The Worst Mistake In The Human Race Summary

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The main idea of Jared Diamond’s article “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race” is the discussion of whether agriculture was for the best or the worst. The author’s opinion on the debate was that the adoption of agriculture was a catastrophe from which humanity have never recovered from. Professor Diamond claimed that with the arrival of agriculture came the “gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence”. In other word, Professor Diamond thinks that agriculture is what had brought up all the negative aspect of humanity, and that humans may have been better off in a hunter-gatherers society. To begin his debate, Professor Diamond addresses the counterclaim by stating the benefits of agriculture. Some of his evidence that he used was that…show more content…
The average time a week that the Kalahari Bushman spend in search of food was only 12-19 hours and “it turns out that these people have plenty of leisure time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard than their farming neighbors”. Then, Professor Diamond compared the health of hunter-gatherers to farmers and uses evidence such as height and nutrition to conclude that agriculture has been the downfall of health. Farmers concentrate on high-carbohydrate crops while hunter-gatherers eats a mix of wild plants and animals, which in turn provides more protein and a better balance of other nutrients. Furthermore, skeleton from Greece/Turkey showed that the average height of hunter-gathers toward the end of ice ages was around 5 inches taller than those after the adoption of agriculture. He reasoned that primitive people only took up farming because they were pressured by the necessity to feed their growing population. He supported this claim by using a quote from Mark Cohen of the State University of New York at

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