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First in Line: Tracing Our Ape Ancestry Hardcover – May 10, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

One of the most important fossils of paleoanthropology is a skull discovered in South Africa in 1924 by anatomist Raymond Dart. But the skull's assignment to revolutionary status was several decades in the making, an intellectual process here analyzed by Gundling. The overturning of one scientific theory by another could be considered an arcane topic; however, the popularity of the landmark book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn (1970), would seem to undermine that premise, and Gundling makes a case study of Kuhn's ideas. Gundling explains a process by which Dart's fossil, after initially being disparaged by establishment figures as an ape ancestor, came to be accepted by 1950 as a human ancestor. Gundling connects the papers and symposia by which Dart was vindicated for the growing number of readers au courant on the science of human origins. Gilbert Taylor
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"A superb work! First in Line provides an exciting history of the search for the fossil hominid record, and promises to compete successfully with today's palaeoanthropological literature." Kenneth A.R. Kennedy, Cornell University


“Gundling’s work not only illuminates this one important historical situation but also provides an instructive caution to present-day paleoanthropologists as they evaluate other scientists’ ideas and theories. And, Gundling’s conclusions will find echoes in other areas of scientific and intellectual history.”—Andrew Hill, Yale University and Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History


“Gundling’s work not only illuminates this one important historical situation but also provides an instructive caution to present-day paleoanthropologists as they evaluate other scientists’ ideas and theories. And, Gundling’s conclusions will find echoes in other areas of scientific and intellectual history.”—Andrew Hill, Yale University and Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
(Andrew Hill)

"Gundling places the history of an important paleoanthropological thread within a straightforward and well-articulated framework. His book is an original work of sound scholarship."—Ian Tattersall, American Museum of Natural History
(Ian Tattersall)













"A superb work! First in Line provides an exciting history of the search for the fossil hominid record, and promises to compete successfully with today’s paleoanthropological literature."—Kenneth A.R. Kennedy, Cornell University







(Kenneth A.R. Kennedy)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (May 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300104146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300104141
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,447,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By K. Washington on July 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Gundling presented fascinating scientific information without excess use of "jargon". I'm a scientist, but anthropology is not my field and I found this book very interesting, well written with a good listing of resources.

I learned a lot.
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