Scientist: Farming Causes Obesity, Mental Illness, Overpopulation and Global Warming – Says Eugenics “Inevitable”

In an article that makes you roll your eyes and wonder “where do they find these people?” the BBC interviews Dr Spencer Wells, explorer-in-residence at the National Geohraphic Society and in charge of their Genographic project, about his new book Pandora’s Seed

Dr Wells tells them about the claims he makes in the book:

In the book, I talk about global warming and overpopulation. I trace a lot of these issues back in time to the dawn of the Neolithic. This was a period when humanity made a sea change in its culture. We settled down and started growing our own food.

BBC. Sting in the Tail of Farming Revolution.

Wow! That’s a pretty big claim to make – that late stone age man caused global warming and overpopulation by inventing farming! But the invention of farming is a good thing, right?

Wrong, says Dr Wells. People were worse off with farming, becoming more malnourished. Which leads one to ask, well why did they keep farming then, if it was such a disaster for humanity? Dr Wells has the answer for that as well: they had to invent farming because of climate change:

It turns out the reason we became agriculturalists is that we were backed into a corner – a climatological corner. At the end of the last Ice Age, things were warming up, population densities at some locations increased significantly. And some people started to settle down.

And then, Say Dr Wells, the climate switched again and got colder, forcing people out of the lands they had previously settled:

we had too many people moving on the land at the time, and they couldn’t support themselves as hunter-gatherers so they had to develop an innovation. And that innovation was agriculture.

So let’s summarize: Dr Wells is arguing that agriculture caused climate change and overpopulation. Okay. He argues that agriculture wasn’t a step forward for mankind but a step backwards from hunter-gather living. Okay. But what does he think gave rise to agriculture? Climate change and overpopulation. Brilliant! What a great argument.

Pick your jaw up off the floor, though, because Dr Wells has more great ideas for humanity. Asked what he thinks about the invention of farming – the ‘neolithic revolution’ – he pins a whole host of ills on it, but then goes on to reveal some of the concluding thoughts of his book:

PR: So what in your view are the main costs of the Neolithic revolution?

SW: Diabetes, obesity, mental illness, climate change. I talk a little in the book about genetic engineering – re-engineering ourselves and eugenics. It’s the fact that we now have the tools to choose the genes for the next generation. People will start to make decisions on that basis – what they want their children to look like genetically.

Okay, now you’re getting scary Dr Wells. Eugenics to help decide what our children will look like? And what sort of aspects will this include?

There is a company in California that early last year announced that it was going to test not only for medically relevant conditions but also hair colour, eye colour and genes which pre-dispose to lower or higher IQ.

Sounds horrific if you ask me. But Dr Wells thinks that managing the genetics of the human population may be essential, we may need to manage the population for the common good:

PR: Then, do you think genetic engineering of humans is inevitable? Are we now into management rather than prevention?

SW: I think it is inevitable. I think it is something we have always done. I liken it to those simple decisions about growing crops and manipulating the genes of the crops to make them more efficient – produce more calories – that was done during the Neolithic.

Did you spot the beautiful circularity of the argument there? Eugenics, Dr Wells informs us, may be forced upon by circumstances. What circumstances might those be? The interview doesn’t specify exactly, but surely it’s a safe bet to say that global warming and overpopulation are among those circumstances.

Interestingly, in his interview with National Geographic, Dr Wells discusses another future for us he’d like to see, based on a new “mythos” that would be focussed on us wanting less, very much as tribal people in Africa (apparently) do:

Q:You mentioned tribes in Africa wanting less, needing less, focused on a quest for meaning, not consumption. Do you think this sensibility could creep into our society?

A: Yes. That’s the reason I entitled the final chapter of the book “Toward a New Mythos.” The term refers to accepted wisdom, what’s been passed down through the generations from your ancestors, including somewhat mystical explanations for why things are. In contrast, logos is hardheaded logic we use to solve problems. And I think a lot of people sense that we’ve lost too much mythos in the modern world. I argue in the book that we do need to make room at the table for mythos.

National Geographic. Growing Pains.

Or maybe we could just genetically engineer people to want less, learn to love the new “mythos” and accept “mystical explanations” for the way things are?

28 responses to “Scientist: Farming Causes Obesity, Mental Illness, Overpopulation and Global Warming – Says Eugenics “Inevitable”

  1. This is proof positive that there are people who are educated beyond their capacity to comprehend*.



    * Stolen from somewhere, and I’m keeping it. 😉

  2. manicbeancounter

    So let me interpret this correctly.

    1. There have been significant, natural fluctuations in temperature since the last ice age.
    2. Warming is good for human existance a more people are able to survive.
    3. Worsening (i.e. colder) climate gave the impetus for people to adapt. They discovered farming.
    4. They not only discovered farming, the neolithic peoples also developed more productive methods. As a result of doing things quicker, they were better fed and needed to work less. So they became fat and idol, so died later of diabeties, heart disease, rather than earlier of starvation.

    • I’m not sure how susceptible Dr Wells’s argument is to logical analysis, as it’s extremely circular from what I can make of it.

      He appears to be arguing that climate change caused overpopulation, which caused the invention of farming, which caused overpopulation, which is causing climate change.

      I think that’s his argument. Have a look at the interview linked to and try and figure it out. Let me know if you come to a different conclusion.

  3. It appears Dr. Wells is another one of those “we were happier when we were shivering in caves and women routinely died in childbirth” kind of guys. That business about mysticism being better than logic drives me nuts. Everyone’s welcome to their own spiritual worldview – so long as they don’t insist everyone else has to embrace it, too. That’s called proselytizing.

    On the other hand, I’m personally not at all alarmed by the idea of genetic manipulation. If gene therapy will prevent my child from inheriting a debilitating disease I’m all for it.

    Ronald Bailey, who writes for, has a great book titled Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution. It’s excellent.

    • I think it all comes down (as so many things do) to the ideology behind it.

      If it’s a question of people being able to screen out debilitating diseases and condition before birth, than i would be in favour of it.

      If it’s being promoted as some kind of response to global warming, then i think that assumes a level of government involvement which would be distinctly creepy. The question which prompted Dr Well’s response was this:

      “do you think genetic engineering of humans is inevitable? Are we now into management rather than prevention?”

      I can only assume, in the context, that they are referring to AGW (i.e. adaptation to AGW, rather than preventing it).

      I just find it all a bit too Wellsian for me.

  4. Ah, things were so much better in the past when people died before they reached the age of 40. What a complete wanker.

  5. And I thought that a Spencer Wells was an artery forceps. Farming makes you fat if you overeat their product. Not the farmer’s fault.

  6. Can we assume Dr, Wells is living with less, possibly joining a tribe in Africa? Instead is he buying a too big home next to Al?

  7. All that new age hippy shit. Is he an undercover Plod?

    There is a reason agriculture took off – plants are easier to trap, skin and eat than things with wings, fins or four legs. They don’t fight back either. Domesticated animals provide steady supplies of food. It is all much less transient than hunting and gathering. Civilization has blossomed thanks to agriculture. We can hardly turn our back on it now.

    This particular chappie seems to have a massive chip on his shoulder about modern life despite jetting about the globe. He is also happy to take his genetics education and spout forth on things utterly unconnected to it. Sweeping generalisations abound. Agriculture causes terrorism.

    “Did you spot the beautiful circularity of the argument there? Eugenics, Dr Wells informs us, may be forced upon by circumstances. ”

    Wells is suggesting people making informed choices about their offspring is inevitable not that State backed eugenics as promoted by the scientific ‘consensus’* and practiced in the early part of the 20th Century is inevitable. Private eugenics for a private good if you like, as opposed to public eugenics enforced by the State for a perceived betterment of the species.

    The management referred to is managing the extent of the genetic selection and genetic diddling – eg will State authorities police genetic science to prevent GM people? Should the State have the authority to insist that embryo selection based on relatively specious grounds (gender, eye colour, hair colour) rather than on more serious grounds (disease susceptibility) be forbidden?

    * Hey consensus people – remember *that* one?

    • Hi Barry,

      Once again, you make a perfectly sound point, and I have to admit that his comments could very well be construed that way. We will have to agree to disagree on this one again (sorry!). Given the context – discussion of genetically engineering salt-water tolerant plants to cope with global warming, I read it as at least partially referring to engineering people to cope with the effects of AGW.

      As in my reply to Donna, I would point to the question Dr Wells was asked:
      ““do you think genetic engineering of humans is inevitable? Are we now into management rather than prevention?””

      “Management rather than prevention” of what, if it isn’t AGW?

      I will try and see if Dr Wells has given other interviews which make his point clearer. I intend to read the book when I get time, so hopefully that will answer it!

      As always, pleasure discussing the issue with you. Appreciate the comments.



  8. Wells is not a mentally healthy person. How can he be unaware that he is a smug misanthrope? Frankenfood is bad but FrankenBabies are OK? How does that work?

    Notice he wants eugenics and “a final solution” for other people.
    If he is so concerned about excess population, he should off himself.

  9. If more proof were needed that the AGW religionists and their defenders long for the planet to go back to the times of the early Palaeolithic (that’s cave-dwelling and stone implements), then here it is.
    Thanks, Prof – but remember: there were no books, no computers, and no modern medicine in those days. Not even for you and your cronies, who regard themselves as the elite.

    I shall not say anything about the howling stupidity of neolithic people creating climate change – a brief look at the numbers of people involved, and the areas settled, is quite sufficient to show this up for the unscientific drivel it is.

    What angers me more than anything however is the total disregard these ‘scientists’ have for the astounding intellectual development humanity has displayed ever since the neolithic agrarian ‘revolution’.

  10. Mark_In_St_Pete

    Dr. Wells is positive proof that just because you have a college education, doesn’t mean you know anything. Please Dr. Wells, if you feel the planet is so grossly over populated, feel free to remove yourself from the surplus population. Pease try not to make too big of a mess.

  11. Ah the literary ‘Noble Savage’ rears its head once more. Dr. Wells is quite free to undertke such a lifestyle, for himself. But I fear he would never consider doing so, only command it for others. I agree with the solution that the chief character in the novel “Rainbow Six” urged on a collection of these would be Noble
    Savages. Go forth, naked as a jaybird, without the ‘waste products’ of civilization such as tools and clothing, into the Amazonia wilderness and prosper.

  12. The “Peter Principle” is alive and well. And I thought it was just a fad. Who knew? It seems to be thriving in the most uncommon places, well “uncommon” for us “common” people; you know, us underwashed, undereducated, underpayed idiots down here under the “Capstone Folks”: the fools at the top of the pyramid who so deserve every lightning strike they get? Hummmm…

  13. To be fair to Dr Wells, early agriculture did cause a lot of problems, including malnutrition and disease. People went from moving about over large areas in small groups which allowed disease to build up. Also fossil records seem to show a strong link to malnutrition and early agriculture. Instead of having a varied diet meeting all nutritional needs, there was a switch to a much simpler diet. The advantage agriculture had was that it allowed a much larger population, with reserves for an elite and armies etc which marginalised the nomadic lifestyle.

    It took a long time for Capitalism to develop and allow people to have both freedom and food. I suspect that it is the widespread wealth that Dr Wells objects to.

  14. Pingback: The Intellectual Elite « Stlouisooz's Blog

  15. Diabetes, obesity, mental illness, climate change. Caused by Neolithic farming? Again and again we find warmist lying about diabetes and obesity. Why? There is extensive scientific literature demonstrating that both are caused by man-made trans-fats. See for example

    Both are part of a sytematic genocide organised by the pharmaceutical industry and elements of the medical profession, at first sight for profit. The first proven case of type 2 occured in the USA, 1933.

    • Thanks for the comment, Eco-geek. You are very welcome here.



    • Wow! You believe this rubbish? The US Ag dept came out with the food pyramid. It was not designed by nutritionists nor doctors. It was designed to promote consumption of agriculture product that the government was buying under its misguided farm subsidy program.
      The trans-fat thing is another government stupidity. They believed saturated fats were bad, got manufacturers to stop using them. Manufacturers substituted trans-fats. The funny bit is the body takes unsaturated fat and adds hydrogen to make saturated fat. So you eat crappy margarine instead of butter for absolutely no benefit. Same thing happened when the government forced the oil companies to use MBTE in gasoline. Now MTBE is bad.
      Type 2 diabetes is caused by a gross, long duration excess of cheap carbs. People ate very few cheap carbs before the depression.
      Obesity is not a pharma conspiracy. It is a hand – eye coordination problem; the eyes can’t see the junk the hand is sticking in the mouth.

      • Type 2 diabetes is not caused by carbohydrate, There is no biochemistry there. You are repeating lies and expressing belief not knowledge. Like Climate Change you should check out the scienctific research not just repeat some MSM and advertising lies. That’s how the Climate Change Scam runs. Deception. I gave you a link to a site where you can read abstracts from many scientific papers on the various trans fat conditions.

        Don’t believe. Think.

  16. Diabetes and obesity must have an underlying biochemistry. They don’t just happen and indeed the causes of both are in the scientific literature. The pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession take this basic research and ask themselves a simple basic question: “How can we profit from all this?”. The answer of course is to deceive the public into consuming trans-fat. The lies are propagated daily throughout the media, they have even recruited the dietician cadre to do their dirty work for them. I could go into this in detail but there are only so many gigabytes of webspace.

    The biggest and simplest lie is “polyunsaturates are good for you”. What they fail to tell you is most polyunsaturates are trans-polyunsaturates (trans-fats). Most of the MSM peddle the lies continually. Wikipedia gets knobbled from time to time. Almost every source of information is misinformation, deliberately controlled down to fine detail.

    Caused mainly (>90%) by the metabolic syndrome. In severe cases metabolism can be reduced by well over 50%. The metabolic syndrome is caused by:

    trans fatty acid poisoning of:
    1) Insulin receptor sites/cell membranes which stop the pores opening and therefore the passage of glucose into the cells.
    2) Mitochondrial membranes similarly hence reducing ATP production.
    3) Brown adipose tissue. The destruction of the modified (short) electron transport chain by TFAs leads to reduced metabolism and die-off of BAT.

    (1) and (2) are cureable as most body cells die off every two years or so and are replaced by new ones. If trans fats are removed from the diet and replaced by natural cis-isomer form oils the weight loss is astonishing. Stop eating Canola (rapeseed) oil and sunflower oil or any vegetable oil not labelled “cold pressed”. Eat butter instead of margarine, fry and roast using animal fat or olive oil and above all take a minimum of 1 tablespoonful of Hemp Oil or Flax oil per day. Everyone on a “Western” diet should do this in any case as CV disease and Alzheimers are mainly trans-fat conditions too. Most people in the UK and USA die of TFA poisoning.

    Caused by TFA poisoning of the modified ETC in panceatic beta cells. The short ETC used to produce ADP to fuel insulin and glucagon inhibitor generators starts to produce ATP instead and requires higher blood glucose levels to generate a sufficiency. Unfortunately beta cells do not replace so diabetes is only cureable using the above diet in people with the genetic capability or removing the offending TFAs from the modified ETC via their repair systems. This repair mechanism explains why most do not get diabetes and why some racial groups are more likely to get diabetes.

    In the UK <20% of type 2 diabetes are cureable in this way – however bad the initial condition. In the USA I guess a greater percentage will be cureable.

  17. I should perhaps have elaborated on the relationship between Climate Change and trans fats. All I really know is that it is quite common for warmist to talk about the two conspiracies in such a way as to conceal the truth. I suspect the two are part of the same program. Most people involved are acting out of ignorance. They have just been trained and repeat the lies of their training. For example it is common practice in the UK to deceive the vicitms of TFA poisoning into eating trans fats. I am certain that most doctors and dieticians know not what they do. However I do know that some consultants definitely do know they are engaged in crimes against humanity and the biggest genocide ever to take place on the planet.

    I am aware that I sound like a conspiracy theorist. This has to be the case as it most certainly is a most vile conspiracy. Normally I am an “accidentalist” and believe in the “cock-up” theory of history e.g. President Obama. Climate Change and trans fats are the real deal.

    Something UK readers might like to check out: The Food Standards Agency recently oversaw the introduction of European Legislation into the UK requiring the labelling of products containing (partially) hydrogenated vegetable oil as so doing. However there is still no requirement to label trans-fat content as such. This leaves the suppliers the simple get-out of turning off the hydrogen to the hydrogenation plant while still passing the natural cis-isomer form oils over a nickel catalyst at 260 degrees celcius. No additional saturation takes place, the oil is thinner but even more bonds are converted from cis to trans isomer form. The product is now even more dangerous. The epidemics of obesity, diabetes, CV disease, Alzheimers, mental illness, cancer, CFS, arthritis, lupus etc. etc. will worsen. The FSA are already engaged in genocide against the people of the UK and Europe just a few years after they came into existence. The victims of their treachery will be blamed, the education system will be dumbed down even further to match the reduced intellectuall capacity of our children and the semi-sane adult population will be sold the need to tax them out all prosperity to tackle the spectre of Climate Change.

    This I am afraid is reality. Do not believe me, check out the truth for yourselves.

    • TFAs are certainly some nasty stuff. I read that New York were attempting to ban them from restaurant food, not sure how they got on with that.

      Thanks for the informative comments. I know enough biology to see that you know quite a bit about biology. I can just remember the joke about the biologist who goes into a bar and orders a pint of adenosine triphosphate. The barman says “That’ll be 80p, then” (You have to say it out loud).

      Why “cold-pressed” though? I’m not familiar with that term.



  18. “that’ll be 80p, then”
    You owe me some screen-wipes HTL!

  19. On a more serious note. Thanks Eco-Geek for your posts. I wasn’t aware of any of these issues.

  20. We are just shadows of what we used to be, before the time European ways of molesting the planet reached our country, our people. Our country has fallen apart, and the people who can’t wrap their head around global warming and toxins all over the planet and food addictions from the shit the producers put in the food, just wake up and smell the exhaust.

    • “Just shadows of what we used to be” – any evidence at all for that dramatically sweeping statement, there, Lori?

      “Our country has fallen apart” – again, any evidence, rather than just more hyperbole? And fallen apart in what way? Which country are you referring to?

      “the people who can’t wrap their head around global warming” – ah yes, here’s the crux of your point then. Those ghastly people who won’t accept man-made global warming. They probably watch FOX News, ey, Lori? And like fast cars, like they see at NASCAR rallies. And the eat McDonalds and stuff, as you allude to. In other words, you mean (whisper it) “working class people”. Ugh. And not even some pleasingly humble and authentic working class subset like Latinos or African-Americans that can be brought in and patronised, but white working class people. I understand your distaste, Lori. They don’t care about natural foods and a beautiful life, do they? They’re too concerned with putting a roof over their heads and food on the table. Disgusting.

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