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Paleofantasy

What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, And How We Live

By M. (Marlene) Zuk

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.

15 illustrations

Format

Book

Availability

1 available at Cooper (Forest Acres)
  • 599.938 Zuk, Nonfiction

Publish Date

2013

ISBN

9780393081374


Format: Book
Author: Zuk, M. (Marlene)
Summary: Debunks beliefs based on the assumption that human beings have finished evolving and defends the assertion that modern man is not biologically the same as our caveman ancestors.
Title: Paleofantasy : what evolution really tells us about sex, diet, and how we live / Marlene Zuk.
Publisher Date: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2013]
Subject: Human evolution Social evolution Hunting and gathering societies Prehistoric peoples -- Food Prehistoric peoples -- Sexual behavior.
Isbn: 9780393081374 (hardcover) 0393081370 (hardcover)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 599.938 Zuk
Oclc: 783163570
Upc:
Bib Id: 422233

Format: Book
Author: Zuk, M. (Marlene)
Summary: Debunks beliefs based on the assumption that human beings have finished evolving and defends the assertion that modern man is not biologically the same as our caveman ancestors.
Title: Paleofantasy : what evolution really tells us about sex, diet, and how we live / Marlene Zuk.
Edition: First edition.
Publisher, Date: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2013]
Description: 328 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Subjects: Human evolution
Subjects: Social evolution
Subjects: Hunting and gathering societies
Subjects: Prehistoric peoples -- Food
Subjects: Prehistoric peoples -- Sexual behavior.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages 293-314) and index.
Contents: Cavemen in condos -- Are we stuck? -- Crickets, sparrows, and Darwins- or, evolution before our eyes -- The perfect paleofantasy diet : milk -- The perfect paleofantasy diet : meat, grains, and cooking -- Exercising the paleofantasy -- Paleofantasy love -- The paleofantasy family -- Paleofantasy, in sickness and in health -- Are we still evolving? : a tale of genes, altitude, and earwax.
LCCN: 2012047814
ISBN: 9780393081374 (hardcover)
ISBN: 0393081370 (hardcover)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 599.938 Zuk