when the crops failed, in settlements where the population density was high and where disease weakened the ability to cope even further, life would have been very hard indeed. The settled population could not migrate to follow the food supply as could hunter-gatherers. They were trapped.”
“...it is entirely illogical to consider biology in dichotomous terms of genes and environment—all of biology is based on the continuous interaction of both.”More quotes…