Health and happiness the Flintstone way

Geoffrey Lean on a call for Stone Age lifestyles

Humanity's way forward is back towards the Stone Age, a leading scientist says. He is calling on governments to build "a Paleolithically correct future".

Dr Gustav Milne, of the Institute of Archeology, believes that the modern love of soap operas and shopping, and such recreations as stamp collecting, football and picnicking, all prove that we have never grown out of a prehistoric mentality and that this may be partially responsible for "today's diseases of anxiety, depression and ill-health".

He says we still have the bodies of hunter-gatherers, and our digestive systems have "not yet caught up with the Neolithic farming revolution".

Designed for unprocessed, fresh foods, our stomachs rebel against junk food and we become unhealthy if we do not get enough exercise and fresh air. Our minds, too, are "languishing to some extent in the Paleolithic," writes Dr Milne in the current British Archeology, and "our hunter-gatherer emotional demands" come out in our enjoyment of open fires and picnicking and the psychological satisfaction of keeping pets or filling homes with pot plants.

Playing football and shopping are "attempts to compensate for the terrible psychological vacuum felt by hunter-gatherers lost in the 20th century.

"Football is a compensation for the hunt, combining the elements of male bonding, adrenalin and the prospects of reward. And when we shop, we sublimate our need to comb the hedgerows for ripe and interesting foodstuffs.

"We all retain the Stone Age need to acquire, collect and store, although foodstuffs have been replaced by stamps, sea-shells or antiques."

People respond to artificial crises in soap operas while often being left cold by great tragedies in the real world, Dr Milne believes, "because we have a Paleolithic need to identify with a small extended family or tribal unit, and find it difficult to respond emotionally to over-large groups".

Compelled by market forces and economies of scale to work in big companies and live in large towns, we should instead design more PC (in the new sense of Paleolithically Correct) lifestyles that are based on smaller communities and greater respect for the countryside, he concludes. "Small is beautiful because small is Paleolithic."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer is recr...

Langley James : IT Support, Bradford £16k - £22k

£16000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Langley James : IT Support, Bradford £16...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager / Invoice Finance £75k OTE

£40000 - £50000 per annum + £75,000 OTE Car+Mobile : h2 Recruit Ltd: Business ...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager-Managed Services-£80,000 OTE

£45000 - £80000 per annum + £80,000 OTE + Car,benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Busine...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital