By Laura Poppick, Staff Writer   |   November 12, 2013 02:13pm ET

The modern human body evolved over millions of years, and developed to deal with problems that many humans don’t face today, such as scarcity of fat, sugar, and safe shelters. As a result, the instincts passed down by human ancestors often conflict with the reality of modern life.
Credit: Linda Bucklin | Shutterstock

NEW YORK — A lot has changed for humans since the Stone Age. Agriculture has changed the way we eat; the Industrial Revolution has changed the way people live; and the technological revolution and advent of the computer has now changed the way humans use their minds.

But amid these cultural transformations, one fundamental aspect of life has remained relatively constant: the blueprint of the human body.

“Like it or not, we evolved to be sweaty, fat bipeds that are furless and big brained,” Harvard evolutionary biologist Jason Lieberman said during a public lecture on Nov. 6 here at the American Museum of Natural History. “We evolved to crave sugar, starch and fat. We evolved to be physically active, but we also evolved to be lazy,” said Lieberman, who discussed the consequences of living with a Stone Age body in a Space Age world.

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