Unfit for Purpose: thesis on human evolution and the modern world gets lost in the weeds

Adam Hart’s thoughtful appraisal of a serious thesis gets mired in in the minutiae

The book suggests our digestive systems evolved to process a much simpler, more ‘natural’ diet than most of us now consume. Photograph: Getty

The book suggests our digestive systems evolved to process a much simpler, more ‘natural’ diet than most of us now consume. Photograph: Getty

Ever get the feeling that, like Brian Wilson, you just weren’t made for these times? Ever get fat, had an allergy, suffered from a food intolerance or chronic asthma? Did you ever get stressed, fall for fake news or develop an unhealthy relationship with drink, drugs or social media? Have you ever wanted to hit someone? Have you ever hit someone?

According to Unfit for Purpose, these are particularly modern discontents, and there is a single explanation underlying all of them. In recent history, author Adam Hart hypothesises, the human environment and human society have changed so rapidly that our physical, intellectual and emotional evolution can’t keep up. Hence its subtitle: When Human Evolution Collides with the Modern World.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.