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Neanderthals and Modern Humans: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective (Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology) 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0521820875
ISBN-10: 0521820871
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Editorial Reviews

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"Clive Finlayson wrote Neanderthals and Modern Humans to promote a different view, that climate-not invaders with more sophisticated culture-condemned the Neanderthals...valuable for its synthesis of the climatic backdrop to later human evolution, which reminds us of the remarkable climatic challenges that our Pleistocene predecessors had to face." Science

Book Description

During the Pleistocene, human populations spread across the world. The Neanderthals were a people native to Europe who became extinct between 40 and 30 thousand years ago. Neanderthals and Modern Humans challenges the commonly held view that this extinction was caused by the arrival of our ancestors, Modern Humans, from Africa. Instead, Clive Finlayson provides evidence that it was because the Neandertals could not adapt fast enough to changing ecological and environmental conditions, and that their relationship with Modern Humans, where they met, was subtle.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology (Book 38)
  • Hardcover: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521820871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521820875
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,786,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert O. DeVries on June 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very scholarly and technical book. Be prepared for pages of charts and computer projections. But it is also a very refreshing book because the author is willing to follow the scientific evidence wherever it leads, and to disregard the previously established consensus which was based on incomplete research.
The case the author builds for his theory that there was minimal human-Neanderthal contact, and that Neanderthal extinction was caused by inability to adapt to unstable climatic conditions is quite impressive. I was especially interested in the author's review of climate changes during the Pleistocene. His research is so complete that it may also be relevant to the current global warming debates. Any serious criticisms of his theory or major revisions to it will need new and compelling evidence.
The book ends on an unnecessary negative note, "That we are here today is the end result of a series of chance events...It could easily have gone the other way." In fact C S Lewis and other Christian writers have long ago put to rest the notion that there is an inherent contradiction between evolution and the Christian message. The last paragraph could easily have been omitted, but the rest of the book is must reading for anyone interested in the subject of Neanderthal extinction.
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