The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal - Study Guide Chapter 10, Agriculture's Mixed Blessings Summary & Analysis

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Agriculture is nearly unique human but is a very recent innovation, being practiced first only 10,000 years ago. Several dozens of species of ants also practice agriculture by growing fungus gardens or herding aphids; the behavior of these ant species is incredible but does not approach human agriculture in diversity. No non-human primates demonstrate any predilection to agricultural practices.

The conventional wisdom suggests that pre-agricultural hunter-gatherer societies were crude organizations where individuals lived short, brutish, and violent lives. An analysis of today's few remaining hunter-gatherer societies does not suggest that the conventional wisdom is correct. Indeed, paleopathology investigations demonstrate conclusively that the health of the average pre-agricultural hunter-gatherer human was superior in nearly all respects to the health of an average early agricultural human. Various physical illnesses and social disease arise only with the advent of agriculture and rising population...

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This section contains 290 words
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