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Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, And How We Live (2013)

Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live (2013)

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3.61 of 5 Votes: 1
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0393081370 (ISBN13: 9780393081374)
W. W. Norton & Company

About book Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, And How We Live (2013)

"Paleo." We've all heard the current health and lifestyle buzzword, it's a way to get in touch with our ancestral roots and live the way we should be living, the same way our Paleolithic brothers and sisters did. Why? Because as humans we haven't evolved beyond that and everything since the dawn of the agricultural age is killing us.At least, that's what anyone on the Paleo-bandwagon would have you believe.Fortunately, there are people out there like Marlene Zuk, people with the science and the patience to actually look at the facts and say, "No, that's wrong. Everything you say regarding humans and the Paleo lifestyle is absolutely not true." And it's nice to have some researched ammunition to use the next time my friend tries to convince me to "at least try Paleo."Zuk has taken the Paleofantasy and completely proven it is a Paleofallacy (yes, I really wanted to make that joke). I often wonder how some people can believe the alpha male inspired bull that comes along with the whole Paleo schtick, especially the way they look at sex and relationships (humans were not designed to be monogamous, and other complete tripe like that). She also shows that, regardless of what certain Paleo buffs claim, humans are still evolving and evolution is not the slow process that many of them believe (also, evolution doesn't have an endpoint. We aren't baked goods, we don't spend a certain amount of time in the Evolution Oven until we are "done." It doesn't work that way).Thank goodness for this book. It's a serious breath of fresh air. Marlene Zuk takes a skeptical look at the fad for all thing "Paleo", like Paleo diets, the idea that we need to live more like our paleolithic ancestors. Prof. Zuk presents information from a wide range of disciplines to make the point that we are not the same as our early Cromagnon ancestors, or the same a Neanderthals. Evolution is continuing. Our environment is constantly changing and we're changing along with it. Beyond that, the flaw in the Paleofantasy is that, considering the paleo diet that stresses large amounts of meat and no cereals, such evidence as we have does not support this. There was no one paleo diet. Paleolithic man largely ate what he could catch, pick, dig up or scavenge. Plaque found on Neanderthal teeth indicate that Neanderthals often ate seeds, the precursors to modern cereals. While Prof. Zuk strives for a readable, conversational style, sometimes perhaps a little too hard, the subject matter at times, for a layperson not versed in DNA and genetics, requires going back and rereading sections to try to grasp what she's saying. All in all, though, a good read and worth wading through the dense spots.

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