Re: I see how this is shaping up
"A number of anthropologists believe that the adoption of agriculture was bad for human lifespan, health and intelligence."
I'd say that was a pretty bad take on things, and ignores the actual facts in favor of wooly theories. I"m married to an anth major, and she'd no doubt tear them a new one :)
For a person who makes it to 40 years old, if they where a hunter gatherer then they are usually a pretty fine example of humanity. A 40 year old in an early agrarian society often has suffered more disease, injuries, and is generally smaller and usually less skilled (more specific skills, fewer general skills). So far, so much confirmation of initial hypothesis.
However, you get 10-400 times more people making it to 40 in the agrarian society. People survive diseases they otherwise wouldn't, injuries result in changing tasks rather than leading to your demise. A hunter gatherer with a broken leg is usually dead.
There's almost no ability to produce a reliable surplus in hunter gathering, so you can't have any existence of a non-providing class, whereas agriculture allows people to do things other than get food. This is obviously used initially to make things that help make more food, shelter, retaining knowledge, and so on. Then after ten thousand years, some people are going to intellectualize their pastoral fantasies and declare that we where better as noble savages.
Agriculture was bad for an individual (assuming they survived), but is better for a population. Same as urban populations are, on average, less healthy than pastoral ones. But you'd be amazed how many armchair survivalists live in towns and cities.