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The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution Paperback – October 19, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
And there is quite a bit of meat. Many books on human evolution have one main narrative arc; e.g., the Out-of-Africa migration, or the discovery of the Hobbits of Flores. In contrast, works which focus on world events tend to take a broad "peoples & places" vantage point, with little concern for non-human dynamics. As the authors note, *The 10,000 Year Explosion* is actually a work of genetic history, so naturally its purview is broader and its foundation more varied than is normally the case with narratives which attempt to sketch out the shape of human history. In fact, it is fundamentally different than other popular works of genetic history, such as *The Journey of Man* or *The Seven Daughters of Eve*. While those books attempt to infer prehistoric population movements from the patterns of particular genes today, *The 10,000 Year Explosion* aims to give full treatment to the evolutionary power of natural selection in shaping human history. Human migrations may shape genetics, but *The 10,000 Year Explosion* shows how genetics may shape human migrations, how culture may shape genetics, and how genetics may shape culture!
The abstract models which serve as the theory are fleshed out with specific case studies and familiar dynamics.Read more ›
The findings are new and the book feels a little raw. The authors know that many of their findings are subject to restatement on the basis of further research. One has the feeling that their objective is not to have the final word, but to reframe the argument. Intelligence researchers and others have long contended that there are statistically significant, measurable differences among populations. The essence of the counterargument has been "No, that can't be. There has not been enough time." Cochran and Harpending cite a vast body of evidence to the effect that yes, evolution can create vast differences among populations in the timeframe under discussion. They cite the great variety to be observed among dogs and other animals, and cultivated crops, just within the last century or two. The authors claim that the thesis that there have been no significant evolutionary changes in Homo sapiens over the past 50,000 years is about as likely as dumping a bag full of silver dollars on the floor and observing that they all land on edge. Simply impossible.
They are bold to suggest that interbreeding with Neanderthals may have sparked what they call the "great leap forward" and others refer to as the "Neolithic Revolution." They argue two ways.Read more ›
At some level, the idea is plainly correct. Sickle cell anemia, for example, results from an adaptation to malaria. Those who had the gene were more likely to live long enough to have offspring, so the genes that code for malaria resistance are much more frequent in populations originating from areas where malaria has been historically common.
The same principle explains why the New World's inhabitants were almost completely wiped out by diseases imported from the Old World--by some estimates, mortality approached 90% of the pre-1492 population of North America and South America. The denizens of the Old World had been pastoralists and farmers much longer than their New World counterparts, and so had been exposed to a host of nasty diseases that originate from domesticated animals (e.g., smallpox). The farmers who were lucky enough to have a genetic adaptation that could resist the diseases passed the adaptation along to their offspring, and over hundreds or thousands of years the genetic defense swept through the whole population. By the time Columbus reached the New World, he and has compatriots had evolved to resist the Old World's diseases.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I agree with many of the two star reviews especially that of j.a. haverstick. I can't add much to those reviews. Read morePublished 2 months ago by doug korty
So interesting! The book brought into question the prevailing accepted dogma about evolution that existed at the time of it's publishing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by cathi thacker
I have now read this book twice on Kindle and then ordered the hardcover version, which is easier to leaf back and forth and make notes in. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael T Kennedy
I have very mixed feelings about this book. In many places it reads almost like something off a racist's bookshelf. So Ashkenazi Jews are smarter than other people? Read morePublished 2 months ago by James Kenney
This review is on the book, "The 10,000 Year Explosion" and the authors are Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ralph D. Hermansen
dont show your vegan/vegitarian/raw/specific and vocal nich group friend this bookPublished 4 months ago by Tonee
A fascinating read. Much of what the authors write is speculative, for example, the nature of the traits that civilization would select. Read morePublished 4 months ago by sciencedude