Catalogue


The 10,000 year explosion : how civilization accelerated human evolution /
Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending.
imprint
New York : Basic Books, c2009.
description
xii, 288 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0465002218 (alk. paper), 9780465002214 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
New York : Basic Books, c2009.
isbn
0465002218 (alk. paper)
9780465002214 (alk. paper)
contents note
Overview: conventional wisdom -- The Neanderthal within -- Agriculture : the big change -- Consequences of agriculture -- Gene flow -- Expansions -- Medieval evolution : how the Ashkenazi Jews got their smarts.
catalogue key
6759290
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-12-01:
For anyone interested in human evolution, this book is an absolute must read. If you formed your opinions on human evolution by reading any of the thousands of books out there, you need to throw out those opinions and start again. If you believe that humans stopped evolving 40,000 years ago, think again. If you have bought into the arguments of popular science writers that culture somehow trumped biology all those millennia ago, get rid of them. Cochran and Harpending (both, Univ. of Utah) have taken up the mantle of what some scholars have been preaching for decades: not only has human evolution not slowed down or stopped, it has actually accelerated over the past 10,000 years. The long-standing assumption that humans somehow quit evolving grew out of the late-19th-century notion that nothing an organism did during its lifetime had any bearing on the genetic makeup of its offspring. Organisms--none more so than humans--are active niche constructors, and what they do during their lifetimes has tremendous bearing on what genes do and do not do in future generations. Cochran and Harpending say this beautifully. The only downside to this highly recommended book is that this reviewer did not write it! Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. M. J. O'Brien University of Missouri--Columbia
Reviews
Review Quotes
John Derbyshire, author ofPrime Obsession "Did human evolution come to a screeching halt fifty thousand years ago when Homo sapiens emerged from Africa, thus ensuring the psychic unity of mankind? Don't be silly, say the authors of this latest addition to the fast-emerging discipline of Biohistory. In clear prose backed by a wealth of hard data, Cochran and Harpending add a biological dimension to the history of our species, and hammer another nail into the coffin lid of 'nothing but culture' anthropology."Bruce G. Charlton, MD; Professor of Theoretical Medicine, University of Buckingham, Editor in Chief of Medical Hypotheses "The 10,000 Year Explosionoffers scientists and historians a new and fertile direction for future research, and provides the general public with a better explanation of the past, present, and future of human beings....I was motivated to read the entire book in a single marathon session."John Hawks, author ofHuman Evolution "For years, human geneticists have been uncovering a picture of human evolution. But now, Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending are encouraging us to 'fast forward' the discussion."Booklist "A most intriguing deposition, without a trace of ethnic or racial advocacy, though directed against the proposition that 'we're all the same.'"Publishers Weekly "There is much here to recommend… and their arguments are intriguing throughout…it's clear that this lively, informative text is not meant to deceive (abundant references and a glossary also help) but to provoke thought, debate and possibly wonder."Wall Street Journal "Important and fascinating…the provocative ideas in 'The 10,000 Year Explosion' must be taken seriously by anyone who wants to understand human origins and humanity's future."Seed "The 10,000 Year Explosionwould be important even if it were only about population genetics and evolutionary biology, but Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending…have written something more. This book is a manifesto for and an example of a new kind of history, a biological history, and not just of the prehistoric era."New Scientist "The evidence the authors present builds an overwhelming case that natural selection has recently acted strongly on us and may be continuing unabated."Melvin Konner, MD, PhD, author ofThe Tangled WingandThe Jewish Body "For generations, scientists have seen culture as slowing or halting evolution. In this lively and provocative book, Cochran and Harpending, interpreting recent genetic evidence, stick a stiff finger into the eye that holds that view. Their ideas will be intensely controversial, but they cannot be ignored."
John Derbyshire, author of Prime Obsession "Did human evolution come to a screeching halt fifty thousand years ago when Homo sapiens emerged from Africa, thus ensuring the psychic unity of mankind? Don't be silly, say the authors of this latest addition to the fast-emerging discipline of Biohistory. In clear prose backed by a wealth of hard data, Cochran and Harpending add a biological dimension to the history of our species, and hammer another nail into the coffin lid of 'nothing but culture' anthropology." Bruce G. Charlton, MD; Professor of Theoretical Medicine, University of Buckingham, Editor in Chief of Medical Hypotheses “ The 10,000 Year Explosion offers scientists and historians a new and fertile direction for future research, and provides the general public with a better explanation of the past, present, and future of human beings....I was motivated to read the entire book in a single marathon session.” John Hawks, author of Human Evolution "For years, human geneticists have been uncovering a picture of human evolution. But now, Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending are encouraging us to 'fast forward' the discussion." Booklist “A most intriguing deposition, without a trace of ethnic or racial advocacy, though directed against the proposition that ‘we’re all the same.’" Publishers Weekly “There is much here to recommend& and their arguments are intriguing throughout&it's clear that this lively, informative text is not meant to deceive (abundant references and a glossary also help) but to provoke thought, debate and possibly wonder.” Wall Street Journal “Important and fascinating&the provocative ideas in ‘The 10,000 Year Explosion’ must be taken seriously by anyone who wants to understand human origins and humanity's future.” Seed “ The 10,000 Year Explosion would be important even if it were only about population genetics and evolutionary biology, but Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending&have written something more. This book is a manifesto for and an example of a new kind of history, a biological history, and not just of the prehistoric era.” New Scientist “The evidence the authors present builds an overwhelming case that natural selection has recently acted strongly on us and may be continuing unabated.” Melvin Konner, MD, PhD, author of The Tangled Wing and The Jewish Body “For generations, scientists have seen culture as slowing or halting evolution. In this lively and provocative book, Cochran and Harpending, interpreting recent genetic evidence, stick a stiff finger into the eye that holds that view. Their ideas will be intensely controversial, but they cannot be ignored."
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Booklist, February 2009
PW Annex Reviews, February 2009
Wall Street Journal, February 2009
Choice, December 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Resistance to malaria. Blue eyes. Lactose tolerance. What do all of these traits have in common? Every one of them has emerged in the last 10,000 years. Scientists have long believed that the "great leap forward" that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head, The 10,000 Year Explosion reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.
Main Description
Resistance to malaria. Blue eyes. Lactose tolerance. What do all of these traits have in common? Every one of them has emerged in the last 10,000 years. Scientists have long believed that the “great leap forward” that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head, The 10,000 Year Explosion reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.
Main Description
Resistance to malaria. Blue eyes. Lactose tolerance. What do all of these traits have in common? Every one of them has emerged in the last 10,000 years.Scientists have long believed that the "great leap forward" that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews.Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head,The 10,000 Year Explosionreveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.
Main Description
Two leading researchers make the controversial argument that our species is still measurably evolving in important ways--in fact, faster than ever before.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Overview: Conventional Wisdomp. 1
The Neanderthal Withinp. 25
Agriculture: The Big Changep. 65
Consequences of Agriculturep. 85
Gene Flowp. 129
Expansionsp. 155
Medieval Evolution: How the Ashkenazi Jews Got Their Smartsp. 187
Conclusionp. 225
Notesp. 229
Glossaryp. 243
Bibliographyp. 253
Creditsp. 267
Indexp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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