The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution
Much of humanityâ€™s past is a mystery. Until recently, we had only bones and artifacts to help us understand prehistoric human life. But today we have a new window into the past: the historical record that survives in our genes. We can now examine material from our own genomes and analyze it in light of evolutionary theoryâ€”a combination Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending call evolutionary genomics. The overwhelming surprise emerging from this new field of research is that human evolution did not stop with the emergence of Homo sapiens. Instead, it sped upâ€”and has continued accelerating into historical times. The 10,000 Year Explosion is the first book to introduce the new ideas coming from evolutionary genomics that will revolutionize humanityâ€™s understanding of its past. Harpending and Cochran reveal the genetic changes that led to behaviorally modern humans and that allowed our ancestors to adapt to new environments. The majority of these changes, including adaptations to physical and social inventions such as agriculture and urban environments, seem to have started in a huge burst only 10,000 years ago. Cochran and Harpending make clear that many of the important transitions in human history involved biological changes that were the products of natural selection.
Full of revelatory and wondrous findings, The 10,000 Year Explosion proves that humanityâ€™s genetic inheritance can change remarkably fastâ€”and that our own civilization can cause the change