Was Agriculture the Greatest Blunder in Human History?

Twelve thousand years ago everybody lived as hunters and gatherers. But by 5,000 years ago most people lived as farmers. This brief period marked the biggest shift ever in human history with unparalleled changes in diet, culture and technology, as well as social, economic and political organisation, and even the patterns of disease people suffered….

Humans are Driving a New Burst of Evolution Including Possibly Our Own

The unprecedented impact that humans are having on the planet is well known to us all. Scarcely a day passes by without a media report or two on the effects of human economic activity on the world’s climate or some charismatic species under threat because of illegal wildlife trade or logging. Our impact on the…

Has Human Evolution Come to an End?

Surprising discoveries that reveal how we have evolved since the Stone Age offer real and troubling insights into where we may be headed as a species. Futurologists love to think they have the answers to questions about where we might be headed as humans: technologically, socially and biologically. A recent example bandied about on the…

How Farming Changed Us

For a long time archaeologists, biologists and historians believed that the origins of agriculture more than 10,000 years ago marked the end of human evolution. The beginnings of civilization – and eventually of industrialization – were seen as simply reinforcing this notion. Humans had altered the environment to such a great extent that the forces…