Understanding the Human Factor: Life and Its Impact : The Great Courses: Social Science

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Gary A. Sojka
  • Series: The Great Courses: Social Science
  • 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The year is 8000 B.C. A man wanders across a field of prairie grasses in search of edible berries and roots and wild game to feed his family. As he walks, the tips of the grasses brush against him, releasing seeds. He collects a few of these seeds and brings them back to his camp. Later, he notices that when they fall on earth, they begin to sprout, and a new plant grows.
In small moments like these, the path of Homo sapiens is changed forever. The process of domesticating plants and animals reflects the greatest transition in the history of humankind - one that served to make us the humans we are today. In this series of 24 thought-provoking lectures, an award-winning educator takes you on a journey through this fascinating story, surveying the remarkable innovations that transformed humankind into the sole agriculturists on our planet - an innovation the human race feels to this day. Drawing on the latest science from a wide variety of fields - including microbiology, genetics, archaeology, and sociology - Professor Sojka offers a seldom-seen, multidisciplinary perspective on human life. The result is a complex and remarkable synthesis of science and history that stretches from the ancient roots of human culture to some of the most significant issues facing the modern world.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good lesson in economic and cultural reality.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book who want to understand how food production, human evolution, human population, climate change, culture, animal domestication, economics, scientific and genetic developments etc. etc. are all related.


What did you like best about this story?

We tend to take for granted that food will be there for us whenever we need it. This audio book showed how our early ancestors began to domesticate animals which led a positive feedback loop of food availability, population increase, the need for more food, the development of agriculture, scientific innovation etc.


Which scene did you most enjoy?

I enjoyed all of it.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too involved for one sitting.


Any additional comments?

I would so liked to have had the lecturer's opinion on the trend towards veganism and vegetarianism. How would this effect food production, land use, animal symbiosis and animal domestication. Would this be a good move for the human race, ethically, culturally, economically etc. He talked about animal abuse but I wanted him to go further on Veganism etc.

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- amazoncustomer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses