A provocative look at mankind's evolution from the ape into the complex creature we call human. By standards of other animals, our powerful civilization appears unique. So do many of our behaviors, including our sexual habits and the ways we select mates. Yet in many respects we are merely another species of ape--our genes are more than 98% ...Read MoreA provocative look at mankind's evolution from the ape into the complex creature we call human. By standards of other animals, our powerful civilization appears unique. So do many of our behaviors, including our sexual habits and the ways we select mates. Yet in many respects we are merely another species of ape--our genes are more than 98% identical to those of chimpanzees. 25 line drawings and halftones.Read Less
A good overview of Jared Diamond's ideas, which are important for understanding our human selves.
May 2, 2007
Thoughts on human uniqueness
Dear fellow readers!
This time I bought a new paperback to present it to a friend.
The one a lady gave to me to remember her by after we nursed her throgh a difficult pregnancy and dangerous birth by caesarean is too worn out to lend to someone to read it. That happenned nine years ago and I still often cite some thoughts from this book to friends and other people whom I meet.
Mr. Diamond tried to find a way to explain the great differences in behawiour between genetically very close species of primates and man.
We people are very special. We communicate, we work together, we have found a way to use all the resources of this planet to our own advantage and in the course of this we have created a situation that may lead to destruction of the planet and ourselves. Yet the same special abilities may help us find a way to solwe this situation.
The natural selection doesn't waste anything. All the specificities of our biology and behawiour have worked to our advantage until now and may do so in the future too.I read this book in one session then and it offered me an interesting explanation to many mysteries of our past. The extinction of great mammals of Americas in the last ice age for instance... A way to explain why menopause is useful... How do the pecularities in our sexual physiology influence our sexual behawiour... And of course why a chimp needs three times bigger cohones than we do.
I find this book still fresh in ideas and free from many prejudices that are sometimes very common among us human beeings. The human beeings are specific and equal in their capabilities but the societies that shape the use of those abilities are very different.
Why is it so? To those who would seek a possible answer I recommend the book Guns, Germs and Steel by the same author. I am at the moment half way through reading it and it promises as much as the first one.
As Mr. Spencer Wells described in the book The Journey of Man we people are descended from a very small group of biologically modern people with specifically different behawiour than all the others who on the surface looked exactly the same. Mr. Diamond sought to explain this difference and his explanation looks very convincing to me.
I hope some of you will try to check this by yourself by reading this book.
I wish you all good luck on the yourney through the maze of human uniqueness!
Apr 8, 2007
compare man with non humans
It is a good anthropology book that talks about men and women in different areas of our lives. it discusses why we do what we do and possible ties to other species.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.