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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on August 28, 2003
Granted, the author is a respectable scholar in historical genetics. And the topic is interesting. However, this book is poorly written:
1) Translation is generally sloppy. The English text is often funny, e.g. not sure which nouns a dangling clause actually refer to in running sentences. Either the original text is sloppy, or the translation is, or both.
2) Lack of information. Not a lot of actual scientific info is presented. E.g. Maps for principal component analysis for Asia genes would be of interest I think
3) Big gaps in the whole picture: the origins of both Chinese and Indians are poorly explained. It might reflect low level of scientific research in those countries; but from the writing itself, it seems the author does not really care about these people which account for ~45% of the world's population; at the same time, the author keeps pointing out that the Basques are unique.
4) Putting my Chinese head on here:
The language family that includes Na-Dene (in N. America), Caucasian (mainly Georgian), and Sino-Tibetan languages is called the 'Dene-Caucasian' family. I just can't help wondering how the scientific community name things. How can the Chinese language, with at least 800MM native speakers, not part of the name of the language family? It is probably not the author's fault, but as a founding scientist in the inquiry of human origins from genetic & linguistic point of view, the author has some responsibity for the bias I think.
5) Is the scientific evidence robust? In the early section on genetic mapping, each of the dots showing 'races' such as 'Basques', 'South Chinese', 'Dravidians', etc. are defined using considerations in 'location and languages' of the human samples. Makes me wonder whether the whole correlation between races and languages is just a convoluted tautology.
6) Lack of "so what". The book has no thesis. On this, Jared Diamond's Gun, Germs & Steel written in 1998 is a much more interesting read, using mostly the same pool of literature.
My advice: save the money, buy something else!
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on August 31, 2002
as far as blood types go he is a waste of money. the only good survey in his book is the one that says native americans have a population of 98 percent blood type 'o'. apart from this figure he groups blood types not on racial characteristics but on continent. logically the remaining blood statistics are inconclusive. he has a little information on blood types and languages and dna, but it's all been geared to correspond to his "Outstanding" theories. as far as honesty goes i seriously doubt all people who claim to be able to understand other languages merely by their own one. eg. an italian claiming to understand portugese and spainsh merely by knowing italian, or someone claiming to be able to read greek from knowing cyrillic. this overpriced book wouldn't be worth a review, only most of the other reviews praise it. another thing is the ink and paper print quality. if you get a whiff of this book's smelly pages, that may be enough to dissuade you from buying.
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