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The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey

by

The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Around 60,000 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.

Review:

"The Journey of Man is a book that should be read, for undeniably the story Wells reveals will transform our understanding of ourselves." Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books

Review:

"By explaining his terminology and methods throughout the book, instead of in a chunk, Wells makes following the branches of the human tree seem easy." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Wells has a knack for clear descriptions and clever analogies to help explain the intricacies of the science involved." Library Journal

Review:

"Wells has an insider's knowledge of the science [of genetic population studies] and its excitement." Rebecca Cann, Nature

Synopsis:

"Written with much verve, easy to read, and up-to-date on many important developments."--Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Stanford University, author of The History and Geography of Human Genes and Genes, Peoples, and Languages.

"Spencer Wells, whose genetic work has contributed to our understanding of human prehistory, has provided the lay reader with an account of the spread and mixing of the human species from its origin in Africa that is both scientifically accurate and accessible to the nonscientist. In achieving that accessibility, he has not made the common error of confusing simple explanations with simplistic ones. Most important, Wells has the intellectual integrity, all too rare in popularizations of science, to distinguish what is really known from what is only speculation."--Richard Lewontin, Harvard University, author of It Ain't Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions.

Synopsis:

Around 60,000 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.

Table of Contents

List of Maps xi

List of Figures xii

Preface xiii

Chapter 1: The Diverse Ape 1

Chapter 2: E pluribus unum 14

Chapter 3: Eve's Mate 41

Chapter 4: Coasting Away 61

Chapter 5: Leaps and Bounds 81

Chapter 6: The Main Line 100

Chapter 7: Blood from a Stone 122

Chapter 8: The Importance of Culture 146

Chapter 9: The Final Big Bang 184

Acknowledgements 197

Further Reading 199

Index of Pictures 208

Index 214

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691115320
Author:
Wells, Spencer
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
Human genetics
Subject:
Human evolution
Subject:
Human population genetics
Subject:
Genetics, Population.
Subject:
Evolution, Molecular.
Subject:
Life Sciences - Biology - General
Subject:
Life Sciences - Genetics & Genomics
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution - Human
Subject:
Evolution
Subject:
Biological Sciences.
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Subject:
Anthropology - Physical
Copyright:
Series Volume:
TR88-12
Publication Date:
March 2003
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
44 color photos. 54 halftones. 3 maps.
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 18 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Physical
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Genetics

The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691115320 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The Journey of Man is a book that should be read, for undeniably the story Wells reveals will transform our understanding of ourselves."
"Review" by , "By explaining his terminology and methods throughout the book, instead of in a chunk, Wells makes following the branches of the human tree seem easy." Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "Wells has a knack for clear descriptions and clever analogies to help explain the intricacies of the science involved."
"Review" by , "Wells has an insider's knowledge of the science [of genetic population studies] and its excitement." Rebecca Cann, Nature
"Synopsis" by ,

"Written with much verve, easy to read, and up-to-date on many important developments."--Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Stanford University, author of The History and Geography of Human Genes and Genes, Peoples, and Languages.

"Spencer Wells, whose genetic work has contributed to our understanding of human prehistory, has provided the lay reader with an account of the spread and mixing of the human species from its origin in Africa that is both scientifically accurate and accessible to the nonscientist. In achieving that accessibility, he has not made the common error of confusing simple explanations with simplistic ones. Most important, Wells has the intellectual integrity, all too rare in popularizations of science, to distinguish what is really known from what is only speculation."--Richard Lewontin, Harvard University, author of It Ain't Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions.

"Synopsis" by ,

Around 60,000 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.

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