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Daily Life Lessons with Adam Hart: On Mismatched Evolution

Stress, obesity, poor mental health, drug addiction, bowel diseases, violence and fake news; a stark checklist of modern world problems and every one of them is an echo of our evolutionary past.

In Unfit for Purpose: When Human Evolution Collides with the Modern World, biologist and broadcaster Adam Hart explores the mismatch between our fundamental biology and the modern world we have created. In each chapter, Adam reveals the many ways in which biological adaptations (meant to improve survival chances) now work against us. For example, in the modern world, stress is a killer; but, how did 'fight or flight' instincts turn from life-savers to life-takers? Obesity might be a disease now but is it really just a troublesome side-effect of our complex evolutionary past? Whether it's the derailing of microbes in our gut, the rise of gluten and lactose intolerance, the problems of social media or the horrors of drug addiction, we always seem to have one foot in the modern world and the other firmly in our evolutionary past.

By probing deep into our evolutionary legacy, exploring science, archaeology, medicine, genetics, sociology and more, Adam demonstrates how, in a modern world of our own making, we find ourselves 'unfit for purpose'. But all is not lost! By unpicking the evolutionary causes of many of our current woes, he reveals that evolutionary-informed treatments may change the way we think about ourselves and our future.

In Adam's Daily Life Lesson, he looks at how modern world problems such as obesity and anxiety are an echo of our evolutionary past.

Megan

Megan is the marketing manager for the Life Lessons portfolio. Awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing is at the forefront of her mission for a better world.

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