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Download Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Pandoras Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization (Unabridged), by Spencer Wells
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (433 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Spencer Wells Narrator: Spencer Wells Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This new book by Spencer Wells, the internationally known geneticist, anthropologist, author, and director of the Genographic Project, focuses on the seminal event in human history: mankind's decision to become farmers rather than hunter-gatherers.

What do terrorism, pandemic disease, and global warming have in common? To find the answer we need to go back 10 millennia, to the wheat fields of the Fertile Crescent and the rice paddies of southern China. It was at that point that our species made a radical shift in its way of life. We had spent millions of years of evolution eking out a living as hunter-gatherers. When we learned how to control our food supply, though, we became as gods - we controlled the world rather than it controlling us. But with godliness comes responsibility. By sowing seeds thousands of years ago, we were also sowing a new culture - one that has come with many unforeseen costs.

Taking us on a 10,000-year tour of human history and a globe-trotting fact-finding mission, Pandora's Seed charts the rise to power of Homo agriculturis and the effect this radical shift in lifestyle has had on us. Focusing on three key trends as the final stages of the agricultural population explosion play out over this century, Wells speculates on the significance of our newfound ability to modify our genomes to better suit our unnatural culture, fast-forwarding our biological adaptation to the world we have created. But what do we stand to lose in the process?

Climate change, a direct result of billions of people living in a culture of excess accumulation, threatens the global social and ecological fabric. It will force a key shift in our behavior, as we learn to take the welfare of future generations into account. Finally, the rise of religious fundamentalism over the past half-century is explained as part of a backlash against many of the trends set in motion by the agricultural population explosion and its inherent inequality.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by David | 2/20/2014

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Vanessa | 2/16/2014

    " Another book that ties the relationship with plants to the evolution of humans. It aided me in understanding the bigger picture of how influential plants were in shaping our societies today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Gerry Vogel | 1/19/2014

    " Ever think about why you are so miserable and screwed up, or why everyone else is? Society, man. Agricultural, urban, sedentary, conformist life goes against our DNA. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Petar | 1/15/2014

    " This book traces human evolution; specifically, that moment in time where we gave up being hunter-gatherers. Spencer Wells delves into the profound effects the dawn of our agricultural society has had on our current civilization. He covers subjects ranging from obesity, disease, mental illness, climate change and resource consumption. He argues how all these current challenges can be traced back to the development of agriculture. This book is well researched and very though provoking. I recommend this book to anyone interested in science or anthropology. "

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About the Author

Spencer Wells is an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and the director of the Genographic Project. After studying under genetic pioneer Luigi Cavalli-Sforza at Stanford University, Wells began an unusual career that mixes science, writing, and filmmaking. His acclaimed first book, The Journey of Man, combined his own DNA research with the work of archaeologists, paleoanthropologists, paleoclimatologists, and linguists to show how modern humans came to populate the planet. He is also the author of Deep Ancestry.