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Books:Science and Space:Pandora's Seed

Pandora's Seed

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Item#:2000035

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In the thrilling new book from geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells, he examines our cultural inheritance in order to find the turning point that led us to the path we are on today, one he believes we must veer from in order to survive.


Pandora's Seed takes us on a powerful and provocative globe-trotting tour of human history, back to a seminal event roughly ten thousand years ago, when our species made a radical shift in its way of life: We became farmers rather than hunter-gatherers, setting in motion a momentous chain of events that could not have been foreseen at the time.


Although this decision to control our own food supply is what propelled us into the modern world, Wells demonstrates—using the latest genetic and anthropological data—that such a dramatic shift in lifestyle had a downside that we're only now beginning to recognize.


Wells offers a hopeful prescription for altering a life to which we were always ill-suited, recommending that we change our priorities and self-destructive appetites before it's too late. A riveting and accessible scientific detective story, Pandora's Seed is an eye-opening book for anyone fascinated by the past and concerned about the future.


  • Hardcover
  • 265 pages
  • 9 3/16" x 6 13/32"
  • © 2010

Spencer Wells is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and the director of the Genographic Project. After studying under genetic pioneer Luigi Cavalli-Sforza at Stanford University, he began an unusual career that combines science, writing, and filmmaking. His acclaimed first book, The Journey of Man, combined his own DNA research with the work of archaeologists, paleoanthropologists, paleoclimatologists, and linguists to show how modern humans came to populate the planet.


"Fascinating—this book has some very new ways of looking at very old issues." —Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature