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The Story of the Human Body : Evolution, Health, and Disease
by Daniel E. Lieberman and Sean Runnette

Overview - In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman--chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field--gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning this paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease.  Read more...

 
Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged
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More About The Story of the Human Body by Daniel E. Lieberman; Sean Runnette
 
 
 
Overview
In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman--chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field--gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning this paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease.
" "
"The Story of the Human Body" brilliantly illuminates as never before the major transformations that contributed key adaptations to the body: the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering, leading to our superlative endurance athleticism; the development of a very large brain; and the incipience of cultural proficiencies. Lieberman also elucidates how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution, and how our bodies were further transformed during the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions.
While these ongoing changes have brought about many benefits, they have also created conditions to which our bodies are not entirely adapted, Lieberman argues, resulting in the growing incidence of obesity and new but avoidable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Lieberman proposes that many of these chronic illnesses persist and in some cases are intensifying because of "dysevolution," a pernicious dynamic whereby only the symptoms rather than the causes of these maladies are treated. And finally--provocatively--he advocates the use of evolutionary information to help nudge, push, and sometimes even compel us to create a more salubrious environment.
(With charts and line drawings throughout.)

"From the Hardcover edition."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780307990068
  • ISBN-10: 0307990060
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: October 2013


Related Categories

Books > Science > Life Sciences - Human Anatomy & Physiology
Books > Science > Life Sciences - Evolution

 
BookPage Reviews

New year, old you

Listening to an audiobook while doing something else is a great way to multitask, and it’s especially satisfying if you get a little bit smarter and more informed while doing it. So, I suggest you start the new year off by listening to The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel E. Lieberman, a renowned professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard. Steadfastly narrated by Sean Runnette, the book is an exciting, comprehensible and somewhat alarming journey into our origins, into how we came to have the bodies we have, and a provocative look at how our history, with its major transformations, influences our well-being. Cultural evolution, which moves more rapidly now than biological evolution, has created environmental conditions that our Stone-Age bodies are not always in sync with. This fosters obesity and several chronic “mismatch” diseases, like osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, where symptoms, not causes, are treated, leading to a pernicious feedback loop. Can we fix it? Maybe. As Lieberman says, your “body’s past was molded by the survival of the fitter,” its “future depends on how you use it.”

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