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Seven Skeletons

Author: Lydia Pyne
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698409426
Size: 35.10 MB
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An irresistible journey of discovery, science, history, and myth making, told through the lives and afterlives of seven famous human ancestors Over the last century, the search for human ancestors has spanned four continents and resulted in the discovery of hundreds of fossils. While most of these discoveries live quietly in museum collections, there are a few that have become world-renowned celebrity personas—ambassadors of science that speak to public audiences. In Seven Skeletons, historian of science Lydia Pyne explores how seven such famous fossils of our ancestors have the social cachet they enjoy today. Drawing from archives, museums, and interviews, Pyne builds a cultural history for each celebrity fossil—from its discovery to its afterlife in museum exhibits to its legacy in popular culture. These seven include the three-foot tall “hobbit” from Flores, the Neanderthal of La Chapelle, the Taung Child, the Piltdown Man hoax, Peking Man, Australopithecus sediba, and Lucy—each embraced and celebrated by generations, and vivid examples of how discoveries of how our ancestors have been received, remembered, and immortalized. With wit and insight, Pyne brings to life each fossil, and how it is described, put on display, and shared among scientific communities and the broader public. This fascinating, endlessly entertaining book puts the impact of paleoanthropology into new context, a reminder of how our past as a species continues to affect, in astounding ways, our present culture and imagination. From the Hardcover edition.

Creatures Of Cain

Author: Erika Lorraine Milam
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691185093
Size: 59.92 MB
Format: PDF
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After World War II, the question of how to define a universal human nature took on new urgency. Creatures of Cain charts the rise and precipitous fall in Cold War America of a theory that attributed man’s evolutionary success to his unique capacity for murder. Drawing on a wealth of archival materials and in-depth interviews, Erika Lorraine Milam reveals how the scientists who advanced this “killer ape” theory capitalized on an expanding postwar market in intellectual paperbacks and widespread faith in the power of science to solve humanity’s problems, even to answer the most fundamental questions of human identity. The killer ape theory spread quickly from colloquial science publications to late-night television, classrooms, political debates, and Hollywood films. Behind the scenes, however, scientists were sharply divided, their disagreements centering squarely on questions of race and gender. Then, in the 1970s, the theory unraveled altogether when primatologists discovered that chimpanzees also kill members of their own species. While the discovery brought an end to definitions of human exceptionalism delineated by violence, Milam shows how some evolutionists began to argue for a shared chimpanzee-human history of aggression even as other scientists discredited such theories as sloppy popularizations. A wide-ranging account of a compelling episode in American science, Creatures of Cain argues that the legacy of the killer ape persists today in the conviction that science can resolve the essential dilemmas of human nature.

Bookshelf

Author: Lydia Pyne
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1501307339
Size: 80.30 MB
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Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Every shelf is different and every bookshelf tells a different story. One bookshelf can creak with character in a bohemian coffee shop and another can groan with gravitas in the Library of Congress. Writer and historian Lydia Pyne finds bookshelves to be holders not just of books but of so many other things: values, vibes, and verbs that can be contained and displayed in the buildings and rooms of contemporary human existence. With a shrewd eye toward this particular moment in the history of books, Pyne takes the reader on a tour of the bookshelf that leads critically to this juncture: amid rumors of the death of book culture, why is the life of the bookshelf in full bloom? Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in the The Atlantic.

The Cambridge History Of Ancient China

Author: Michael Loewe
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521470308
Size: 76.42 MB
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A survey of the cultural history of pre-Imperial China. Historians and archaeologists cover the Shang, Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn, Warring States, Neolithic background, language, intellectual history, relations with central Asia, and the debts of the Qin and Han empires to these periods. There are chapters on institutional history, based on both traditional and palaeographic literature, and on material culture.

Evolution

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231511426
Size: 29.11 MB
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Over the past twenty years, paleontologists have made tremendous fossil discoveries, including fossils that mark the growth of whales, manatees, and seals from land mammals and the origins of elephants, horses, and rhinos. Today there exists an amazing diversity of fossil humans, suggesting we walked upright long before we acquired large brains, and new evidence from molecules that enable scientists to decipher the tree of life as never before. The fossil record is now one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution. In this engaging and richly illustrated book, Donald R. Prothero weaves an entertaining though intellectually rigorous history out of the transitional forms and series that dot the fossil record. Beginning with a brief discussion of the nature of science and the "monkey business of creationism," Prothero tackles subjects ranging from flood geology and rock dating to neo-Darwinism and macroevolution. He covers the ingredients of the primordial soup, the effects of communal living, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammalian explosion, and the leap from chimpanzee to human. Prothero pays particular attention to the recent discovery of "missing links" that complete the fossil timeline and details the debate between biologists over the mechanisms driving the evolutionary process. Evolution is an absorbing combination of firsthand observation, scientific discovery, and trenchant analysis. With the teaching of evolution still an issue, there couldn't be a better moment for a book clarifying the nature and value of fossil evidence. Widely recognized as a leading expert in his field, Prothero demonstrates that the transformation of life on this planet is far more awe inspiring than the narrow view of extremists.

Eine Kurze Geschichte Der Menschheit

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: DVA
ISBN: 364110498X
Size: 61.42 MB
Format: PDF
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Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.

Epic Of Evolution

Author: Eric J. Chaisson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023150960X
Size: 30.52 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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How did everything around us-the air, the land, the sea, and the stars-originate? What is the source of order, form, and structure characterizing all material things? These are just some of the grand scientific questions Eric J. Chaisson, author of the classic work Cosmic Dawn, explores in his enthralling and illuminating history of the universe. Explaining new discoveries and a range of cutting-edge ideas and theories, Chaisson provides a creative and coherent synthesis of current scientific thinking on the universe's beginnings. He takes us on a tour of the seven ages of the cosmos, from the formless era of radiation through the origins of human culture. Along the way he examines the development of the most microscopic and the most immense aspects of our universe and the complex ways in which they interact. Drawing on recent breakthroughs in astrophysics and biochemistry, Chaisson discusses the contemporary scientific view that all objects-from quarks and quasars to microbes and the human mind-are interrelated. Researchers in all the natural sciences are beginning to identify an underlying pattern penetrating the fabric of existence-a sweepingly encompassing view of the formation, structure, and function of all objects in our multitudinous universe. Moreover, as Chaisson demonstrates, by deciphering the scenario of cosmic evolution, scientists can also determine how living organisms managed to inhabit the land, generate language, and create culture. Epic of Evolution offers a stunning view of how various changes, operating across almost incomprehensible domains of space and nearly inconceivable stretches of time and through the evolutionary combination of necessity and chance, have given rise to our galaxy, our star, our planet, and ourselves.

Lucy

Author: Donald Johanson
Publisher:
ISBN: 9783548342153
Size: 32.55 MB
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Anschaulicher Bericht über die Entdeckung eines urgeschichtlichen Skeletts (1974) sowie über die Arbeitsmethoden der Paläoanthropologie.

Paleontology And Geology Of Laetoli Human Evolution In Context

Author: Terry Harrison
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789048199624
Size: 65.15 MB
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This volume 2 and its companion volume 1 present the results of new investigations into the geology, paleontology and paleoecology of the early hominin site of Laetoli in northern Tanzania. The site is one of the most important paleontological and paleoanthropological sites in Africa, worldrenowned for the discovery of fossils of the early hominin Australopithecus afarensis, as well as remarkable trails of its footprints. The first volume provides new evidence on the geology, geochronology, ecology, ecomorphology and taphonomy of the site. The second volume describes newly discovered fossil hominins from Laetoli, belonging to Australopithecus afarensis and Paranthropus aethiopicus, and presents detailed information on the systematics and paleobiology of the diverse associated fauna. Together, these contributions provide one of the most comprehensive accounts of a fossil hominin site, and they offer important new insights into the early stages of human evolution and its context.

Die Fr Hzeit Des Menschen

Author: Friedemann Schrenk
Publisher: C.H.Beck
ISBN: 3406692923
Size: 58.16 MB
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Afrika war die Wiege der Vor- und Urmenschen; es gibt keinen einzigen Fossilienfund aus irgendeinem Teil der Welt, der dies widerlegen könnte. Daher steht dieser Kontinent im Zentrum der Wissenschaft von den fossilen Menschen, der Paläoanthropologie. Ihre Fachvertreter versuchen, unter häufig schwierigsten Arbeitsbedingungen, die Stammesgeschichte des Menschen zu rekonstruieren. Sie brauchen eine fundierte wissenschaftliche Ausbildung, eine schier unendliche Geduld, um die Reste unserer Vorfahren aufzuspüren und zu bergen, modernste Technik, um sie zu untersuchen, und ein gut ausgebildetes Kombinationsvermögen, um das Puzzle zusammenzusetzen, aus dem sich ein zusammenhängendes Bild unserer eigenen Urgeschichte ergeben soll. Wo und wie Paläoanthropologen arbeiten, welche Erkenntnisse sie bislang gewonnen haben und welche neuen Fragen sich aus den Resultaten ihrer Forschung für den modernen Menschen ergeben, wird in dem vorliegenden Band verständlich und spannend geschildert.