Book: Pandora’s Seed


Pandora’s Seed: Why the Hunter-Gatherer Holds the Key to Our Survival is a book by Spencer Wells, who has done work with National Geographic on the human genome and examined the cost that switching to agriculture had upon the species.  Really interesting book!

Cool Chapters:

Ch3 – Diseased

Ch4 – Demented

Ch7 – Toward a new Mythos

Lessons for Yogis:

1) Our biology is mis-matched with our culture.  So, the more we come to observe and understand this, the better we can make conscious decisions about what we eat and what other habits we create.  Can yoga help us counter

2) Our DNA influences our health, but does not determine it.  Just because something is in our genes does not sentence us to suffer it.  It’s important to make mental health care a priority. Mindfulness in our thinking and feelings can be important to maintain mental health and to observe when we may need help.

3) Many adaptations, such as the fight or flight response, are maladaptive today.  And then our immune systems suffer. So, to be more healthy, how about yoga for the relaxation response?

Here’s the speakers bureau profile of Spencer Wells, with links to TED talks, interviews on Colbert Report and Daily Show, etc!


This book came out during the year I was working at the National Geographic Headquarters, so I got to attend a presentation by Spencer Wells on the book.  I found him to be well-spoken and his views on human history to be logical as well as illuminating.  Really cool work!  I’ve also used his other books in research. ~Jordan