Tales of a Shaman - Adam Reed Dr Hunt World Civilizations...

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Adam Reed Dr. Hunt World Civilizations II Paper #2 May 3, 2007 Civilization: A Modern Euphemism for Destruction “The ‘success’ of our society in eradicating these cultures and their practices can be measured in the shrinkage of the range they once covered.” 1 Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice struck many different cords with me. At first, there was the fact that this man was fascinated with studying plants. When things interest others that do not interest me, I have a hard time understanding their passion. Secondly, there was my skepticism about the validity of ethnobotany. We live in skeptical times where it is hard to conceive of anything that cannot be solved by modern science. However, there is a theme throughout the book that put both of my early inclinations to rest. The theme being, that human beings and especially western cultures often have the feeling of being superior. When in-fact we are just now stumbling upon discoveries that have been known to other cultures for centuries. When the book began it seemed like a rambling of different plant-based scientific discoveries. The author, Mark Plotkin, described how different plants could lead to medicinal advancements. He went on to tell how it was a life long passion that started with childhood experiences growing up in New Orleans. Up until this point, the fact that he was from New Orleans was the most interesting part of the book. However, there was a point in the book where I was able to open up a little bit. It was his life as an adventurer, not his passion for plants, that made this book an
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This essay was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course HIST T124 taught by Professor Hunt during the Spring '06 term at Loyola New Orleans.

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Tales of a Shaman - Adam Reed Dr Hunt World Civilizations...

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