Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live
Author: Zuk Marlene
Whip-smart and brilliantly researched, Paleofantasy debunks the many pseudoscientific myths that circulate about evolution—from the 'caveman diet' to the idea that monogamy goes against our evolutionary nature.
We evolved to eat berries and wild game rather than bagels and goat cheese, to live in caves rather than condos, to run barefoot rather than play rugby—right? Wrong, as Marlene Zuk reveals with wit and insight in this fascinating new book. First, she takes us to the cutting edge in research on evolution, revealing that its pace is much faster than previously realized. This means that we are not biologically the same as our caveman ancestors. Zuk then shows how our 'paleofantasies'—our fetishized visions of an ideal evolutionary past in which we ate, lived, and reproduced like we were meant to—can lead us astray. She debunks the pseudoscience behind the 'paleo diet' (which forbids dairy and grains on the basis that our ancestors didn't eat them), discusses whether or not we're really designed to run barefoot (à la Born to Run), and considers modern-day courtship and child-rearing practices in the context of how our ancestors lived. The takeaway is that notions of how we were 'meant' to be are often flawed, making us unnecessarily wary of new foods, practices, and ideas.