Books et al.Anthropology

Cultivating human culture

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Science  01 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6234, pp. 508
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa9544

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In Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels, Ian Morris asks why human values—including our attitudes toward equality, hierarchy, and violence—have changed so dramatically, and not always linearly, during the past 20,000 years. His argument—that our values have been shaped by the way we harvest energy—is bold and thought-provoking. Though reviewer Peter Turchin ultimately disagrees with Morris, he commends him for putting forth a clearly formulated, testable hypothesis, which Turchin believes will help advance the budding field of scientific history.