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The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee: How Our Animal Heritage Affects the Way We Live Paperback – July 1, 2003
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More About the Author
Additional information about Dr. Diamond may be found at his personal website, www.jareddiamond.org.
Top Customer Reviews
To begin with, Diamond first examines the fact that we share more than 98 per cent of our genes with chimps, and so he concludes that by the rules of zoology we are in fact a third species of chimp. He then proceeds with his thesis, setting out to examine what it is in our genes that accounts for our dramatic rise and makes us so exceptionally different to chimps and all other animals. Much of his discussion examines the following proposition: There must be animal precedents in the things that we like to feel make us human (including tools, art, language, and plant and animal domestication) - as well as in some less positive things (murder, genocide, habitat destruction) - for such a small difference in genes to have gone such a long way. Accordingly, there is much to fascinate people who enjoy reading about some of the wonderful oddities and curiosities belonging to the human and animal kingdom, as Diamond considers the precedents and precursors of these attributes in animals, and then traces their rise in Cro-Magnon man.Read more ›
There is a lot of very interesting information in the book. Though some of it I had read before in other contexts, here what are fragments of data in other books are arranged in a way that their importance to the whole picture of human history can be more easily understood and appreciated. The author definitely has a handle on the wider perspective. As a naturalist and professor of physiology, he sees humanity as "Homo sapiens," and animal much like other animals.
I had read about the concept and content of "Indo-European" languages years ago when studying ancient history.Read more ›
At the end, actualy it paints a bleak future for humanity and is somewhat a depressing book in this sense.
Do you believe that you are directly related to today's apes? Specifically, that you are a third species of chimpanzee? Jared Diamond makes a pretty strong case for it. Moreover DNA testing proves that chimps are our closest living relative. You may not have known it, but there are two species of chimp in the world today; the common chimp and the Bonobo or pygmy chimp. if humans are as closely related to them as DNA testing indicates, then we are clearly the third species of chimpanzee.
I recently observed the Bonobos in the San Diego zoo and I didn't know whether they were Bonobos or common chimps until I read the sign telling me that they were Bonobos. It was about two million years ago that these two chimp species had a common ancestor and after all that time elapsing, it is hard to tell them apart. It is only about 5 to 7 million years ago, that humans and chimps had a common ancestor according to DNA aging analysis yet it is obvious that we humans are very different from chimps. How did this come to be?
Jared Diamond fills the rest of his book answering that question. Much of the ground-breaking research and discovery in the story of pre-humans and prehistoric humans was done by anthropologists and their work is summarized by Diamond. Yet Diamond has lived among stone age cultures and has a large contribution to make to the discussion from that valuable experience. Moreover, Diamond is an independent thinker in the full sense of the term. He doesn't always agree with the popular scientific views and builds very good cases for his differing interpretations.
If human prehistory interests you, then I think you will enjoy this book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Diamond sites many intreging facts from research on other species which support his "third chimpanzee" holding. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Egil Krokskogen
Brilliant. Jared Diamond continues to illuminate even after several readings.Published 17 months ago by Glen Small
Great book although a bit dated now but still relevant in nearly every way, although there is a bit of a lacuna about Denisovans and new discoveries about Neanderthals because this... Read morePublished 18 months ago by V. R. Esselaar
Jared Diamond is one of my favourite writers, so I am perhaps a little bit biased.
This is one of his earlier books and I enjoyed it as much as I did his later books. Read more
As always - I can't refrain from reading Jared Diamond because each of his books enrichened me tremendously!!Published 18 months ago by Georg Pischinger
This is scholarship material, as are all of Diamond's books. Maybe not what you read on the beach on a summer afternoon. (But you can, of course! Read morePublished 19 months ago by Joel M. Wilson