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.
The legend of Prince Madoc and the Welsh Indians is a remarkable story of a brave, resourceful and intelligent people and the footprints they left in the New World OCo a story that has been scorned and neglected by modern historians. It is not a happy story"
Less than fifty thousand years ago mankind had no art, no religion, no sophisticated symbolism, no innovative thinking. Then, in a dramatic and electrifying change, described by scientists as "the greatest riddle in human history," all the skills and qualities that we value most highly in ourselves appeared already fully formed, as though bestowed on us by hidden powers. In Supernatural Graham Hancock sets out to investigate this mysterious "before-and-after moment" and to discover the truth about the influences that gave birth to the modern human mind. His quest takes him on a detective journey from the stunningly beautiful painted caves of prehistoric France, Spain, and Italy to rock shelters in the mountains of South Africa, where he finds extraordinary Stone Age art. He uncovers clues that lead him to the depths of the Amazon rainforest to drink the powerful hallucinogen Ayahuasca with shamans, whose paintings contain images of "supernatural beings" identical to the animal-human hybrids depicted in prehistoric caves. Hallucinogens such as mescaline also produce visionary encounters with exactly the same beings. Scientists at the cutting edge of consciousness research have begun to consider the possibility that such hallucinations may be real perceptions of other "dimensions." Could the "supernaturals" first depicted in the painted caves be the ancient teachers of mankind? Could it be that human evolution is not just the "meaningless" process that Darwin identified, but something more purposive and intelligent that we have barely begun to understand? This revised edition of Supernatural is now available for the first time as a paperback original.
Climate Change and the Course of Global History presents the first global study by a historian to fully integrate the earth-system approach of the new climate science with the material history of humanity. Part I argues that geological, environmental, and climatic history explain the pattern and pace of biological and human evolution. Part II explores the environmental circumstances of the rise of agriculture and the state in the Early and Mid-Holocene, and presents an analysis of human health from the Paleolithic through the rise of the state, including the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Part III introduces the problem of economic growth and examines the human condition in the Late Holocene from the Bronze Age through the Black Death, assessing the relationships among human technologies, climatic change, and epidemic disease. Part IV explores the move to modernity, stressing the emerging role of human economic and energy systems as earth-system agents in the Anthropocene. Supported by climatic, demographic, and economic data with forty-nine figures and tables custom-made for this book, A Rough Journey provides a pathbreaking model for historians of the environment, the world, and science, among many others.
What exactly is a gene? How does cloning actually work? Are designer babies a bad idea? Could we ever clone a human? The Rough Guide To Genes & Cloning answers all these questions and more. From the inside story of cells and their structure and the sleuths who cracked the genetic code to DNA cloning, twins and Dolly the sheep. Illustrated throughout with helpful pictures and diagrams, this Rough Guide turns the microscope on the things that make us what we are.
Genealogy has long been one of humanity's greatest obsessions. But with the rise of genetics, and increasing media attention to it through programs like Who Do You Think You Are? and Faces of America, we are now told that genetic markers can definitively tell us who we are and where we came from. The problem, writes Eviatar Zerubavel, is that biology does not provide us with the full picture. After all, he asks, why do we consider Barack Obama black even though his mother was white? Why did the Nazis believe that unions of Germans and Jews would produce Jews rather than Germans? In this provocative book, he offers a fresh understanding of relatedness, showing that its social logic sometimes overrides the biological reality it supposedly reflects. In fact, rather than just biological facts, social traditions of remembering and classifying shape the way we trace our ancestors, identify our relatives, and delineate families, ethnic groups, nations, and species. Furthermore, genealogies are more than mere records of history. Drawing on a wide range of evidence, Zerubavel introduces such concepts as braiding, clipping, pasting, lumping, splitting, stretching, and pruning to shed light on how we manipulate genealogies to accommodate personal and collective agendas of inclusion and exclusion. Rather than simply find out who our ancestors were and identify our relatives, we actually construct the genealogical narratives that make them our ancestors and relatives. An eye-opening re-examination of our very notion of relatedness, Ancestors and Relatives offers a new way of understanding family, ethnicity, nationhood, race, and humanity.
Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids
Author: Daniel Loxton
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Throughout our history, humans have been captivated by mythic beasts and legendary creatures. Tales of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are part of our collective experience. Now comes a book from two dedicated investigators that explores and elucidates the fascinating world of cryptozoology. Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero have written an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on cryptids, presenting the arguments both for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience that perpetuates their myths. After examining the nature of science and pseudoscience and their relation to cryptozoology, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, and its cross-cultural incarnations; the Loch Ness monster and its highly publicized sightings; the evolution of the Great Sea Serpent; and Mokele Mbembe, or the Congo dinosaur. They conclude with an analysis of the psychology behind the persistent belief in paranormal phenomena, identifying the major players in cryptozoology, discussing the character of its subculture, and considering the challenge it poses to clear and critical thinking in our increasingly complex world.
What do aliens, dinosaurs, and gay marriage have in common? They are all part of the culture war - a war between two worldviews. One view is based on a biblical understanding of history, the other on pure naturalism. Our educational institutions and the media are on the frontlines of evolutionizing our culture. From Biology 101 to World History, from The Learning Channel to Sponge Bob, subtle and not-so-subtle evolutionary messages bombard us. We wetness the battles and skirmishes of this war in our schools, our courts and our homes. All around us are casualties of the warfare - Christians taken captive by an evolutionary philosophy. The idea of the big ban g and millions of years has duped many Christians and its effects include a deficient gospel and subjective morality. How are we to respond when we hear of the latest "argument" for evolution? How can we prepare our children to face the evolutionary indoctrination of our public schools and universities? What are we to make of "Christian" organizations who teach the big bang and millions of years? How can we build a truly biblical worldview? In this powerful book, you will find ammunition for the war: answers to some of the most common arguments for evolution, analyses of Christian compromise positions and a call for return to the true biblical authority.
The literature of marketplace behaviour, long dominated by economic and psychological discourse, has matured in the last decade to reveal the vast expanse of consumption activity not adequately addressed – in either theoretical or empirical perspective - by the discipline's favoured approaches. The lived experience of consumption in cultural and historical context, rendered in a fashion that is both intellectually insightful and authentically evocative, and that recognizes the dynamics of accommodation and resistance that characterize the individual's relationship with the market, is the central interpretive thrust of an emerging interdisciplinary field inquiry broadly labelled "consumer culture theory." In this volume, some of the leading scholars of this field explore in great empirical detail and theoretical depth the relationships that the consumer has developed both with goods and services and with the stakeholders that animate markets. Beginning with an examination of the underpinnings of cultural inquiry, the focus then shifts to specific consumption venues. Analyses of advertising in personal, critical and historical perspective, examination of lifestyle trends from dwelling practices of transnational nomads and regimes of personal training to genetic testing and gambling, interpretations of the dynamics of brand loyalty and corporate image management, and investigation of family consumption rituals are among the topics explored in ethnographic and humanistic perspective.