Ways Our Modern Environment Has Changed From the Ancient Past

In the process of making a great deal of progress (especially in terms of things like increased convenience and decreased rates of death due to infectious diseases), our push towards progress has drastically changed our environment. Here’s a list I’ll be developing over time that seeks to identify many of the ways our modern environment has shifted. Some of these things will be fairly innocuous. Some will turn out to have significant effects.


– Greater reliance on less satiating carbohydrates as the staples in our diets

– The introduction of high fructose corn syrup into our diets (HFCS was not consumed by ancient man)

– The diet of the animals that we eat (corn versus grass fed cattle)

– The living environment of the animals we eat (farm raised fish)

– Removed from the source and production of food (ancient people had no choice but to find, grow and prepare their own food)

– Introduction of dyes

– Introduction of preservatives

– More fluoride intake (water)


– less time in the sun (Vitamin D)

– less micronutrients (processed foods)

Activity Levels

– Far more sedentary today (a result of more affluence and less urgency for survival or comfort)

– Not forced to be active to acquire food

– Less physical skill sets (more of an information and entertainment) based economy

– More potential leisure time (though whether this manifests is another question)

– Less time outside

Social Roles

– Increasingly abstract and specialized social roles (compare: hunter vs. bank systems analyst)

– Roles that are only indirectly, as opposed to immediately, related to survival

– Isolation of the nuclear family


– Introduction of plastics

– Pollutants

– Nuclear radiation

– Presence of electronics

– Introduction of office environments

– Introduction of the modern home

– Cell phone electronics (near brain)

Sensory Input

– Unlimited access to digital stimulation

– Instant, remote, non-local communication


– Introduction of vaccines (has solved many deadly infectious diseases)

– Hospital environments

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