ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context : OnAgriculture

Was agriculture a mistake?

JaredDiamond thinks it might have been :

(Also at :

I think a similar scepticism was expressed in ElaineMorgan's FallingApart

Human race evolved as hunter-gatherers - so it's not suprising that such life fits us better than the agriculture life, this is how the natural selection crafted us.

Ah, but we also evolved with "higher" brain functionality, so perhaps in that case it's not so surprising that we constantly aim to improve ourselves and our methods. This separates us from, for example, squirrels, who "provide for the future" over winter by gathering nuts and hibernating. Is there much difference between what they do in order to survive, and what we do (or did) in order to secure our food supply?

What I get off the article (from a UK PoV, YMMV) is...

  • Natural means don't scale so well, in terms of localised community - i.e. our success as a species is at odds with our origins.
  • Humans have a tendency to gather together, and the processes we have in place facilitate and encourage this.

Witness, for instance, the movement of population in the UK from the North to the South, and from outerlying rural areas to inner cities.

Whether or not agriculture is responsible for this, or if it's just the by-product of some other, perhaps more sociological, cause... hum.

Similarly, whether we can expect to see a reversal in population distribution and/or agricultural methods due to further artificial evolution, i.e. science, or if this is just another tool to assist us in our conglomeration ... hum.


See also :