An analysis of the apple in the botany of desire by michael pollan

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An analysis of the apple in the botany of desire by michael pollan

The text, usually categorized as a Nature and Gardening book, presents the argument that four plants have shaped human evolution at least to the same extent that humans have shaped those plants' evolution. The text uses the standard biological term "co-evolution" to describe this synergistic process.

The four plants considered are the Apple, consisting of Malus domestica and M. The text does not consider, or even apparently realize, the problematical approach of discussing co-evolution of species at generally the genus level.

The bulk of the narrative consists of anecdotal experiences, personal observation, opinion and summarized topical history—which does not particularly support the major thesis. The book is presented in four chapters, each considering a particular plant.

Chapter 1 presents the apple tree, with a heavy focus on its edible fruit. The chapter generally considers the species Malus domestica but includes M.

An analysis of the apple in the botany of desire by michael pollan

A basic recounting of the natural history of the apple is presented in summary form, along with concise notes about the apple's historic importance in human civilization.

The introduction of the apple to America is particularly well-developed, with a nearly complete focus on the activities of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. The apple is said to have exerted a decisive impact on human evolution because it is able to satisfy Homo sapiens' desire for sweetness.

Chapter 2 presents the tulip, with a heavy focus on its flower. The chapter considers the entire genus Tulipa and does not mention any of the roughly species comprising it.

The text considers the evolution of tulips and the co-evolution of humans and tulips but unfortunately does not elucidate the complexities of evolutionary theory at the level of the genus—a major failing. A rudimentary explanation of tulip natural history is presented. This is supplemented with a recounting of the establishment of the tulip as a garden flower in Europe with a special emphasis given to Holland, especially during the period of so-called tulipomania in the early s.

A more concise account then focuses on the tulip in Turkey during the early s.

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The tulip is said to have exerted a decisive impact on human evolution because it is able to satisfy H. Chapter 3 presents marijuana. The chapter considers the species Cannabis sativa and C. Additional materials consider other psychoactive drugs and the entire class is presented as an evolutionary unit.

Thus, the text considers the evolution of marijuana and the co-evolution of humans and marijuana but unfortunately does not elucidate the complexities of evolutionary theory considered for multiple species and hybrids. A fairly-convoluted natural history of marijuana is offered with a heavy focus on American developments.

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The chapter is the longest in the text but most of the material presented is a subjective consideration of the effects of using marijuana as a drug; much of the writing is rambling and many undeveloped topics are jumbled together. Modern growing techniques are briefly described and the larger sociological implication of psychoactive drug use is considered.

The presentation is sympathetic to drug use and highly critical of American criminalization of marijuana and other psychoactive drugs. Marijuana is said to have exerted a decisive impact on human evolution because it is able to satisfy H. Chapter 4 presents Solanum tuberosum or the potato.

A well-developed natural history of the potato, from the Andes to Ireland to Idaho, is presented in an eminently readable format. The potato's impact on various cultures is considered, and modern American farming techniques are discussed at considerable length.

The author also presents personal experiences growing and eating various types of potatoes.In the second part of her conversation with Michael Pollan, author of “The Botany of Desire,” NPR’s Ketzel Levine(ph) explores the apple’s American evolution.

KETZEL LEVINE reporting: In his rural Connecticut kitchen, under lights by the window, Michael Pollan is growing Malus domestica, the original mother of all apples.

The Botany of Desire traces the apple's journey from its origin in the ancient forests of Central Asia, across the Silk Road to Europe, and eventually to America.

There, in the early 19th century, it found its ultimate promoter: an eccentric character named John Chapman, who became known as Johnny Appleseed.

At its core, each apple contains seven or eight seeds, each of which contains the genetic ingredients for a tree radically different from its parents and its siblings.

The Botany Of Desire Summary September 24, January 3, niklasgoeke Self Improvement 1-Sentence-Summary: The Botany Of Desire describes how, contrary to popular belief, we might not be using plants as much as plants use us, by getting humans to ensure their survival, thanks to appealing to our desires for beauty, sweetness, .

In it, author Michael Pollan explores human impulse and its connection to the life of plants””our desire for the apple’s sweetness, the tulip’s beauty, the intoxication of marijuana and our desire to control nature by producing the perfect genetically modified potato.

Welcome, Mr. Pollan.

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MICHAEL POLLAN: Thank you very much, Gwen. In the second part of her conversation with Michael Pollan, author of “The Botany of Desire,” NPR’s Ketzel Levine(ph) explores the apple’s American evolution.

KETZEL LEVINE reporting: In his rural Connecticut kitchen, under lights by the window, Michael Pollan is growing Malus domestica, the original mother of all apples.

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