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Unfit for Purpose: When Human Evolution Collides with the Modern World

9781472971036
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'This book is a gripping and sobering reminder of how much we are all governed by our genetic inheritance. So much for free will.' The Mail on Sunday

Stress, obesity, poor mental health, drug addiction, bowel diseases, violence and fake news; a stark checklist of modern world problems and every one of them is an echo of our evolutionary past.

In Unfit for Purpose, biologist and broadcaster Adam Hart explores the mismatch between our fundamental biology and the modern world we have created. In each chapter Adam reveals the many ways in which biological adaptations that evolved to help us survive and thrive now work against us. For example, in the modern world stress is a killer but how did 'fight or flight' instincts turn from life-savers to life-takers? Obesity might be a disease now but is it really just a troublesome side-effect of our complex evolutionary past? Whether it's the derailing of microbes in our gut, the rise of gluten and lactose intolerance, the problems of social media or the horrors of drug addiction we always seem to have one foot in the modern world and the other firmly in our evolutionary past.

By probing deep into our evolutionary legacy, exploring the science, archaeology, medicine, genetics, sociology and more, to show how, in a modern world of our own making, we find ourselves 'unfit for purpose'. But all is not lost! By unpicking the evolutionary causes of many of our current woes, it reveals some secrets of evolutionarily-informed treatments that will change the way we think about ourselves and our future.

Cover:
Paperback
Edition Number:
1
ISBN:
9781472971036
Pages:
352
Author:
Hart Adam
Publisher:
BLOOMSBURY
Release Year:
2020

Adam Hart is a biologist, broadcaster, academic and author. Professor of Science Communication at the University of Gloucestershire, Adam is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 4, presenting documentaries on topics as varied as accidental discoveries, tree diseases, man-eating animals and rhino poaching. He also co-presented the BBC2 series Hive Alive and the BBC4 documentary Planet Ant. An avid fan of insects, Adam is also a well-known commentator on African conservation and co-directs scientific research into conservation issues at a wildlife reserve in South Africa. In recognition of his wide-ranging scientific research interests and achievements, he is a Fellow of both the Royal Entomological Society and the Royal Society of Biology.

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