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How is farming an "auto-catalytic" process?Jared Diamond

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southbro6 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 14, 2008 at 10:58 AM via web

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How is farming an "auto-catalytic" process?

Jared Diamond

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted October 14, 2008 at 6:42 PM (Answer #1)

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Diamond's theory is that societies moved from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to becoming farmers in an "autocatalytic process" of a greater population of people living in a specific area who were "requiring more food, becoming more dependent on agriculture," and  becoming even larger in population.

Secondly Diamond then looked at how plants for "settled agriculture were "domesticated" through a variety of selection mechanisms implemented consciously and unconsciously by early farmers." The farmers didn't realize didn't seem to realize that "by bringing home the largest fruit, s/he was propagating its seeds near her settlement, or that later by planting seeds each year, s/he was selecting for annual plants without seeds that remain dormant."

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