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Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth [Kindle Edition]

Chris Stringer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

A leading researcher on human evolution proposes a new and controversial theory of how our species came to be


In this groundbreaking and engaging work of science, world-renowned paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer sets out a new theory of humanity's origin, challenging both the multiregionalists (who hold that modern humans developed from ancient ancestors in different parts of the world) and his own "out of Africa" theory, which maintains that humans emerged rapidly in one small part of Africa and then spread to replace all other humans within and outside the continent. Stringer's new theory, based on archeological and genetic evidence, holds that distinct humans coexisted and competed across the African continent--exchanging genes, tools, and behavioral strategies.


Stringer draws on analyses of old and new fossils from around the world, DNA studies of Neanderthals (using the full genome map) and other species, and recent archeological digs to unveil his new theory. He shows how the most sensational recent fossil findings fit with his model, and he questions previous concepts (including his own) of modernity and how it evolved.

Lone Survivors will be the definitive account of who and what we were, and will change perceptions about our origins and about what it means to be human.



Editorial Reviews

Review

“When it comes to human evolution [Chris Stringer] is as close to the horse's mouth as it gets Lone Survivors should be the one-stop source on the subject. Read it now.”
—Henry Gee, BBC Focus

“Combining the thrill of a novel with a remarkable depth of perspective, the book offers a panorama of recent developments in paleoanthropology . . . refreshingly politically incorrect.” —Jean-Jacques Hublin, Nature

“Readers seeking to advance beyond the usual flamboyant field researchers will enjoy this intense, detailed account of what the world’s anthropologists are doing, thinking, and quarrelling about.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

CHRIS STRINGER is the author of The Complete World of Human Evolution, Homo britannicus, and more than two hundred books and papers on the subject of human evolution. One of the world's foremost paleoanthropologists, he is a researcher at the Natural History Museum in London and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has three children and lives in Sussex and London.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1325 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0805088911
  • Publisher: Times Books (March 13, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005XMK898
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,603 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(96)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
181 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Origins Explained, and Explained Superbly! April 2, 2012
By Chris
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Chris Stringer's "Lone Survivors: How We Came to be the Only Humans on Earth" comes along some seventeen years after his ground-breaking book "African Exodus: The Origins of Modern Humanity" (Henry Holt, 1996). Stringer is one of the principal architects and proponents of the "Out-of-Africa" (OOA) hypothesis associated with the origin and dispersal of anatomically modern humans, i.e., Homo sapiens. According to Stringer and the OOA hypothesis, anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa nearly 200,000 years ago, and then 'something' happened about 50,000 years ago that resulted in essentially the relatively rapid spread of our species into much of Eurasia, eastern Asia, Indonesia and Australia, and into western Europe over a period of about 10,000 years! What is even more remarkable is that it now appears that there were other populations of archaic Homo species that we coexisted and/or competed with for a time, likely including Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, and the newly discovered little people of Flores, Homo floresiensis.

In just under 280 pages, Chris Stringer takes the reader through the history of our human origins with the fossil evidence. He synthesizes the latest advances in knowledge associated with paleoclimatology, geochronological dating methods, and geology and plate tectonics. Most importantly, Stringer spends much of the book talking about the evolution of human behavior (e.g., developing and utilizing technology, use of symbolism, developing survival and coping strategies, burial of dead, etc.). The evolutionary steps leading to Homo sapiens wasn't a given.
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars difficult but informative read October 14, 2012
By DaLaoHu
Format:Hardcover
I'm having a tough time deciding whether to give this book three stars or four. This is a very informative book, no doubt about that. If you're a layperson like me interested in the latest developments in the field of human origins, this book provides a wealth of up-to-date information and will also lead you into new ways of thinking about the subject. For instance, in my case, although it seems so obvious in retrospect, I never considered how important such a simple thing as population size was to the ultimate evolution of our species. But of course, ancient human populations were not necessarily expansive, as I had always tended to think of them, but at times could have been (and most likely were) limited to very small pockets of survivors, greatly impacting their ultimate chances for survival. And perhaps more importantly, greatly impacting the results of any survival. (Which leads to the further question, which the author puts forward: how many pockets like these might there have been which we do not yet even know about?)

And for this wealth of knowledge I give it four stars. This is a book well worth reading. You will be gifted with a thorough and thought-provoking survey of most of the recent trends and discoveries concerning the subject of human origins.

But, oh, the writing and editing ... It seems to me this book was a rush job, that with the field changing so quickly, both the author and editor felt compelled to get it to the market fast. And the text suffers for it. There are far too many references that are not adequately followed up on or placed out of context. Often the reader is left to simply scratch his head and wonder: what? And perhaps then wonder why even bother to continue. The chapter on dating techniques is almost unbearable.
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this book... April 10, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Lone Survivor, titled Origin of Our Species in the UK, is an up-to-date overview of the science and speculation about our species' nature and survival. I found it well written and enjoyable but confusing at times because of a lack of headings of the different sections in the chapters. Springer changes topics and develops ideas within each chapter that could have been emphasized and organized by sub-headings.
The author deals mainly with the origins, cultures and travels of Erectus, Heidelbergensis, the Neanderthals and Sapiens. So, the book is focused on our species as the "lone survivor" with passing references to much earlier species. Springer also pays attention to the Neanderthals and, I believe, is up-to-date in the DNA science. I especially liked Springer's theory that cultures both grow and degenerate, explaining that physical and cultural changes may not be linear. He touches on art, language, and possible spiritual beliefs. Only occasionally did the author's suppositions not get labelled as such. For example, he mentioned that we are the only species to remember our dreams...
While this book is not a pure academic presentation nor a basic book nor summer beach read, it is written by an experienced scientist who is still entranced with his subject. I came away from this book with much more knowledge, the feeling that I had almost been in a conversation with the author and an admiration for the multiple hominids that walked all over this planet.
This book is worth a read and re-read! It has, by the way, a great bibliography. For more reviews, please check with AmazonUK.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Paleontology has always interested me. No exception here.
Published 1 month ago by Wayne McKirdy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Excellent, came on time, wrapped up nicely. Thanks
Published 1 month ago by Anne Gorman
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly presented story of our evolution
Brilliantly presented story of our evolution, beautifully written, a real page-turner. So many mysteries, so many fascinating discoveries. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Susan on the Gold Coast
4.0 out of 5 stars Important book, hard book to review and read – but for the right...
This is a book worth the effort, and you will get out of it what you put into it.

AUTHOR
As a noted researcher and theorist, Chris Stringer is a leading... Read more
Published 1 month ago by BTL
5.0 out of 5 stars Are we from Africa? Is the hobbit another human?
Chris is a great science writer, right up there with Ian Tattersal. His writing is accessible to all readers. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul from Lake Forest
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough read but worth it.
A bit of a tough read because all of the technical references. But, they are all explained, and, if you work it out it is very informative.
Published 1 month ago by Wayne
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
OK
Published 2 months ago by Rene
4.0 out of 5 stars A well written and very interesting reading
Cool and easy to read book. The author explains in a simple way what was known until 2012 about the evolution of humans and our closest relatives during the last couple of hundred... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Fernando Ugarte
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative read
Lone survivors is a great review on current knowledge relating to human evolution. The book is very informative without getting too technical.
Published 3 months ago by ddmo01
4.0 out of 5 stars it's a good review of the status of our knowledge of w ...
Even with a master's in biology Chris Stronger lost me in places due to the technical nature of the subject matter. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tom Parker
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