The study, published in the journal Nature, compared 16 societies scattered across the world, in places like the Yukon and the Australian outback. With powerful statistical models, the researchers analyzed 30,000 years of archaeological records, tracing the impact of wars, famines and climate change. They found that going through downturns enabled societies to get through future shocks faster. The more often a society went through them, the more resilient it eventually became.

Carl Zimmer

Read full article by Carl Zimmer in The New York Times

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