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Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You: Busting Myths about Human Nature Hardcover – June 12, 2012
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we do what we do," Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You is for you."
"This book is a must for anyone looking to explore where the lines of human nature and artificial class structure are, and where Fuentes says they've been artificially created."--Charleston Post & Courier
"Fuentes deserves praise for and success with this book. The myth-busting toolkit, which is essentially a pattern of questioning, is a wonderful device. . . . Fuentes is not just informing, he is teaching readers how to think critically."--Washington Independent Review of Books
"Where these myths come from, and how to bust them, is the basis of this lively,
thoughtful book. Fuentes declares himself on neither side of the debate...
Instead he's firmly on team logic." -The Boston Globe
"In this compelling bit of pop science, Fuentes, professor of anthropology at Notre Dame, asks readers to throw out their preconceptions about what it means to be a human."--Publishers Weekly
"...a provocative text for both novices to the field of biological anthropology and seasoned professionals....At the core of Fuentes' argument is the relationship between the real world complexities of biocultural systems and the reality of reductionist, often misguided, commonly held understandings
of such systems" Adam Van Arsdale American Journal of Physcial Anthropology 152(1)
"The author masterly conveys his knowledge in an informative way. . . . If you are willing to enhance your worldview by sleuthing to discover 'who we are and why we do what we do, ' Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You is for you. Whether you agree with Fuentes or not, it will at least engage your critical thinking skills and encourage you to be a more active and discerning consumer of information."--"Science (Aaas)"
"This book is a must for anyone looking to explore where the lines of human nature and artificial class structure are, and where Fuentes says they've been artificially created."--"Charleston Post & Courier"
"Fuentes dismantles persistent fallacies about the validity of biological races, innateness of aggression, nature of monogamy and differences between sexes."--"Living Anthropologically"
"Accessible, compelling, and original, this book is a rich and nuanced account of how nature, culture, experience, and choice interact to influence human behavior."--Ian Paulsen"Birdbooker Report/The Guardian" (07/15/2012)
"Useful. . . . [Fuentes] debunks some popular misconceptions about evolutionary change and provides a basic primer on evolutionary theory."--Joan C. Stevenson, Western Washington University"American Jrnl Of Human Biology" (04/11/2013)
"Engaging. . . . Fuentes's work goes a long way toward burying some of the most pervasive myths about human beings."--Stefano B. Longo and Nicholas Malone"Monthly Review" (04/16/2013)
"Recommended."--J. Stauder, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth"Choice" (11/20/2012)"
Accessible, compelling, and original, this book is a rich and nuanced account of how nature, culture, experience, and choice interact to influence human behavior. --Ian Paulsen"Birdbooker Report/The Guardian" (07/15/2012)"
Recommended. --J. Stauder, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth"Choice" (11/20/2012)"
Useful. . . . [Fuentes] debunks some popular misconceptions about evolutionary change and provides a basic primer on evolutionary theory. --Joan C. Stevenson, Western Washington University"American Jrnl Of Human Biology" (04/11/2013)"
Engaging. . . . Fuentes s work goes a long way toward burying some of the most pervasive myths about human beings. --Stefano B. Longo and Nicholas Malone"Monthly Review" (04/16/2013)"
From the Inside Flap
Agustín Fuentes has established himself as an original and authoritative voice for the study of human origins. While interrogating the narrative of where we came from, the domain of both science and mythology, he explains scientific subtleties with grace and ease and successfully guides us through a confrontation with our bio-cultural nature.”Jonathan Marks, author of What it Means to be 98% Chimpanzee
Fuentes brings together an enormous array of information from diverse fields to counter some of the most pervasive myths about human nature in our society.” Karen B. Strier, author of Primate Behavioral Ecology
It is about time that an anthropologist discusses these pervasive myths of human nature and shows them to be just that: myths. Using data from across anthropology and debunking popular writings that do not account for all of the relevant literature, Fuentes does an exceptional job in deconstructing many commonly held beliefs concerning human behavior.” Robert W. Sussman, coauthor of Man the Hunted
Fuentes challenges us to undertake the most fundamental of self-help programs and free ourselves of harmful misconceptions about race, aggression, and sex. By approaching the study of human nature through the lens of evolution, he has produced an illuminating, refreshing, and uplifting view of humanity that is both a superb history of our species and a manual for our future.” Nina G. Jablonski, author of Skin and Living Color
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Top Customer Reviews
In Race, Monogamy, and other Lies, Fuentes takes on what he considers to be the three major myths about humans: biological race, human aggression, and that men and women are wired differently. The first matter of Fuentes' deconstruction revolves around his rejection of the "nature-nurture" dichotomy.Read more ›
A more reasonable approach is adopted by Professor Jerry Coyne, who recently wrote:
"In my own field of evolutionary biology, races of animals (also called "subspecies" or "ecotypes") are morphologically distinguishable populations that live in allopatry (i.e. are geographically separated). There is no firm criterion on how much morphological difference it takes to delimit a race. Races of mice, for example, are described solely on the basis of difference in coat color, which could involve only one or two genes." Coyne notes that using this approach that of course there are human races.
Fuentes also manages to avoid the work of Professor Neil Risch, the 2004 Curt Stern award winner for outstanding genetics research over the previous 10 years. Risch points out that population genetics research have recapitulated the classical definition of races based on continental ancestry. So to say that race and ethnicity has no biological basis is well intentioned but wrong. You might as well say there is no such thing as population biology. If there were no biological basis to race, then people who identify themselves as African American or Chinese would be no more likely to have certain genes than people who identify themselves as Native American. But that is not true.Read more ›
I thought I would be most interested in the “busting” of monogamy, but Fuentes’ take down of our artificial racial divide is the thing that most stuck with me at the end of this book. Humans tend to view race as a very large, real difference between human beings, but this book pokes serious holes in that assessment. Fuentes shows that race is a minor, superficial difference between humans. This analysis alone is worth the price of the book.
I also felt that religion was needled a bit in this book, if often incidentally in several cases. I read this book as part of a Freethinking book club, and it generated a lot of passion and discussion in the membership. Worth the read.
Above all, Fuentes' book provides what he calls a toolkit for bustin myths about human nature. A strong understanding of evolution is the foundation of the discussion, and Fuentes provides that in one of the early chapters. Most importantly, in the toolkit for busting myths about human nature, he wants readers to understand the things that evolution is not: a process to the best, strongest, fastest, prettiest, or "best" species or individuals; that evolution is over, or that humans have reached the "end of evolution"; that it is oriented toward progress toward a particular goal and that organisms are perfectly suited to their environments; that it all happens by chance. Basically, evolution is change over time within populations in genotype and phenotype. In addition, it involves more than simply natural selection. In detail, he discusses, among other things, gene flow, genetic drift, and the intriguing (and to me, new) niche construction theory; a new habitat or environment that a species constructs can itself become a selecting force in evolution in its own right. By transforming natural selection pressures, niche construction generates feedback in evolution, on a scale hitherto underestimated, and in a manner that alters the evolutionary dynamic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book for introductory anthropology students - it explains sensitive matters clearly and with passion. Read morePublished 16 months ago by R. R. Wilk
This book reads like an apologetic book that tries to change the reality by twisting facts and presenting fantasy as reality! Read morePublished on December 12, 2013 by Luis
I absolutely love this book, as a therapist it gives me a lot to think about and share with my clients, this book also represents a shift in perspectives of how we see ourselves... Read morePublished on April 7, 2013 by A. L. Rainey
this book does a lot to give information on what are cultural differences. these differences can cause lots of problems. Read morePublished on December 18, 2012 by So. Cal Resident
Disappointed in this book. Started to lose me with a small mistake in physics, then started debunking myths that were proved false long ago (like a genetic basis for race) or that... Read morePublished on August 25, 2012 by W. McAnally