AP World History
The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race
This article by Jared Diamond is about his opinion that agriculture is the worst mistake in the history of the Human race. Jared Diamond believes the adoption of agriculture was a catastrophe that changed the human race forever. When we as Humans changed from a hunting-gathering lifestyle to an agriculture lifestyle we created social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism making agriculture a big mistake.
Jared Diamond has a lot of concrete evidence to support his claim. For example Diamond states, “ There are three reasons agriculture was bad for health. First hunter-gatherers enjoyed a varied diet, while farmers obtained most of their food from one or a few starchy crops. The Farmers gained cheap calories at the cost of poor nutrition. 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.” This shows that Diamond clearly believes nothing good came from agriculture and Humans should have stuck to being hunter-gatherers. In addition Diamond quotes Armelagos saying, “Life expectancy at birth in the pre-agriculture community was about twenty-six years. In the post-agriculture community it was nineteen years. So these episodes of nutritional stress and infectious disease were seriously affecting their ability to survive.” This again shows how Diamond believes agriculture is bad.
I believe this is a very well written article by Jared Diamond. Most of Diamonds evidence I had not heard of before, but they were all too old. His examples about farming are all about farming at the very start, and nothing about farming now days. This made his argument very weak. I think agriculture was/is a very good thing. If Diamond believes Agriculture is so bad nothing is stopping...
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