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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution (Cambridge Reference Book)

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521467865
ISBN-10: 0521467861
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Editorial Reviews


"This book is unquestionably the best reference work dedicated to human evolution yet published....The stunning computer-generated composite image of human and chimpanzee faces that graces the cover illustrates the unmistakable link between humans and other primates that is emphasized on the pages within....The book resembles and reads like a textbook as much as an encyclopedia....This work is a comprehensive catalog of present knowledge and thus an absolutely essential source for all libraries." Library Journal

"...this Cambridge title offers a wide-ranging introduction to the field...both comprehensive and usable...This work is highly recommended for general and research libraries of all types...The authoritative source material is both readable and accurate within the framework of current data." Laurel Grozinger, American Reference Books Annual

"...succeeds admirably....a fascinating and beautiful introduction to human evolution in its broadest context....a useful reference for anyone interested in the subject." John G. Fleagle, The Quarterly Review of Biology

"In all, this is an essential purchase for any anthropology library." The Times Higher Education Supplement

"If (whether student or professional) you're interested in human evolution, you'll want to have this volume handy." Ian Tattersall, Nature

"...I can think of no more useful guide to the research topics of general human evolution. Individually and collectively the essays are readable and scholarly, and the stylistic presentation is highly professional. At the very least it should be on the required reading list for courses on human evolution, for teachers and students alike." Walter Carl Hartwig, Evolutionary Anthropology

"...a fine book; a worthy addition to the excellent Cambridge Encyclopedia series. Great to have on the shelves." Colin Tudge, New Scientist

"...covers human ecology through broad topical articles. Topically, this new encyclopedia seems stronger on most behavior issues and provides more extensive attention to the evolution and ecology of relevant living primates, such as lemurs and monkeys. In addition, it is more up to date on such controversies as 'Mitochondrial Eve.' The academic approach and article length of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution will appeal most to university and research libraries." Booklist

"...succeeds in providing truly 'encyclopedic' coverage of the whole gamut of human evolutionary studies....The quality of the writing is, for the most part, excellent, and the editors and contributing authors are to be commended for creating a volume that will be truly useful to a wide range of readers within anthropology, including graduate and undergraduate students as well as professors....I heartily recommend this volume to all anthropologists and university librarians. There is no better single source that I am aware of for finding brief, accurate, and current synopses of the issues, problems, and methods of analysis within the domain of human evolutionary studies." Robert L. Anemone, American Journal of Physical Anthropology

"...a valuable reference book for anyone working in the field of human evolution." Keren R. Rosenberg, American Journal of Human Biology

Book Description

Over seventy scholars worldwide have collaborated on this well-documented introduction to the human species. The volume includes all the reader needs to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of how humankind has developed as well as the means by which scientists investigate the origin of our species.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Reference Book
  • Paperback: 524 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 29, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521467861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521467865
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,204,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Excellent work. In depth treatment of the subject yet accesible to everyone.It covers every imaginable aspect of human evolution by the men and woman that are at the frontiers of this science.
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Format: Paperback
this book fully covers the subject and gives all the scientific details in depth and up to date. many contributors and many graphics. few personal biases, discussion in a scientific style where other books are narrative / prosaic.
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Format: Paperback
Science was born in Greece. They called it episteme. They were likely to equate science with mathematics. But some of them were able to distinguish fronesis, wisdom, empirical knowledge, from science. The noun scientia was coined by our ancestors, the Romans, who distinguished it from sapientia, empirical knowledge. Science is empirical knowledge; but there is empirical knowledge also in the humanities (and particularly in art, law and philology). Faith overcame science with the Jewish-Christian power on Europe in the Middle Ages, even if not everything was bad in that age.
I realize that there is a history of science like there is a history of arts, grammar, law and literature. But in order to be a historian of science you must practice science. You must be a physicist, a chemist, a biologist. The same is true for arts, grammar, law and literature. A history in the wider sense as conceived by the classical philologist and excellent writer Toynbee lacks any depth, even if he gave insights, particularly in literature, which is my favourite subject. Philosophia naturalis meant science until Newton's time. After that usually philosophy means falsified science, anti-science or pseudo-science. However, some books of gnosiology or methodology are still interesting.
I found this Encyclopedia of Cambridge university published in 1992 very useful to me. Even if you want to be a humanist, you have to be in touch with science. Particularly I found these insights in this book.
a) The difference between comparative method and statistical method is showed by clear examples (see for example the scattergram relating body weight and brain weight in primates and other mammals at page 111 and the visual homology between the bones of a gorilla and of man at page 465).
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