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New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 256 pages.
Reviewer Jonathan Marks summarizes, “Jeremy Taylor argues that (1) we are genomically more different than the 98–99% datum has indicated; (2) we are cognitively and behaviorally more different than the inhabitants of the post-Goodall world have been led to believe; and (3) the elision of human and chimpanzee, as animal-rights advocates have promoted, is unwarranted.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. 240 pages.
Avise’s book highlights the baroque, redundant, and inefficient features of the human genome: “None of this is easily explained by actions of either a loving and merciful God or of an unnamed but highly competent Designer,” reviewers Arcady Mushegian and Eric Kessler comment. They add, “Avise’s account is concise but rich in historic and medical detail, and the prose is elegant and lucid.
Washington (DC): National Geographic, 2007. 256 pages.
In Deep Ancestry, Spencer Wells, the director of the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project, clearly explains the science behind the project — which is collecting DNA from a wide sample of the world’s population in order to understand the evolution of the human genome — and also engagingly relates the stories of five of its volunteers.
Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, 2004. 288 pages.
From the publisher: “No one who cares about the human future can afford to ignore Edward O. Wilson’s book. On Human Nature begins a new phase in the most important intellectual controversy of this generation: Is human behavior controlled by the species’ biological heritage? Does this heritage limit human destiny? With characteristic pungency and simplicity of style, the author of Sociobiology challenges old prejudices and current misconceptions about the nature-nurture debate. ...
New York: Harper Paperbacks, 2007. 176 pages.
A beautifully illustrated and elegantly concise guide to human origins, the Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins explains the latest research on human evolution. "Despite recent insights into our origins, there is much we still don't know. ...
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. 1024 pages.
Simply the single best reference and advanced introduction to paleoanthropology — the subject of human biological and cultural evolution, the area where physical anthropology and prehistoric archeology overlap. A previous edition was described by Henry McHenry as "by far the best book of its kind" and by R. A. Foley as "the best introduction to the problems and data of modern palaeoanthropology yet published." Unmatched for breadth, range, and reliability, with more than 1000 pages, The Human Career is indispensable for any serious student of human evolution. Richard G.
Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 1994. 254 pages.
In this anthology, the authors make "available a set of key documents in the literature of human evolution relevant to the history of hominid taxonomy and the discovery and naming of extinct hominid species." Naming Our Ancestors is a collection of fifteen essays, written from 1864 to 1986, that present a historical overview of paleoanthropology, plus four essays discussing changes in taxonomic practice since World War II. Papers were selected to present the full range of names given to hominid fossils and the theoretical principles underlying the naming practices.
Boulder, CO: Basic Books, 1999. 208 pages.
Tattersall, Curator at the American Museum of Natural History, successfully "aim[s]...to paint as full a portrait as possible of these capable and fascinating human precursors and the world they lived in...." This beautifully illustrated volume is rich with photographs of original fossils, discussions about the evolution and and life-style of Neanderthals and how archeologists interpret the available evidence, and thought-provoking reflections on what the story of the Neanderthals tells us about our own place in nature.
Boulder, CO: Basic Books, 2000. 224 pages.
Designed for the general public, Extinct Humans covers the general scope of the human fossil record in about 250 pages, illustrated mainly by original photographs of fossil skulls. The authors are known within anthropology for their recognition of many fossil species and lineages. They state their theme as follows: "A linear mindset pervades most work in paleoanthropology, as if the story of human evolution has essentially been one of a single-minded struggle from bestial benightedness to uplifted enlightenment... But if we proceed like paleontologists studying other groups ...
Voices for Evolution
The third edition of Voices for Evolution can be purchased or downloaded at Lulu.com