ANATOLIA, 9,000BC – The rising sun advanced over the hills, engulfing the arid land in a blaze of warmth. Below the amber sky lay a patchwork of wheat fields, in which a scattering of stooped figures silently harvested their crops.
Later, their harvest would be scrutinised, and only the largest grains selected for planting in the autumn.
A revolution was occurring. For the first time in 3.6 billion years, life had subverted the evolutionary process and began to steer it not with natural selection, but artificial selection. Selection pressures became synonymous with the needs of the architects; the farmers. The technique led to a widespread transition from hunter-gathering to agriculture, a shift that would transform human culture and lay the foundations for the first civilisations. Moreover, in their efforts to permanently remodel the characteristics of a species, early farmers were pioneers of genetic modification.
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