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    Description

    In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman - chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field - gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning this paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease.

    The Story of the Human Body brilliantly illuminates as never before the major transformations that contributed key adaptations to the body: the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering, leading to our superlative endurance athleticism; the development of a very large brain; and the incipience of cultural proficiencies. Lieberman also elucidates how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution, and how our bodies were further transformed during the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions.

    While these ongoing changes have brought about many benefits, they have also created conditions to which our bodies are not entirely adapted, Lieberman argues, resulting in the growing incidence of obesity and new but avoidable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Lieberman 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 even compel us to create a more salubrious environment.

    ©2013 Daniel Lieberman (P)2013 Random House Audio

    Commentaires

    "No one understands the human body like Daniel Lieberman or tells its story more eloquently. He's found a tale inside our skin that's riveting, enlightening, and more than a little frightening." (Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run)
    "Monumental: The Story of the Human Body, by one of our leading experts, takes us on an epic voyage that reveals how the past six million years shaped every part of us - our heads, limbs, and even our metabolism. Through Lieberman's eyes, evolutionary history not only comes alive, it becomes the means to understand, and ultimately influence, our body's future." (Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish)
    "A lucid, engaging account of how the human body evolved and the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and the modern world." ( Publishers Weekly)

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    Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Story of the Human Body

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    Global
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    Interprétation
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    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars

    Great book from an evolutionary perspective

    A great read about why and how the human body works not the reading is generally great, but there are a few moments when they are mistakes or issues with the audio. There is a bit of speculation, but the author is usually clear about what is well-established or not, what is his own speculation or I feels reflections that are ongoing. I recommend this book as it is a great overview of where we stand today on this subject

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    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour Trebla
    • Trebla
    • 08/04/2018

    Could Have Been Good, but...

    The Professor traded his lectern in for a pulpit. I was hoping for a detailed march of human evolution as documented by science and giving connection to the environmental changes that brought them on.
    Instead was a rather verbose listing of a few of his favorite themes- like flat feet which he brought up again & again. Despite his tenure at a university with a medical school it seems he did not talk to folks there for insight and context of several issues like lipid metabolism, shoe wear, & back pain. On several points with which I am very familiar, he is just wrong.
    While telling us repeatedly about the terror of toxins in our environment he never talks about Hazard vs Risk which is very germane to any discussion of evolution.
    The first few chapters on the evolution of Homo erectus and the development of bipedal gait covers well known ground, but does it with such astounding number of words & repetition as to obfuscate the important points. The last several chapters say -don't get fat, exercise, & eat a reasonable diet.

    Your money is better spent elsewhere

    36 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
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    • Mark
    • 10/09/2015

    From tree to car

    This is a really enjoyable book. I suppose the points made aren’t all that novel or mind-blowing, but they are made in a really entertaining, comprehensive and satisfying way and it is packed with insights reinforcing the world-view of evolutionary biology that I’ve gleaned from similar audiobooks on related topics.

    The author is a Harvard professor of biology, and the subject is the human body. He spends the first half of the book describing how the human body evolved since the time of our last common ancestor with the other great apes. Over these six million years or so our bodies have changed due to a sequence of important adaptations, and his explanations of each of these changes and their advantages in the environmental conditions of the time are truly enlightening. Although some of these are well-known to the point of being clichéd, e.g. becoming bipedal, losing our fur, developing better voice-boxes, etc, he describes each of these steps to a level of detail that really boosted my understanding of the subject.

    An example of this is the bipedal adaptation. In order to become efficient walkers our legs got longer, our hips turned inwards, we developed arches in our feet, and the end result was that we use significantly fewer calories to cover a given distance compared to a chimp. We covered long distances in great heat to find food, losing our fur and developing sweat glands to facilitate this activity in the hot African sun – retaining head hair to protect us from sunburn. I knew that we were good walkers but I hadn’t previously realised that we also evolved as runners. We are very slow runners compared to most of our predators (e.g. lions) and I thought that was just the price we had to pay for becoming bipedal and freeing up our hands for tool-use. But actually, while being rubbish at sprinting, we are excellent, well-evolved long-distance runners. There is evidence that we hunted large mammals using a ‘persistence’ method; We would patiently jog after a large mammal, which would gallop off until it had to rest in the shade. We would catch up with it and it would gallop off again before it had time to fully recover, and this sequence would continue until the beast eventually collapsed with heat-stroke, making it an easy kill.

    The second part of the book focuses on the concept of evolutionary ‘mismatch’. This is a detailed look at how, when faced with a changing environment, our bodies have initially been poorly matched and have taken time to adapt. There is then a special emphasis on the mismatches that we currently face, with our modern Western lifestyle (the extremely new environment of chairs, beds, computers, pollution, abundant high calorie food, etc, etc).

    So many modern chronic diseases seem to be associated with us using our bodies in ways they weren’t adapted for. They are too numerous to mention, but examples are heart disease, fallen arches, type 2 diabetes, short-sightedness and lower back pain. These diseases are rare in present day hunter-gatherer societies, and it isn’t because they don’t live long enough to succumb to these ‘old-age’ disorders, the older members of these societies don’t typically get them either.

    So there’s a really good discussion of how modern ailments have resulted from the mismatch between our bodies and our new environment. Again, this is not a particularly novel idea, but it’s a thorough and stimulating discussion with many suggestions for how we could prevent or reduce these diseases, both on a societal and a personal level. If you’re interested in this kind of stuff, I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

    17 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Jennifer
    • 02/05/2014

    Truly worthwhile read

    What did you love best about The Story of the Human Body?

    I loved they way he made sense of modern diseases and conditions against the background of our evolutionary human experience. He does this with tremendous sensitivity to our attachment to modern cultural traditions, so that one doesn't end up feeling attacked or guilty about the evolutionary mis-matches, just more aware of their existence and how to minimize health problems from this perspective.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Story of the Human Body?

    His explanation of dentition and its relationship to modern types of food is really interesting. I had no idea that cavities and impacted wisdom teeth were modern problems that are entirely preventable by changing one's eating habits, especially for children.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    His explanations of prehistoric peoples' movement level relative to ours was really fascinating. I always knew that our sedentary lifestyle causes problems, but I never understood "sedentary relative to what?" Once he explained how humans and other hominids lived and moved and functioned prior to settling down and establishing farms, I really understood why our modern sitting/driving/lazing-around has such a massive impact on our health, and in so many diverse areas (cardiovascular, brain, emotional well-being, skeletal resilience, etc)

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Our human past illuminates your health

    Any additional comments?

    I really liked this book, it was kind of addictive. I learned so many valuable principles for health maintenance, and the author is an extremely intelligent person who has devoted decades of study to these issues. I highly recommend this book.

    11 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • G-Man
    • 17/10/2013

    A great discussion of human evolution/physiology

    I love human evolution books. This one didn't get started for me until well into the 2nd chapter because it is basic knowledge. The rest of the book goes into length and specifics discussing hominid development from a physiological perspective. I am familiar with most of the material from other audiobooks but enjoyed the overview. It is easy to follow and discusses how pre-humans and early humans compare. 4 stars because much of the info is standard fair.
    This is a good science book for audio.

    It may be too familiar for some listeners [nerds] who are familiar with the topic.

    9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      2 out of 5 stars
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    • Gary
    • 25/03/2014

    Humans are dynamic not static

    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. I never grow tired about learning about Neanderthals, Denisovans and early man. He actually develops a theory that our evolution and development is best thought of in terms of calorie (energy) consumption and usage a pretty good theory at that.

    At near the midway part of the book, the author says that he used to stop his lectures on human evolution at 40 thousand years ago. I wish he stopped the book at that point, but, unfortunately, he did not.

    He states that the agricultural and industrial revolution are the worst things that ever happened to us and he seems to mean it. (He quotes Jared Diamond to that effect, but Diamond might say that but doesn't dwell on that in his much better books than this one). The author tells the listener that modern hunter gatherer groups live longer and with less pain when you factor out tobacco and alcohol. All the negative things the author says about our diet and exercise (lack thereof) is true, but we are learning and we are moving ahead and adapting culturally.

    I'm a rational optimist. Humans are dynamic and we are learning as we progress and we just don't stand still as more data becomes available to us. The author is right, adult onset diabetes (Type II) is a scourge for out bodies, but we are changing are behaviors and we are learning from our past mistakes.

    21 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Jim Fuqua
    • 23/03/2014

    Very Informative Book

    The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease is an excellent book.

    The author is head of the Evolutionary Biology Department at Harvard. It appears that many of the negative reviews are by people who don't believe evolution happens. If you strongly hold to that view yourself you probably will be offended by every page of this book.

    The book starts by telling you more details concerning early humanoids than you may want to know, but if you stick with the book for fifty or sixty pages the relevance of the information to modern humans becomes more apparent. The longer you stick with the book the more you are likely to enjoy it.

    Ultimately there is much information relevant to how we live today and how we should be living given our likely genetic predispositions.

    The one issue that I would like to have heard more about is how or if evolution had much impact on diseases of the elderly when our ancestors rarely lived to the ages we commonly live today.

    Overall --- a very good book.

    Jim Fuqua



    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • scott
    • 27/10/2013

    Fascinating

    Kind of boggles the mind to think mankind has been around hundreds of thousands of years. First part of the book is an evolution history lesson, second part is an examination of where we currently are and implications for the future. Very readable, Lieberman often points out evolution facts (learned through fossil discoveries) and assumptions. Some surprising facts like most people have 1-3% Neanderthal DNA and most of the world can be traced back to a small community of 14,000 people in Africa. Overall, Lieberman has made what could have been a very dry book, come to life.

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Anonymous User
    • 20/12/2019

    It has a lot of take aways

    It made me think a lot in having a more healthy lifestyle. Nice narrator as well.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • A.M.
    • 15/11/2019

    Excellent

    This is a tremendous work. Very informative and enlightening. A great follow up to the works of Diamond and Harari.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Julie
    • 19/08/2019

    Very good listen

    very enlightening. a good insight on how and why you should eat right and exercise, and why we don't do just that.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • P. Marks
    • 03/09/2020

    the glue that connects the fragments

    So much scientific and life value in such an entertaining book.
    You probably already know part of the facts Lieberman writes about in his book, but he has such a good way of putting the puzzle pieces together and completing the big picture. He tells us how we can strive for better health without condemning those who fail.
    one of the best books in the last years I have read/listened to. Bought the paperback right away.

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    • Pascal R. Müller
    • 21/06/2019

    Erhellende und nachdenklich machende Lektüre

    Auch wenn mir vieles schon bekannt war, so half mir die Lektüre dieses Buches doch, mein Wissen zu festigen und vor allem: Den Sieg über die niederen Instinkte zu erringen - Wobei das laut Lieberman gar nicht möglich ist. Stattdessen müssen wir unsere Umwelt (und damit letztlich unser Verhalten) so gestalten (lassen), dass sie uns wieder gut bekommt...

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Farmerjo
    • 11/09/2017

    I recommend this book

    I found this Book very insightful. We all know the common prescriptions of running/being active and avoiding junk foods and too much sugar. This book provides the evolutionary context and makes the why very clear. It thereby provides a strong motivation for acting.

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    • Patrick Grübener
    • 19/08/2017

    A must read for everybody

    Where are we coming from, why are our bodies the way they are and how can we use and nurture them today to be healthy and happy? The book gives insights and answers. Very interestingly written and read. 5 stars +

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    • krister fersan
    • 18/10/2016

    Very well written and read!

    Very informative also for somebody who wants to start a more healthy living and need to understand the nature behind the readons of today's obesity and metabolic syndrome.
    In many other ways HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

    • Global
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    • marmotte77
    • 17/05/2016

    Educative but the "information flow" is too slow

    i'm thankful to the author for so detailed, persuasive and interesting book. My only complaint is the book high repetitiveness. Every bit of information is repeated so many times that one thinks of skipping parts. I would be doing that if I were reading a paper copy. Though the repetitiveness is an advantage for the audio format - nothing goes amiss when listening in noisy public transport.