O maior erro da humanidade

Segundo Jared Diamond, nossos problemas começaram quando deixamos de ser caçadores-coletores e viramos agricultores:
To science we owe dramatic changes in our smug self-image. Astronomy taught us that our earth isn’t the center of the universe but merely one of billions of heavenly bodies. From biology we learned that we weren’t specially created by God but evolved along with millions of other species. Now archaeology is demolishing another sacred belief: that human history over the past million years has been a long tale of progress. In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered. With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence.(...)

There are at least three sets of reasons to explain the findings that agriculture was bad for health. First, hunter-gatherers enjoyed a varied diet, while early farmers obtained most of their food from one or a few starchy crops. ... Second, because of dependence on a limited number of crops, farmers ran the risk of starvation if one crop failed. Finally, the mere fact that agriculture encouraged people to clump together in crowded societies... led to the spread of parasites and infectious disease.


Via Brad Delong.

3 comentários:

Marcelo disse...

Grande Leo.

O Millôr Fernandes disse certa vez que as melhores notícias que ele recebe vem da Arqueologia...
Jared Diamond é realmente sensacional.
Parabéns pelo post.
Abraços.

mh disse...

Já pegaste o livrinho da Ester Boserup? "Evolução Agrária e Pressão Demográfica", publicado (e esgotado) pela HUCITEC? Na biblioteca do CAVG tem. Ela discute justamente a relação entre tempo gasto para obter o alimento e a qualidade da alimentação. É bem legal, pq ela inverte a lógica malthusiana já de saída, tornando a população uma variável independente da oferta de alimentos...

Em suma, a última opção seria sempre a agricultura e a intensificação do uso da terra.

Leonardo Monasterio disse...

Não conhecia! valeu a dica!

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