… the theory that because humans evolved for life in the Paleolithic Period, we should shape our modern lives around that? According to proponents of these theories, our DNA was shaped by what we ate, how we moved, our family lives, and more for hundreds of thousands of years. If we eat, move, and raise children like we did then, we will be happier, healthier, and more in tune with the dictates of our genes. Marlene Zuk does an excellent job of examining those theories and debunking many of them in Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live.
Professor Zuk covers genetics, anthropology, evolution, and more with a straightforward writing style that helps lay people understand the science behind both the claims and her refutation of them. While our genes were shaped by life in the Paleolithic Period, they were also shaped by the millions of years of life before that time and by the thousands of years since. Also, our environment changed as different groups of humans spread throughout the world, so there is no single time and place where we were perfectly situated for the world around us. New discoveries in archeology, anthropology, and primate research suggest that past assumptions about life in the past are not completely true as well. Check out this book if you’re interested in science and the history of humans, or just curious about the latest craze based on what’s “natural” for mankind.
Reviewed by Fran (staff)