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A well-written, scientific book with illustrations. Tattersall manages to convey both the amazing discoveries and the great room for additional discoveries that have marked our understanding of human evolution. I am curious to know about our past, evolution and extinction of humans !! Learn about our remote access options. The only weakness is that discoveries are being made so fast, especially in improved genetic sequencing, that this book will probably be out of date in another five years. I found it interesting that the farther one travels from man's beginning in Africa, the less sounds the people use in their language. Curator Emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History, Ian Tattersall takes us deep into the fossil record to uncover what made humans so special. A well-written, scientific book with illustrations. While much of the material included in this book was familiar to me, I have to say that Dr. Tattersall's organization and presentation makes this book the perfect gift for someone looking for a thorough but easily understandable first exposure to human evolution. I am happy to report that this book does a fantastic job of not only walking the reader through the current understanding of human evolution, including major debates, gaps in the evidence, and clear explanations of the scientific process. Yet something about our species distinguished it from the pack, and ultimately led to its survival while the rest became extinct. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Enter your email address below and we will send you your username, If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username, By continuing to browse this site, you agree to its use of cookies as described in our, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Masters of the planet: the search for our human origins, I have read and accept the Wiley Online Library Terms and Conditions of Use, https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.12042_12. … So just what was it that allowed Homo sapiens to become Masters of the Planet? View the article PDF and any associated supplements and figures for a period of 48 hours. He included as many of the major players as were known in 2012, and thankfully, he introduced me to several species that I had only ever seen in various evolutionary trees but had never known about in detail. The strength of this book is its careful use of archeological and anthropological data. Tattersall's love of systematics, … Because of this interference between the two major themes, I found I appreciated this book better after the second reading. I can tell you from the first 70 pages of Sapiens that it's much better written than this one. March 27th 2012 I found myself googling some subspecies to visualize some parts better. We almost didn't make it. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. I read every word of the first third of this book and then skimmed heavily. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in our origins. Modern science, however, is still struggling to create a coherent narrative about the evolution of our Homo sapien species, because our memory is personal and not historical, and because the evidence we need is quickly lost through the vicissitudes of fossilization and preservation. The best among recent book about human origins, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2018. Tattersall, Ian. I have had problems finding a book for this portion of the class, mainly because the books written for a general audience (as opposed to anthro or bio majors) are dominated by bad science writing filled with just-so stories, libertarian fantasies, and Evolutionary Psychology's most egregious sins. Superb book. Using language relates to our ability to think about ourselves and other people around us (as individuals) which might have originated as a result of living in crowded tribes. A good overview of human origins. The decision to become fully bipedal was a near run thing. Basingstoke, New York; Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Given another chance at life, I would have chosen to be an anthropologist. Does this book contain quality or formatting issues? The decision to become fully bipedal was a near run thing. I particularly enjoyed reading about our more recent predecessors – H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis (who actually are not our ancestors). Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2016. Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices. Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2017. You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book. Unlimited viewing of the article PDF and any associated supplements and figures. Who else has sold more than 200 million... To see what your friends thought of this book, I read this book because I'd been told it was a good introduction to the study of human ancestors attested in the archaeological record. I was hooked through 95% of "Masters of the Planet." the definitive read on where we came from and how sapiens became the masters of the planet. This book puts the new discoveries in their proper sequence and perspective. The weak point of this book is that it tries to simultaneously tell a linear chronological history of species evolution, while it also tries to explain evolutionary theory, and these two narratives both enrich and disrupt each other. I have read a couple other books by Ian Tattersall previously, one on Neandertals specifically and one on non-sapien humans generally (if we can take "human" here to mean "anybody from the genus Homo whether they are Homo sapiens or not"). Modern science, however, is still struggling to create a coherent narrative about the evolution of our Homo sapien species, because our memory is personal and not historical, and because the ev. I appreciated having this as a complimentary Goodreads book. It's heavy on fossils and minutia on this or that two-million-year-old bone. Less the story of human (e.g., homo sapiens) dominance of the planet than a catalog of fossils cleverly dressed up. I really enjoyed this thoroughly researched and illuminating exploration of human evolution. He manages to give the reader a contextual understanding of the world in which the evolving hominid lineages made their debut. Too bad we didn't pick that one instead (although, Sapiens would take a lot longer to read -- it's thick). We begin the semester with a section on human evolution where I establish the evidence for a naturalistic explanation of culture. In other words, evolutionary changes might not take place at once but they can be preserved in the system to be co-opted in future circumstances. After reading this book, I realized once again that anthropology and linguistics go hand in hand. Masters of the planet: the search for our human origins. However I would still recommend it. Tattersall is an excellent writer, and the story he tells is fascinating, even though I don't line up perfectly with all of his conclusions. I have had problems finding a book for this portion of the class, mainly because the books written for a general audience (as opposed to anthro or bio majors) are dominated by bad science writing filled with just-so stories, libertarian fanta. In other words, what makes us human is closely related to our symbolic behavior and accordingly, to produce language. It's heavy on fossils and minutia on this or that two-million-year-old bone. It's actually breathtaking how scientists have put together the pieces enough to understand human evolution, for it seems the evidence is rather slim, It is amazing how little we know scientifically about the origin of our own species. Good overview of the current fossil record. Tattersall has appeared on Charlie Roseand NPR's Science Friday and has written for Scientific American and Archaeology. Lastly in what is perhaps my favorite parts in the book he demystifies both the importance and overhype of bipedalism and brain size as determined by cerebral volume. Well written, nicely brief and well balanced in describing bones, tools, genetics and symbolic artefacts. The book presents a fascinating synthesis and repudiates some of the more common myths floating around the popular consciousness about human evolution, beginning with the argument that the Ardipithecus walked upright and dwelt in trees, that bipedality did not evolve afterwards but was an exaptation. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. But then the final chapter seemed to stop well short of delivering the full story, providing a bucketful of speculation instead of completing the story of what we know about the planetary spread of Homo sapiens. I've heard that when reviewing a book, you should review the book that you've read and not the book that you've wanted to read. You won't be disappointed. xxii, 255 pp., fig., illus., bibliogr. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published A bird’s-eye-view of this book would show you that Tattersall is taking us on a straightforward journey through the timeline of hominid evolution, starting around seven million years go. This critique does not detract frothe usefulness of the book to introduce newcomers to the fun and captivating field of human evolution. But I did, and I'm glad of it, because it turns out that the distant past of pre-sapiens ancestors, is a rapidly changing field. Very stimulating to reengage with physical anthropology. Well done book by prolific author on fossil records and what can be assumed by them. The sections about evidence of social behaviour and diet are fascinating... but the best part for me was the last section which mentions the emergence of 'paleo linguistics' studying the way phonemes spr.

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