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The Story of the Human Body

Evolution, Health, and Disease

The Story of the Human Body by Daniel Lieberman
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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.)
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; October 2013
464 pages; ISBN 9780307907417
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Title: The Story of the Human Body
Author: Daniel Lieberman
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“The Story of the Human Body” - Harvard Magazine
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 09:04:58 -0700
Harvard Magazine“The Story of the Human Body”Harvard MagazineIn his new book, The Story of the Human Body, Lerner professor of ...
Narrative of the body, with a nasty twist - Harvard Gazette
Thu, 26 Sep 2013 11:52:30 -0700
Harvard GazetteNarrative of the body, with a nasty twistHarvard GazetteThat's one of the conclusions of Harvard ...
Welcome to the Devolution: The High-Tech World Is Making Us Weak and Weird - Daily Beast
Fri, 22 Apr 2016 19:10:36 -0700
Daily BeastWelcome to the Devolution: The High-Tech World Is Making Us Weak and WeirdDaily BeastIn Lieberman's book he ...