- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Ships in 1 to 3 days
More copies of this ISBN
Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survivedby Chip Walter
Synopses & Reviews
Over the past 180 years scientists have sifted through evidence that at least twenty-seven human species have evolved on planet Earth. And as you may have noticed, twenty-six of them are no longer with us, done in by their environment, predators, disease, or the unfortunate shortcomings of their DNA. What enabled us to survive when so many other human species were shown the evolutionary door? Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived by acclaimed science journalist Chip Walter tells the intriguing tale of how against all odds and despite nature's brutal and capricious ways we stand here today, the only surviving humans, and the planet's most dominant species.Drawing on a wide variety of scientific disciplines, Walter reveals how a rare evolutionary phenomenon led to the uniquely long childhoods that make us so resourceful and emotionally complex. He looks at why we developed a new kind of mind and how our highly social nature has shaped our moral (and immoral) behavior. And in exploring the traits that enabled our success, he plumbs the roots of our creativity and investigates why we became self-aware in ways that no other animal is. Along the way, Last Ape Standing profiles other human species who evolved with us and who have also shaped our kind in startling ways - the Neanderthals of Europe, the "Hobbits" of Indonesia, the Denisovans of Siberia, and the recently discovered Red Deer Cave people of China, who died off just as we stood at the brink of civilizations eleven thousand years ago.Last Ape Standing is an engaging and accessible story that explores the forces that molded us into the peculiar and astonishing creature that we are.
"With 27 species of humans having evolved over seven million years, Walter (Thumbs, Toes, and Tears) has quite a tale to tell. Unsurprisingly, this abbreviated work gives short shrift to much of that story. Like many others, Walter argues that neotony, 'the retention of juvenile features in the adult animal,' is most responsible for differences between humans and other hominids. His primary focus gets lost in lengthy digressions on tangential ideas from evolutionary psychology, like the development of morality and the aesthetics of beauty. He also loses credibility when he lapses into arguments grounded in the largely discredited theory of group selection. Similarly, his supposition that 'small pockets' of Homo erectus descendants may have survived to the present day (well past their accepted expiration date 250,000 years ago) and that they might be responsible for yeti or Big Foot sightings removes his work from the arena of sound science. In the end, Walter posits that the next evolutionary step might be Cyber sapiens: immortal superhuman hybrids of humans and machines. Though intriguing, Walter's evolutionary treatise is too fantastic to be taken seriously. 10 b&w images, 8-page b&w insert. Agent: Peter Sawyer, the Fifi Oscard Agency. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Twenty-seven human species evolved but only one remains. How did that happen?
Over the past 180 years scientists have discovered evidence that at least twenty-seven species of humans evolved on planet Earth. What enabled us to survive when all the others were shown the evolutionary door?
Chip Walter tells the intriguing tale of how against all odds and despite natures capricious ways we stand here today, the planets most dominant species. Drawing on a wide variety of scientific disciplines, he reveals how a rare evolutionary phenomenon led to the uniquely long childhoods that make us so resourceful and emotionally complex. Walter explains how the evolution of our highly social nature has shaped our moral (and immoral) behavior. He also plumbs the roots of our creativity and investigates why we became self-aware in ways that no other animal is. Along the way, Last Ape Standing profiles the mysterious "others" who evolved with us—the Neanderthals of Europe, the "hobbits" of Indonesia, the Denisovans of Siberia, and the recently discovered Red Deer Cave people of China, who died off just as we stood on the brink of civilization eleven thousand years ago.
Last Ape Standing is evocative science writing at its best—a witty, engaging and accessible story that explores the evolutionary events that molded us into the remarkably unique creatures we are.
About the Author
Chip Walter is the founder of the popular website AllThingsHuman.net, a former CNN bureau chief, screenwriter, and documentary filmmaker. His articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Slate,and numerous other publications and websites. He is author of three books, most recentlyThumbs, Toes, and Tears, and his writing has been published in eight languages. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife Cyndy and their four children.Visit his website at www.chipwalter.com.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General