Paleofantasy

Marlene Zuk is a professor of biology at the University of California–Riverside and is the author of Sex on Six Legs.

 
Paleofantasy
What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live
Marlene Zuk

Theories about how our ancestors lived—and why we should emulate them—are often based on pseudoscience and speculation rather than actual research. Taking us to the cutting edge of biology, Marlene Zuk explains that evolution can work faster than was previously realised, meaning that we are not biologically the same as our caveman ancestors. Zuk shows how our visions of an ideal evolutionary past in which we ate, lived and reproduced as we were "meant to" can lead us astray and distract us from more interesting considerations of how we differ from our forebears. Along the way, she debunks the caveman diet, discusses whether we’re really designed to run barefoot and considers modern-day courtship and child-rearing practices in the context of how our ancestors lived.

"... presents an entertaining and very plausible challenge to some of the pseudo-scientific myths we have about our evolutionary past..."
The Bookseller

"Zuk’s rebuttals are intelligent, informed and instructive..."
Times Higher Education

"...her [Zuk's] take on the many controversies and uncertainties surrounding evolution is both wise and measured."
The Guardian

"...Paleofantasy is a necessary corrective to so much new-age nincompoopery."
BBC Focus

"...elegant book...Zuk writes with a pleasant dry humour which intermittently sparkles."
Literary Review

"...this rigorous book is not about whether to eat wheat: it is an entertaining synthesis of the hard science on human evolution."
Summer Books, Nature

"...an entertaining read and an excellent primer on human evolution and what we do and don't know about our distant ancestors."
Fortean Times

May 2013 • £17.99 • ISBN 978 0 393 08137 4 • 304pp • 156 x 235mm • 15 illustrations
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March 2014 • Paper • £9.99 • ISBN 978 0 393 34792 0 • 336pp • 140 x 210mm • 15 illustrations
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