Essay on The Effects Of Agriculture On The Human Race

Essay on The Effects Of Agriculture On The Human Race

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It is easy to respond to Diamond 's argument that the agricultural revolution was "the worst mistake in the history of the human race" with a defensive attitude based on what diamond calls the "progressivist perspective." This perspective counters with the idea that agriculture was an essential development in the history of the human race. The "progressivist perspective" is what modern American 's have been taught and conditioned to believe in order to support and defend our current way of life; making it the default argument. The basic problem with both of these theories is they are both absolutes and adopting strictly one or the other leads to polarization, and fails to acknowledge the multiple variables that led to the institution of agriculture, but also the variables contributed to the consequences attributed to the adoption of agriculture. Both theories also superficially suggest that agriculture was a direct conscious choice independent of evolution and the changing environment. When considering the impact of agriculture on the human race, as with most things, the answer likely lies somewhere in the middle and must be considered in relation to the changing environment. There is a benefit and a cost to every choice. Choices are complex responses made to people, places, circumstances, and conditions. Considering these facts, the agricultural revolution can neither be considered completely good or completely bad, but rather both and detrimental to its development.
The choice to change to an agricultural society may have actually been the best choice available when considering the conditions that existed at the time of the dramatic change from a primarily hunter-gather society to an agricultural society, it may have been the ...

... middle of paper ... and developing problem. Any solution would have come with a cost. As the human race continues to evolve, solutions to the problems that result from earlier generation 's choices can be developed. These attempts at combating undesirable consequences are evidenced in developing new ways to grow, store, and transport crops in order to get a varied diet to the masses. Improvement in medical science to combat infectious disease, working to combat social and sexual inequality globally and locally. Unfortunately, many of these and other solutions will also come with a cost. It is clear that the development of agriculture came with a significant cost, but to say that it was the "worst mistake in the history of the human race" is an overstatement. It might be argued that the "worst mistake" is not identifying and developing solutions to negative consequences soon enough.

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