The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease

  • Title: The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease
  • Author: Daniel E. Lieberman
  • ISBN: 9780307907417
  • Page: 341
  • Format: ebook
  • The Story of the Human Body Evolution Health and Disease A landmark book of popular science a lucid engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years and of how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age
    A landmark book of popular science a lucid, engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years and of how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and the modern world is fueling the paradox of greater longevity but chronic disease In a book that illuminates, as never before, the evolutionary story of theA landmark book of popular science a lucid, engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years and of how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and the modern world is fueling the paradox of greater longevity but chronic disease In a book that illuminates, as never before, the evolutionary story of the human body, Daniel Lieberman deftly examines the major transformations that contributed key adaptations to the body the advent of bipedalism the shift to a non fruit based diet the rise of hunting and gathering and our superlative endurance athletic abilities the development of a very large brain and the incipience of modern cultural abilities He elucidates how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution, and how it further transformed our bodies during the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions Lieberman illuminates how these ongoing changes have brought many benefits, but also have created novel conditions to which our bodies are not entirely adapted, resulting in a growing incidence of obesity and new but avoidable diseases, including type 2 diabetes He proposes that many of these chronic illnesses persist and in some cases are intensifying because of dysevolution, a pernicious dynamic whereby only the symptoms rather than the causes of these maladies are treated And finally provocatively he advocates the use of evolutionary information to help nudge, push, and sometimes oblige us to create a salubrious environment With charts and line drawings throughout From the Hardcover edition.

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      341 Daniel E. Lieberman
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      Published :2019-07-22T13:11:21+00:00

    About Daniel E. Lieberman


    1. Daniel E Lieberman born June 3, 1964 is a paleoanthropologist at Harvard University, where he is the Edwin M Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences, and chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology He is best known for his research on the evolution of the human head and the evolution of the human body.Lieberman was educated at Harvard University, where he obtained his A.B M.A and Ph.D degrees He also received a M Phil from Cambridge University He was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows and taught at Rutgers University and the George Washington University before becoming a professor at Harvard University in 2001 He is on the curatorial board of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, a member of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, and the Scientific Executive Committee of the L.S.B Leakey Foundation He is the director of the Skeletal Biology Laboratory at Harvard University.Lieberman studies how and why the human body is the way it is His research combines paleontology, anatomy, physiology and experimental biomechanics in the lab and in the field He has focused to a large extent on why and how humans have such unusual heads He is also well known for his research on the evolution of human locomotion including whether the first hominins were bipeds, why bipedalism evolved, the biomechanical challenges of pregnancy in females, how locomotion affects skeletal function and, most especially, the evolution of running His 2004 paper with Dennis Bramble, Endurance Running and the Evolution of the Genus Homo proposed that humans evolved to run long distances to scavenge and hunt His research on running in general, especially barefoot running was popularized in Chris McDougall s best selling book Born to Run Lieberman is an avid marathon runner, often barefoot, which has earned him the nickname, The Barefoot Professor.


    767 Comments


    1. Best nonfiction book I've read in 2013. I've read Dawkins, Diamond, and Pinker, so I know a fair bit on this subject for a layperson, but this book had a lot of fascinating material I'd never been exposed to before. This book goes into great detail about our evolutionary ancestors, including why and how we developed the physical features we did, such as our efficient way of walking, our ability to run great distances without overheating, and our unique ability to throw objects with power and acc [...]

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    2. Had a great time with the audiobook version! The book was so interesting I went through the whole thing in 3 days. The book explains how the human body evolved over millions of years. It goes into some of the incredible adaptations we've gained to survive on this planet and those that we've lost in the modern age. Highly recommended!

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    3. I was excited to read this book based on a favorable review in the New York Times. I studied human evolution in college so I have a high level of familiarity with the subject matter. I started the book eagerly and found the first two sections regarding biological and cultural evolution to be interesting, if repetitive. But the final section seemed to be a massive repetition of the author's theories. I had a hard time reading to the end and basically skimmed the final third.On a substantive note, [...]

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    4. It should be stated from the outset that this is not a 'self-help' book, but it definitely does raise awareness of some aspects of our modern lives which are silently and steadily harming us. Lieberman recognized the root of many of the common chronic non-infectious diseases to be evolutionary in nature, specifically ‘evolutionary mismatches’. He persuasively argues that our bodies which are molded and shaped by the adaptive force of natural selection over millions of years are no match for [...]

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    5. This book makes a decisive case that making informed decisions about diet and lifestyle is only possible through the lens of evolutionary history. If you want to know where your body comes from, you need to understand its evolutionary history. Why do humans stand and walk on two legs? Why are we weak compared to other animals? Why are our legs and feet shaped the way they are? Why does our spine have a special S-curve? All of these questions can only be answered through an understanding of evolu [...]

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    6. Crucial Read!The Story of the Human Body is Dr. Daniel Lieberman's plain spoken but powerful account of how the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering, the rise of agriculture, the industrial revolution and the high tech revolution all shaped the key adaptations that typify the modern human body.If you've ever wondered why modern humans are such a sickly and chunky bunch, Lieberman's got a pretty satisfying answer for you. "we didn't evolve t [...]

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    7. Link: thesemite.wordpress/2017/

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    8. As the title implies, “The Story”, serves as a light introduction to the subject of the evolutionary body we humans possess. The writing is highly accessible, able to produce an informed idea of the past, present and possible futures for our bodies and us. As with other academic books for non-academics, treating vast subjects in introductory manner, it can fall short for people with great interest in the topic that have already read other books. In this case, I’m not a specialist in the do [...]

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    9. I loved the first half of this book. It's hard to find a good book on human evolution. The author steps you through the evolutionary development of man from 2.3 million years ago to 250 thousand years ago and does this part of the book as good as or better than any other book on the topic. He principally looks at why the homo species decided to walk upright and become bipedal and considers the relative advantages and the disadvantages that this brought. It's hard to find good books on that topic [...]

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    10. Como temos o corpo que temos? Não, não foi Deus que o criou ao sexto dia, embora o Génesis seja um dos mais belos texto de ficção já escritos. Daniel Lieberman escreve não-ficção, acredita na ciência e na evolução natural das espécies, e dá-nos uma descrição simultaneamente rica, apaixonante e simples sobre a história do corpo humano, explicando-nos como foi evoluindo para se adaptar ás forças de seleção natural que o foram moldando ao longo dos milénios, e como, face ao pr [...]

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    11. Yaslanmadan once okunmasi gereken kitaplardan. Vucudumuz nasil yasama uygun ? Biz nasil yasiyoruz ? Sorularina biraz uzunca bir cevap

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    12. Lieberman develops an interesting argument about the intertwinement of food and the evolution of early humans. The writing is engaging and thought-provoking. However, it is wise to pay attention to the way Lieberman supports his statements. He frequently engages in unsupported speculation and rarely details the point of view of other scientists. If the book ended here, I would rate it 3 or 4 stars, as I nonetheless enjoyed the read and introduced me to some new perspectives.As the book continues [...]

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    13. A fascinating account of our diets, our bodies, our lifestyles from an evolutionary perspective. According to the author our bodies have not evolved to handle the high amounts of sugar we eat, the sedentary lives we live, the lack of sleep we get, and the general stress we put our body under. As a result we see relatively new diseases escalating - cardio-vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer, auto-immune diseases, depression. These diseases were not found in ea [...]

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    14. Here's one of my favorite quotes: "Like it or not, we are slightly fat, furless, bipedal primates who crave sugar, salt, fat, and starch, but we are still adapted to eating a diverse diet of fibrous fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, tubers, and lean meat. We enjoy rest and relaxation, but our bodies are still those of endurance athletes evolved to walk many miles a day and often run, as well as dig, climb and carry." This goes on, but I think you can get a good idea of the idea he's trying to [...]

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    15. This book explores Human evolution especially in regards to the body in the last million years. It explores how we developed our upright walking posture which is in so many ways detrimental to movement. It explores the development of our teeth as we switched from a low energy high fiber diet to which takes up so much time for primates to get necessary calories to a more selective high protien high sugar diet. It explores evolution since the invention of agriculture and argues that we haven't rea [...]

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    16. This is a book of how the human body became well human, as opposed to ape-like. Thus it doesn't dwell too much on organs, except for the brain. It's more about how we developed arched feet, long legs, big butts (in comparison to say, chimpanzees), why we are predisposed to be fat and such things. When the author is done with this, he moves on to "mismatch" diseases, the result of our bodies not fitting to its current environment. Typical mismatch diseases are flat feet, being short-sighted and [...]

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    17. Um dos melhores livros que já li, pelo conteúdo. Muita coisa nova, ótimos insights evolutivos e muita discussão boa sobre nosso passado evolutivo e principalmente as implicações da cultura atual sobre nosso corpo. Um livro que com certeza ainda vou revisar muito por todo tipo de conteúdo que tem.

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    18. Wonderful exploration of man physical and cultural evolution. A must read for anyone who owns a body.

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    19. Fascinating book! Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard, is not only an expert on this topic, but this book was a pleasure to read. Lieberman states at the outset that his account of human evolution is written with an eye towards what this means for human health today. In other words, his aim at the end of the book is to address the question: How did the evolutionary pressures of our ancestors influence the form and function of our bodies in contemporary society? [...]

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    20. Molto interessante in tutte e tre le sue parti: Scimmie e uomini, L'agricoltura e la rivoluzione industriale, Il presente e il futuro.Di tutte, la prima, è quella che mi ha finalmente dato una visione organica e completa sull'evoluzione dell'uomo in senso genetico e biomeccanico, dove alla fine prevale la specie Homo Sapiens con la caratteristiche funzionali del cacciatore-raccoglitore. Condizione, questa, che permane da circa sei milioni fino a una decina di migliaia di anni fa con l'inizio de [...]

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    21. The Story of the Human Body reads like a series of lectures for a college class. There are straight ahead facts mixed with occasional jokes and analogies along the way. This isn't the deepest or best written piece of science writing, but it does cover a decent amount of interesting ground. Lieberman is best when talking about human evolution, which makes sense because that's what he studies. He's good about crediting others for their research and it's also refreshing that he admits to what isn't [...]

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    22. Very persuasive arguments. I don't agree with everything (YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE MY CARBS FROM ME) and at times seems a little worshipful of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but from a scientific point of view it's hard to refute the argument he puts forward regarding many of the illnesses that are suddenly so prevalent today.

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    23. Much more detailed than I expected. I would highly recommend this book as a place to start for anyone wanting to explore the ideas behind the paleo trend. it's not dogmatic and explores many aspects of our evolutionary past interacting with our modern world.

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    24. This book greatly illuminates how the majority of our current illnesses are the result of a mismatch between our bodies and the current environment, that is very different from the world in which the human being evolved for millions of years.

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    25. A brilliantly told story of the evolution of the human body and why it is important to walk barefoot (sometimes) and eat more fibre.

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    26. This author loves the sound of his own resume more then actually presenting a cohesive argument.Basically, exercise and eat well. Wow, rocket science.

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    27. Wonderful primer on most recent evolution of manThe first part of this book is really worth the 5 stars on its own. An excellent, well-cited breakdown of key developments in the evolution of hominids to Homo sapiens. The last half deals with how these traits are at loggerheads with today's environment. I had several eureka-like moments reading this. I give apparent fads like barefoot running or "paleo" dieting more credence after the read. The crux of the argument is that many common lifestyle-r [...]

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    28. Focusing on medicine as an enabler is just special pleading.The book's thesis is this logical fallacy write large.In the beginning, Lieberman asks tantalizing questions in line with the paleo-diet. The correct answer to each of these leading questions is a firm "no", but he ends the book without ever answering them! This sort of leaves it up to the reader to read between the lines, instead of calling out paleo-diet for the utter nonsense that it is.I take away big points for this missed opportun [...]

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    29. I had seen Daniel Lieberman interview on the topic of running. He was a guest on The Colbert Report and his advocacy of barefoot running had caught the Chris McDougall's attention during the fever-pitch days of Born to Run. So it was merely inevitable that I read his loving story of the human body, which details the evolutionary roots for almost everything we do today and why some of those activities are actually deleterious to our existence.This book asks a multitude of questions, and they are [...]

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    30. Deep, detailed, wise, and very much worth whileThe first part of the book is about human evolution from apes to Homo sapiens with a lot of interesting information about hominins (AKA hominids) and how we became bipedal and developed language and culture. The second part is about how the rise of agriculture and then the industrial revolution changed the health of our bodies for better and for worse. The third part is about how to cope with what Lieberman calls “mismatch diseases” and “dysev [...]

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