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Genes, Culture, and Human Evolution: A Synthesis Hardcover – October 23, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This book lives up to its title.  It provides an invigorating and well-informed overview of human genetic and cultural evolution, one that transcends the disciplinary boundaries that become an irrelevance to a full understanding of where we come from, out nature and origins.” (Anthropos, 2009)

"The important branch of evolutionary anthropology that concentrates on the co-evolution of genes and culture has been in need of its definitive textbook. Here it has found its perfect expression in one of those rare texts that is also a grand synthesis and a contribution in its own right." Robin Fox, University Professor of Social Theory, Rutgers University

"Stone and Lurquin have integrated what we know about bones, genes, and languages to produce a uniquely valuable account. By focusing on the science of human evolution, the authors avoid the stultifying debates about what is culture and does it evolve. With this volume, evolutionary anthropology becomes a coherent discipline accessible to all students and scholars in the human sciences." Marc Feldman, Stanford University

"The first textbook that uses evolutionary theory to combine the study of human culture and genetics."
Australian Journal of Anthropology

From the Back Cover

Drawing links between genetic and cultural development, this textbook on human evolution offers students a unique combination of cultural anthropology and genetics.

For too long, cultural anthropology and science have been portrayed as antagonistic. The authors believe that this is misguided and that recent findings in genetics and anthropology indicate that, to the contrary, a fruitful analysis of human culture and evolution demands integration of these fields of study. This text unifies cultural and genetic concepts: Genes, Culture, and Human Evolution demonstrates that empirical genetic evidence, based on modern DNA analysis and population studies, provides an excellent foundation for understanding human cultural diversity.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (October 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405150890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405150897
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,177,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on January 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This text is basically an anthropology textbook on human evolution that integrates the latest biological and cultural research. It comes from the merger of genetic analysis and cultural anthropology. The authors see a co-evolution of genes with culture that helps to define the organism and the environment in which they live in which both are acting as cause and effect.

Over recent years the field of anthropology, especially at an undergraduate level has become rather standardized with only minor acknowledgement of new fossil finds. This book goes away from that with it's development of two major themes:

1. the substantial and growing contribution of genetics to our understanding of human evolution, and

2. the idea that human evolution has been shaped by the interaction between genes and culture.

This book does an excellent job of stating the co-evolution or dual inheritance theory. Note that there has been critism of this overall theory, especially from the anthropology and linguistics side.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Ewing on May 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
A complete journey from pre-history to the most recent genetic analysis of human diversity. Some chapters had a technical appeal, such as Chapter 6, Drift migration and qualitative analysis of human genetic diversity.

As an enhancement of both Chapter 4, Genetics as a key to human origins and prehistory and Chapter 10, Voyages:Prehistoric human expansions, please permit me to recommend, National Geographic: The Human Family Tree, DVD (96mins.), 2009, as being very useful. The video complimented the text and gives a good introduction to both chapters, further providing visual support to the molecular clock hypothesis and the global diffusion of Homo Sapiens. The exploration work being done in Anatolia Turkey, Catalhoyuk Research Project, a Neolithic agrarian settlement has a website and also adds interest.

The scholarship of the authors, their numerous published articles and explanatory expertise is beyond comparison. Every chapter is well planned and the story grows with an intensity. Linda Stone, et al., reinforced explanations on every turn. I believe this book is something you read several times and learn something different each time. There are so many intricate facts, the total picture, using the most current methods of scientific investigation of genetic and cultural evolution, I couldn't put it down.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wunderschoen on April 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
It's basically a physical anthropology textbook, dealing with genes and various things we can learn from them. It was very enjoyable to read, and easy to understand. You don't need a background in anthropology or biology to understand what it has to say.
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