Around 200,000 years ago, a man--identical to us in all important respects--lived in Africa. Every person alive today is descended from him. How did this real-life Adam wind up father of us all? What happened to the descendants of other men who lived at the same time? And why, if modern humans share a single prehistoric ancestor, do we come in so many sizes, shapes, and races? Showing how the secrets about our ancestors are hidden in our genetic code, Spencer Wells reveals how developments in the cutting-edge science of population genetics have made it possible to create a family tree for the whole of humanity. We now know not only where our ancestors lived but who they fought, loved, and influenced. Informed by this new science, The Journey of Man is replete with astonishing information. Wells tells us that we can trace our origins back to a single Adam and Eve, but that Eve came first by some 80,000 years. We hear how the male Y-chromosome has been used to trace the spread of humanity from Africa into Eurasia, why differing racial types emerged when mountain ranges split population groups, and that the San Bushmen of the Kalahari have some of the oldest genetic markers in the world. We learn, finally with absolute certainty, that Neanderthals are not our ancestors and that the entire genetic diversity of Native Americans can be accounted for by just ten individuals. It is an enthralling, epic tour through the history and development of early humankind--as well as an accessible look at the analysis of human genetics that is giving us definitive answers to questions we have asked for centuries, questions now more compelling than ever.
Author: Spencer Wells
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2010-06-08
Ten thousand years ago, our species made a radical shift in its way of life: We became farmers rather than hunter-gatherers. Although this decision propelled us into the modern world, renowned geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells demonstrates that such a dramatic change in lifestyle had a downside that we’re only now beginning to recognize. Growing grain crops ultimately made humans more sedentary and unhealthy and made the planet more crowded. The expanding population and the need to apportion limited resources created hierarchies and inequalities. Freedom of movement was replaced by a pressure to work that is the forebear of the anxiety millions feel today. Spencer Wells offers a hopeful prescription for altering a life to which we were always ill-suited. Pandora’s Seed is an eye-opening book for anyone fascinated by the past and concerned about the future.
A scientist and explorer describes his ambitious genetic research project to map the ancient roots and mystery of human origins, explaining how an individual's DNA can provide a key piece in the puzzle of human history and his landmark efforts to test genetic profiles of people from around the world to trace the depths of our common origins. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
Author: Dean H. Hamer
Release Date: 2011-07-27
"A lucid, thought-provoking account of the case for 'nature' as a determinant of personality." —Peter D. Kramer, Author of Listening to Prozac and Should You Leave? Nowhere is the nature-nuture controversy being more arduously tested than in the labs of world-renowned molecular scientist Dean Hamer, whose cutting-edge research has indisputably linked specific genes to behavioral traits, such as anxiety, thrill-seeking, and homosexuality. The culmination of that research os this provocative book, Living with Our Genes. In it, Dr. Hamer reveals that much of our behavior—how much we eat and weigh, whether we drink or use drugs, how often we have sex—is heavily influenced by genes. His findings help explain why one brother becomes a Wall Street trader, while his sibling remains content as a librarian, or why some people like to bungee-jump, while others prefer Scrabble. Dr. Hamer also sheds light on some of the most compelling and vexing aspects of personality, such as shyness, aggression, depression, and intelligence. In the tradition of the bestselling book Listening to Prozac, Living with Our Genes is the first comprehensive investigation of the crucial link between our DNA and our behavior. "Compulsive reading, reminiscent of Jared Diamond, froma scientsit who knows his stuff and communicates it well." —Kirkus Reviews "A pioneer in the field of molecular psychology, Hamer is exploring the role genes play in governing the very core of our individuality. Accessible...provocative." —Time "Absolutely terrific! I couldn't put it down." —Professor Robert Plomin, Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Research Center, Institute of Psychiatry
Author: Steve Olson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Human beings
Until just a few years ago, we knew surprisingly little about the 150,000 or so years of human existence before the advent of writing. Some of the most momentous events in our past - including our origins, our migrations across the globe, and our acquisition of language - were veiled in the uncertainty of 'prehistory'. That veil is being lifted at last by geneticists and other scientists. Mapping Human History is nothing less than an astonishing 'history of prehistory'. Steve Olson travelled through four continents to gather insights into the development of humans and our expansion throughout the world. He describes, for example, new thinking about how centres of agriculture sprang up among disparate foraging societies at roughly the same time. He tells why most of us can claim Julius Caesar and Confucius among our forebears. He pinpoints why the ways in which the story of the Jewish people jibes with, and diverges from, biblical accounts. And using very recent genetic findings, he explodes the myth that human races are a biological reality.
Author: Randolph M. Nesse
Release Date: 2012-02-08
Genre: Health & Fitness
The next time you get sick, consider this before picking up the aspirin: your body may be doing exactly what it's supposed to. In this ground-breaking book, two pioneers of the science of Darwinian medicine argue that illness as well as the factors that predispose us toward it are subject to the same laws of natural selection that otherwise make our bodies such miracles of design. Among the concerns they raise: When may a fever be beneficial? Why do pregnant women get morning sickness? How do certain viruses "manipulate" their hosts into infecting others? What evolutionary factors may be responsible for depression and panic disorder? Deftly summarizing research on disorders ranging from allergies to Alzheimer's, and form cancer to Huntington's chorea, Why We Get Sick, answers these questions and more. The result is a book that will revolutionize our attitudes toward illness and will intrigue and instruct lay person and medical practitioners alike. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Bryan Sykes
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2012-05-14
Crisscrossing the continent, a renowned geneticist provides a groundbreaking examination of America through its DNA. The best-selling author of The Seven Daughters of Eve now turns his sights on the United States, one of the most genetically variegated countries in the world. From the blue-blooded pockets of old-WASP New England to the vast tribal lands of the Navajo, Bryan Sykes takes us on a historical genetic tour, interviewing genealogists, geneticists, anthropologists, and everyday Americans with compelling ancestral stories. His findings suggest: • Of Americans whose ancestors came as slaves, virtually all have some European DNA. • Racial intermixing appears least common among descendants of early New England colonists. • There is clear evidence of Jewish genes among descendants of southwestern Spanish Catholics. • Among white Americans, evidence of African DNA is most common in the South. • European genes appeared among Native Americans as early as ten thousand years ago. An unprecedented look into America's genetic mosaic and how we perceive race, DNA USA challenges the very notion of what we think it means to be American.
Author: Russell King
Publisher: Earthscan Publications
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Emigration and immigration
Migration has provided millions with an escape route from poverty or oppression, ensuring the survival, even prosperity, of individuals and their families. New currents of human migration, triggered by ethnic cleansing or climate change or economic need, are appearing all the time and immigration has become one of today's most contested issues. This compelling new atlas maps contemporary migration against its crucial economic, social, cultural and demographic contexts. Drawing on data from one of the largest concentrations of migration research, the atlas traces the story of migration from its historical roots through the economic and conflict imperatives of the last 50 years to the causes and effects of flight today. Issues covered include: Refugees and asylum seekers Diasporas Remittances The 'brain drain Trafficking Student, retirement and return migration.
Author: Rob DeSalle
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Fossil hominids
Ever since the recognition of the Neanderthals as an archaic human in the mid-nineteenth century, the fossilized bones of extinct humans have been used by paleoanthropologists to explore human origins. These bones told the story of how the earliest humans—bipedal apes, actually—first emerged in Africa some 6 to 7 million years ago. Starting about 2 million years ago, the bones revealed, as humans became anatomically and behaviorally more modern, they swept out of Africa in waves into Asia, Europe and finally the New World. Even as paleoanthropologists continued to make important discoveries—Mary Leakey’s Nutcracker Man in 1959, Don Johanson’s Lucy in 1974, and most recently Martin Pickford’s Millennium Man, to name just a few—experts in genetics were looking at the human species from a very different angle. In 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick first saw the double helix structure of DNA, the basic building block of all life. In the 1970s it was shown that humans share 98.7% of their genes with the great apes—that in fact genetically we are more closely related to chimpanzees than chimpanzees are to gorillas. And most recently the entire human genome has been mapped—we now know where each of the genes on the chromosomes that make up DNA is located on the double helix. In Human Origins: What Bones and Genomes Tell Us about Ourselves, two of the world’s foremost scientists, geneticist Rob DeSalle and paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall, show how research into the human genome confirms what fossil bones have told us about human origins. This unprecedented integration of the fossil and genomic records provides the most complete understanding possible of humanity’s place in nature, its emergence from the rest of the living world, and the evolutionary processes that have molded human populations to be what they are today. Human Origins serves as a companion volume to the American Museum of Natural History’s new permanent exhibit, as well as standing alone as an accessible overview of recent insights into what it means to be human.
In the early 1900s, a small band of California Indians of the Yahi tribe resisted the fate that had all but wiped out their people, violent death at the hands of the invading white man. Throughout their final realization that they could survive only by becoming a hidden people, this tiny group held to the gentle moral and religious code of their ancestors. In time, one by one of the tribe died, until there remained a single survivor, the man who became known as Ishi.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2014 We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it, but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible to us? What role does Neanderthal DNA play in our genetic makeup? How did the theory of eugenics embraced by Nazi Germany first develop? How is trust passed down in Africa, and silence inherited in Tasmania? How are private companies like Ancestry.com uncovering, preserving and potentially editing the past? In The Invisible History of the Human Race, Christine Kenneally reveals that, remarkably, it is not only our biological history that is coded in our DNA, but also our social history. She breaks down myths of determinism and draws on cutting - edge research to explore how both historical artefacts and our DNA tell us where we have come from and where we may be going.
Author: Robin Dunbar
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2014-05-01
What makes us human? How did we develop language, thought and culture? Why did we survive, and other human species fail? The past 12,000 years represent the only time in the sweep of human history when there has been only one human species. How did this extraordinary proliferation of species come about - and then go extinct? And why did we emerge such intellectual giants? The tale of our origins has inevitably been told through the 'stones and bones' of the archaeological record, yet Robin Dunbar shows it was our social and cognitive changes rather than our physical development which truly made us distinct from other species.
Author: Paul B. Wignall
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2015-09-29
Two hundred sixty million years ago, life on Earth suffered wave after wave of cataclysmic extinctions, with the worst wiping out nearly every species on the planet. The Worst of Times delves into the mystery behind these extinctions and sheds light on the fateful role the primeval supercontinent, known as Pangea, might have played in causing these global catastrophes. Drawing on the latest discoveries as well as his own firsthand experiences conducting field expeditions to remote corners of the world, Paul Wignall reveals what scientists are only now beginning to understand about the most prolonged and calamitous period of environmental crisis in Earth's history. Wignall shows how these series of unprecedented extinction events swept across the planet, killing life on a scale more devastating than the dinosaur extinctions that would follow. The Worst of Times unravels one of the great enigmas of ancient Earth and shows how this ushered in a new age of vibrant and more resilient life on our planet.
Author: John Haywood
Publisher: Quercus Books
Release Date: 2008
From the movement of homo erectus out of Africa one million years ago to the Aboriginal settlement of Australia around 50,000 BC; and from the barbarian invasions of early medieval Europe to the diaspora of African slaves in the early modern period, the migration of peoples has been a critical motor of change throughout human history.The Wanderers brings together 50 epic accounts of the mass movement of peoples. Each account not only describes the migration itself, but also examines in detail its causes, and its short- and long-term consequences. The Wanderers tells a multiplicity of stories - of the discovery of new worlds, of flight from persecution, of nation-building, of colonization, and of human courage and resourcefulness. Most of all, it tells the enthralling and multifaceted story of the human race itself. Migrations covered include:The long walk out of Eden: the spread of early humansThe medieval German 'Drive to the East'The first AmericansThe Spanish in the New WorldThe Phoenicians and the foundation of CarthageThe Portuguese in BrazilThe Celtic migrationsThe Plantations in IrelandThe Greek colonisation of the MediterraneanThe English in the New WorldThe Jewish DiasporaSlave migrants: the African DiasporaThe Huns and the Age of MigrationsIrish migrants in the 19th centuryThe VandalsItalian migration to AmericaThe Anglo-Saxon migrationsGoldrush to California The Arab expansionBack to IsraelThe Viking Atlantic sagaThe forgotten aftermath of WWIIThe Turks: from central Asia to ConstantinopleMigrations in the age of globalisation