Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World

  • Title: Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World
  • Author: Richard C. Francis
  • ISBN: 9780393064605
  • Page: 260
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Domesticated Evolution in a Man Made World We would still be living at subsistence level as hunter gatherers if not for domestication It is no accident that the cradle of civilization the Middle East is where sheep goats pigs cattle and ca
    We would still be living at subsistence level as hunter gatherers if not for domestication It is no accident that the cradle of civilization the Middle East is where sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, and cats commenced their fatefully intimate association with humans.Before the agricultural revolution, there were perhaps 10 million humans on earth Now there are than 7 bWe would still be living at subsistence level as hunter gatherers if not for domestication It is no accident that the cradle of civilization the Middle East is where sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, and cats commenced their fatefully intimate association with humans.Before the agricultural revolution, there were perhaps 10 million humans on earth Now there are than 7 billion of us Our domesticated species have also thrived, in stark contrast to their wild ancestors In a human constructed environment or man made world it pays to be domesticated.Domestication is an evolutionary process first and foremost What most distinguishes domesticated animals from their wild ancestors are genetic alterations resulting in tameness, the capacity to tolerate close human proximity But selection for tameness often results in a host of seemingly unrelated by products, including floppy ears, skeletal alterations, reduced aggression, increased sociality, and reduced brain size It s a package deal known as the domestication syndrome.Elements of the domestication syndrome can be found in every domesticated species not only cats, dogs, pigs, sheep, cattle, and horses but also recent human creations, such as domesticated camels, reindeer, and laboratory rats That domestication results in this suite of changes in such a wide variety of mammals is a fascinating evolutionary story, one that sheds much light on the evolutionary process in general.We humans, too, show signs of the domestication syndrome, which some believe was key to our evolutionary success By this view, human evolution parallels the evolution of dogs from wolves in particular.A natural storyteller, Richard C Francis weaves history, archaeology, and anthropology to create a fascinating narrative.

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      Published :2019-04-05T13:07:08+00:00

    About Richard C. Francis


    1. Richard C Francis is a writer who has a PhD in biology from Stanford University He is the author of Why Men Won t Ask for Directions He lives in New York City.


    934 Comments


    1. Before I talk about the actual contents of the book, I have to compliment whoever made the (I assume Photoshopped) picture on the front cover, of a tiny white fluffy dog sitting in front of (or slighly underneath) a large grey wolf. It perfectly raises the question that the book's actual contents try to answer: how did the one, descend from the other?There are chapters on wolf/dog, cat, auroch/cow, horse, camel, goat and sheep, and so forth. In some cases, such as the dog, the wild ancestor is s [...]

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    2. Entra como um dos melhores livros desse ano, só não é o melhor por causa de Sapiens. Excelente, daqueles que recomendo para muita gente. Reconta a domesticação de quase todos os bichos, falando de paleontologia, evolução humana e animal, história, genética e mais. Adorei descobrir que o cachorro serviu (e serve) de comida por muito tempo, que gatos ainda são bem selvagens, que renas vêem no espectro UV, que camelos tem uma senhora resistência física e muito mais coisa legal.

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    3. I'd read Francis' "Why Men Won't Ask for Directions," and saw it as a solid rebuke of the worst of evolutionary psychology, and now think I need to raise my rating a star higher.I've read two other books in the past year about animal domestication, but Francis goes so much deeper into evolutionary biology.To give one example: Francis notes that evolutionary developmental biology is a much "deeper" layer of evolution than that involved with domestication of animals. However, he takes time to give [...]

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    4. Three years ago, I made the decision to adopt a pet of my own—specifically, a cat. In my mind, a cat was the ideal companion for someone like me: independent enough that I could leave it alone while I was at work, but companionable enough to pet and play with when I was at home. I had actually managed to talk my mother around to the idea, and had begun to lay down some fairly concrete plans (including which rescue organisation I was going to adopt the cat from, as well as a budget for food, to [...]

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    5. I found this one utterly fascinating and I learned a ton. I'm not sure what to say because the summary and table of contents explain it all pretty well. It discusses the domestication of different groups of animals and how this can vary, and what traits emerged. It even discusses a theory than humans basically domesticated themselves. Of course, I was most pleased with the ferret facts. ;)

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    6. Intriguing and deep exploration of the effects of domestication in animals, with the structure largely dictated by species. I really enjoyed this, but there were a few elements which marred my complete enjoyment and resulted in the taking of a star. Francis seems to have a beef with anybody selling more books than him, and exudes loads of skepticism about evolutionary psychology, which is his right of course. But he made claims that someone had just 'disproven' the idea of the evolvability of a [...]

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    7. Extremely interesting, beautifully written book about the domestication of animals - dogs, cats, cattle, camels, reindeer, rodents, sheep, goats, horses and humans. Author anecdotes are kept to a minimum and when included are actually relevant to the science being discussed. Now the author just needs to do a similar book on the domestication of plants. :)

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    8. This book made me realise how little I actually knew about my pets, despite previously thinking I knew a fair bit.Though a little wordy at times- necessarily, given the topic; genetics- this was such an interesting book, and for anyone out there with even the most vague interest in the history of domesticated animals (and a few others!) then I would recommend this.

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    9. Domesticated is a fascinating and engrossing read that dives into numerous subjects surrounding evolutionary traits, lineage, body physiology, and more to offer a well rounded and thoroughly researched read on the stress induced process that is man-made evolution, i.e. domestication. Still, keep a thesaurus near by as those of us not fully ingrained in the upper echelons of the scientific community may have to pause to figure out select terminology.

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    10. Well, this was a huge disappointment. The cover claims that Francis is a "natural born storyteller." No, he's not. If this was supposed to be a pop science book aimed at the masses, it missed by a country mile. It's dry as sand, full of jargon and aimed at biologists and not much else. He also has a thing against Richard Dawkins which just reads like bitching and not constructive criticism. Most of the photos are from Wikimedia Commons.I hope someone who knows how to write winds up tackling this [...]

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    11. An excellent layman's introduction to the subject that starts with the fox domestication work of Dmitri Belyaev, a pioneer of modern genetics who was the first to fully understand domestication.For every animal the author further presents their status in historical or modern cultures together with the theory of their domestication - all this in layman terms. A genetic study is presented at the end of pretty much every chapter, which I found slightly but not overly difficult for someone with no b [...]

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    12. I've been waiting for this book to be released, and grabbed it the first day. I savored each chapter - one a day. The exploration of each type of domesticated animal (humans included) was very well done. It was smart to give each their own chapter. Just enough of the personal life/experience researching the book was added by Francis.I must admit - I really, really disliked the narrator chosen. He has a quite annoying and nasally voice. It sounded like it was practically read by a computer.Narrat [...]

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    13. Very interesting

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    14. The author discusses the domestication of various animals, talking of the origin species, the timing, comparing the characteristics of the domesticated animal with it's wild counterpart, and looking at the evolution of breeds during domestication. In each chapter, details on the genomics are provided.House Fox - A description of the experiment where Belyaev raised successive generations of Silver Foxes, selecting for friendliness toward humans. By the fourth generation, they began to wag their t [...]

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    15. More of a text book for much of it, rather than a book meant for the masses. Far more genomics and science speak than the average reader (me) might have anticipated. I got things out of it, but the nuggets were rare within the whole.Special note for anyone considering listening on Audible. Lots of charts and figures are mentioned, and it is rather hard to imagine them vs holding the actual book in your hands. I don't think I've rated the book unfairly due to that handicap, but mention it anyway. [...]

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    16. Brilliant and up to date analysis of domestication, in all its manifestations. Perhaps one of the most fascinating questions raised by this book, amongst many, is the question of whether humans are self domesticatingd if we ourselves were not domesticated by other mammals that we supposedly have "dominion" overHIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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    17. One of the best books I've read in a long time. Chapters vary in complexity and it could use a glossary, but the main ideas are clear and give you a lot to think about. I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in animals or evolution.

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    18. A very interesting read but a bit jargonful sometimes.

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    19. An interesting read. Loved it, except for the part of human evolution and self-domestication.

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    20. Not sure about this book. Sorry, I can't tell more.

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    21. I finished the book a week and a half ago and I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then. As I will probably continue thinking about it for some time, especially as I find the book that I'm listening to now, David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years, an unlikely but equally fascinating follow-up, my review will be short.I decided to buy Domesticated after I read the synopsis: as it turns out, a true representation of what the book is about. The synopsis reads:Without our domesticated plant [...]

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    22. I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t expect it to be this good! When I started, I was a little hesitant about the delivery of the subject matter. I have to say, Richard C. Francis did a great job, my expectations were exceeded. It’s well written, fascinating and fun. The content is separated in small chapters, what makes it easier to digest. Richard narrates the domestication of the majority of animals, through anthropology, evolution, paleontology, history, genetics, religion (this part, sp [...]

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    23. Admittedly, I couldn't keep up with some of the biology in this book. Some passages felt dense for me, and some of the vocabulary was hard to keep track of, for myself. Granted I've never formally taken a biology course in my life, and have learned biology mostly through online lectures and popular science writers.All that being said, I did enjoy this book. I think my favourite parts of each chapter were the sections of cultural anthropology. Some examples of topics that I particularly enjoyed i [...]

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    24. It all started with my vegetarian trial, during which I curiously questioned the validity of modern-day vegetarian practice, from both a biological and an ethical standpoint. Is our digestive system geared towards plants with or without meats, and what should I make of our ever-so-complex relationship with animals? Despite the endearing and rampant animal love movements, there are those creatures we seem to infinitely despise to the point of extermination. And it was amidst my monologue over thi [...]

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    25. This one was definitely a mixed bag.I particularly enjoyed chapters on carnivore domestication (dogs, cats, foxes). Some chapters were dull and bogged down in the minutiae of genealogy and biogeography history. There were a ton of phylogenetic trees embedded in the book that weren't particularly interesting to the lay reader. More interesting are the chapters that focus on adaptation and development and the 'how' of domestication. However, even these are bogged down a bit with unnecessary vocabu [...]

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    26. Domesticated follows the routes of various animals from their wild ancestors to today. Each section focuses on a different animal, but Richard Francis goes beyond simple descriptions of behavioral and physical changes to discuss genetic changes. The author covers a lot of ground, and the writing alternates between anecdotal narrative to technical explanations. I appreciate that he went beyond cats and dogs to discuss animals like ferrets, camels, and guinea pigs – even how raccoons are at the [...]

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    27. Explanation of theories on the domestication process of various animals. Each animal a separate chapter. The theme is very similar in each chapter, animals self domesticate to take advance of newly created niches which are products of human activity. Common traits in domesticated animals include docility, retention of juvenile features, less fear response, able to tolerate denser groups, more offspring, year round reproduction.All chapters build up the case and momentum for the final chapters on [...]

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    28. This was a fascinating book. I especially enjoyed the chapters on dog, cat, and guinea pig domestication. I would have loved if he'd included a chapter about plant domestication, but other than that he's done a great job covering the major domesticated species. This would be a good companion book to Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. As a side note, it was helpful having a science background when reading this book. When he's talking about genetics, epigenetics, and evolutionary biology, the [...]

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    29. If you think you know anything about the evolutionary process of domestication, you will be shocked with Richard C. Francis' detailed explanation of the domestication syndrome. We live in a man-made world, and this fact is supported by the way sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, dogs and cats commence with humans to thrive in our environment.This is not an easy read. Francis is an intellectual giant, and although he attempts to simplify evolutionary domestication, you must be committed to muddle through [...]

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    30. An enormous amount of information for the layman. Very well written. Most of the book is descriptive, and only in the last few chapters does the author include his own opinions. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to just anyone; while there may be fun facts that interest everyone, it takes a particular passion for the subject to appreciate all of this.The key points of this book is that both evolution and domesticators had to work with what they had. This is largely what accounts for con [...]

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