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.
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: 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: 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: Bryan Sykes
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2004
A study of the defining characteristics of men, and the Y chromosome in their DNA, draws on scientific research to explore such issues as the potential for a male homosexual gene and the genetic causes of male aggression.
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.
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: 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.
Spanning eight decades and chronicling the wild ride of a Greek-American family through the vicissitudes of the twentieth century, Jeffrey Eugenides’ witty, exuberant novel on one level tells a traditional story about three generations of a fantastic, absurd, lovable immigrant family -- blessed and cursed with generous doses of tragedy and high comedy. But there’s a provocative twist. Cal, the narrator -- also Callie -- is a hermaphrodite. And the explanation for this takes us spooling back in time, through a breathtaking review of the twentieth century, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie’s grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set our narrator’s life in motion. Middlesex is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It’s a brilliant exploration of divided people, divided families, divided cities and nations -- the connected halves that make up ourselves and our world. Justly acclaimed when it was released in Fall 2002, it announces the arrival of a major writer for our times. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Richard C. Lewontin
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2001
Is our nature—as individuals, as a species—determined by our evolution and encoded in our genes? If we unravel the protein sequences of our DNA, will we gain the power to cure all of our physiological and psychological afflictions and even to solve the problems of our society? Today biologists—especially geneticists—are proposing answers to questions that have long been asked by philosophy or faith or the social sciences. Their work carries the weight of scientific authority and attracts widespread public attention, but it is often based on what the renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin identifies as a highly reductive misconception: "the pervasive error that confuses the genetic state of an organism with its total physical and psychic nature as a human being." In these nine essays covering the history of modern biology from Darwin to Dolly the sheep, all of which were originally published in The New York Review of Books, Lewontin combines sharp criticisms of overreaching scientific claims with lucid expositions of the exact state of current scientific knowledge—not only what we do know, but what we don't and maybe won't anytime soon. Among the subjects he discusses are heredity and natural selection, evolutionary psychology and altruism, nineteenth-century naturalist novels, sex surveys, cloning, and the Human Genome Project. In each case he casts an ever-vigilant and deflationary eye on the temptation to look to biology for explanations of everything we want to know about our physical, mental, and social lives. These essays—several of them updated with epilogues that take account of scientific developments since they were first written—are an indispensable guide to the most controversial issues in the life sciences today. The second edition of this collection includes new essays on genetically modified food and the completion of the Human Genome Project. It is an indispensable guide to the most controversial issues in the life sciences today.
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: 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