"The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race"…
"The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race"
Introduction to the article
Author's biography and academic background
What branch of the sciences does this belong in?
What specific claims are being made?
Analyzing the language of the article
Designed to persuade/convince
Many concepts introduced that warrant a closer look and may not be capable of biological/scientific definition
Things that "curse our existence"
"Demolishing a sacred belief"
Hunter-gatherers "sensible enough not to abandon it"
What kind of story does this article tell about humankind?
What other narratives are relevant for comparison, if any?
Narratives about progress:
Does biological evolution imply progress?
Can our decision to adopt agriculture be reduced a biological imperative? What other values are relevant?
What is the value of this kind of large-scale storytelling?
Theory of Knowledge
How do we know what we know?
What are the methods of biology/the natural sciences? How do they compare to the methods of the arts?
Which areas of knowledge (biology, the arts, etc.) offer us the most compelling explanation for why we live the way that we do now?
What types of knowledge are involved in telling the story of human evolution/progress/history?
What kind of evidence is required/provided by each approach?
Can biology explain decisions that we make? Or does human free will prevent us from offering deterministic explanations for human phenomena?
Biological knowledge communicated in the article
Work of a paleopathologist
Importance to biology
Examples in the article
Hunter-gatherer vs. agriculture
What are advantages? Disadvantages?
Timeline "Homo sapiens"