Bones of Contention: Controversies in the Search for Human Origins

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 16, 1997 - Science - 366 pages
3 Reviews
Bones of Contention is a behind-the-scenes look at the search for human origins. Analyzing how the biases and preconceptions of paleoanthropologists shaped their work, Roger Lewin's detective stories about the discovery of Neanderthal Man, the Taung Child, Lucy, and other major fossils provide insight into this most subjective of scientific endeavors. The new afterword looks at ways in which paleoanthropology, while becoming more scientific
in many ways, remains contentious.

"[An] un-put-downable book."—John Gribbon, Times Educational Supplement

"Not just another 'stones and bones' account of human evolution. It is Lewin's thesis, amply demonstrated, that paleoanthropology is the most subjective of sciences because it engages the emotions of virtually everyone; and since the evidence is scrappy, interpretation is everything. . . . A splendid, stirring, and eye-opening account, to be devoured."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"[Lewin shows] 'how very unscientific the process of scientific inquiry can be.'. . . Bones of Contention is . . . serious intellectual history."—Edward Dolnick, Wall Street Journal

"[Lewin] documents his thesis in persuasive detail. . . . The reader is carried along by the power of Mr. Lewin's reporting."—Robert Wright, New York Times Book Review
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kassilem - LibraryThing

I’m really glad I stumbled on this book. I made a list of anthropology books to read a couple of months ago and then one day I was browsing the anthropology section in my university campus library and ... Read full review

Review: Bones of Contention: Controversies in the Search for Human Origins

User Review  - Vincent Velasquez - Goodreads

Fantastic account of some of the most controversial moments in Paleoanthropology. Read full review

Contents

Bones of Contention
13
The Storytellers
30
The Taung Child Rejection
47
The Taung Child Acceptance
63
Ramas Ape Resurrected
85
Ramas Ape Destroyed
105
The Leakeys Father
128
The Leakeys Son
152
The KBS Tuff Controversy Denouement
225
Lucy The Naming
268
Lucy The Response
285
Mans Place in Nature
301
Afterword
321
Notes
337
Index
357
Copyright

The KBS Tuff Controversy Genesis
189

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About the author (1997)

Roger Lewin is a prize-winning author and wrote the acclaimed Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos; recipient of the inaugural Lewis Thomas Award for excellence in the communication of life sciences; and the 1992 Award for contribution to issues in conservation by the Society of Conservation Biology. Between 1990 and 1993, he was a visiting professor in biology at Wayne State University, and an associate of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University from 1993 to 1998. He speaks frequently around the world at conferences on complexity science and business.

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