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Bones, Stones and Molecules: "Out of Africa" and Human Origins [Paperback]

by David W. Cameron, Colin P. Groves
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 20, 2004 0121569330 978-0121569334 1
Bones, Stones and Molecules provides some of the best evidence for resolving the debate between the two hypotheses of human origins. The debate between the 'Out of Africa' model and the 'Multiregional' hypothesis is examined through the functional and developmental processes associated with the evolution of the human skull and face and focuses on the significance of the Australian record. The book analyzes important new discoveries that have occurred recently and examines evidence that is not available elsewhere. Cameron and Groves argue that the existing evidence supports a recent origin for modern humans from Africa. They also specifically relate these two theories to interpretations of the origins of the first Australians. The book provides an up-to-date interpretation of the fossil, archaeological and the molecular evidence, specifically as it relates to Asia, and Australia in particular.

* Readily accessible to the layperson and professional
* Provides concise coverage of current scientific evidence
* Presents a robust computer-generated model of human speciation over the last 7 million years
* Well illustrated with figures and photographs of important fossil specimens
* Presents a synthesis of great ape and human evolution

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Editorial Reviews


"I was keenly anticipating this book, for I have the highest opinion of the work of both Cameron and Groves. I was not disappointed, for it is a thoroughly researched and entertaining book....Its strength lies in the wonderful clarity in which the principles of phylogenetic analysis are laid out and then applied rigorously to the hominid fossil record. Although many will disagree with the conclusions, they will be able to do so more readily because the analyses are so clearly set out, both the characters used and the methods." -Peter Andrews, Natural History Museum, London, England

"This is a detailed treatment which is sure to stimulate consideable debate and argument.” -David Pilbeam, Peabody Museum, Harvard University

"Although fairly academic in approach, this is still a very readable and well-illustrated overview."
- Douglas Palmer, NEW SCIENTIST

Book Description

Bones, Stones and Molecules provides some of the best evidence for resolving the debate between the two hypotheses of human origins.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Press; 1 edition (May 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0121569330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0121569334
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,675,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable reference for academics and laymen alike September 4, 2004
Cameron and Groves have produced a handsome volume that details the anatomical structure of the species immediately ancestral to homo sapiens, and fleshes out the multiple "Out of Africa" episodes that have characterised the longer span of human evolution.

Full of ecological and detailed anatomical descriptions of the key species in human evolution, this volume very rarely, if not uniquely, integrates the story of hominid anatomical adaptation and modification across the Miocene through to the Holocene.

Students of paleoanthropology will not find a more thorough one volume overview, which while going far beyond being an introduction, admirably serves that role to.

For those who want to come to grips with, at a very detailed level, the drivers and form of anatomical and associated behavioural change amongst the human ancestral species, this Cameron/Groves volume is the ideal reference.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, showcasing the latest fossils! July 28, 2004
This is a great read for anyone interested in human evolution. It includes all of the most recent fossil hominid discoveries as well as providing an up-to-date overview and systematic analysis of human evolution over the last 6 million years or so (including molecular - archaeological information). It provides a convincing argument for the 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis for modern human origins. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in evolution and human and great ape evolution in particular.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multiregionalism Debunked August 19, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alternating between hard-core and literary, "Bones, Stones and Molecules" covers all of the latest anthropological discoveries and developments. Sahelanthropus and Orrorin are breaking news in paleoanthropology and are covered early in the book. These two new fossils are from the "wrong" side of the Great Rift Valley and neatly dispense with another recent favorite theory of human origins that involved the stranding of Old World and New World monkeys on either side of the Great Rift.

"Out of Africa" versus the "Multiregional" hypothesis are the book's main focus, and "Out of Africa" comes out the clear winner. David Cameron and Colin Groves each have their own slant on human origins, and these are clearly depicted in dozens of cladograms, each co-author posing variations. There are numerous sketches and photographs, and brief boxed interludes that also display a sense of humor.

"Bones, Stones and Molecules" introduces Groves' strong background in Australian fossils, the controversy over the timeline of Australian colonization has ramifications that affect much of anthropology. This is a solid book best suited to those with previous knowledge of the field. The appendix provides mathematical proof of assertions made in the book, hundreds of anatomical measurements are detailed. There are very few works that achieve such an excellent balance between mathematical rigor and literary readability.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book needs a revision. September 29, 2010
Since the publication of 'Bones, Stones and Molecules' in 2004, a lot has happened in Paleoanthropology. I'd like to hear the authors' comments on the completion of the Neanderthal and Human genome comparisons, the tracking of genetic 'markers' as proof for the 'out of Africa' theory, etc., etc. Where are you, gentlemen, with your updated edition?
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