What it Means to be 98% Chimpanzee: Apes, People, and Their Genes

Front Cover
University of California Press, 2002 - Mathematics - 312 pages
6 Reviews
The overwhelming similarity of human and ape genes is one of the best-known facts of modern genetic science. But what does this similarity mean? Does it, as many have suggested, have profound implications for understanding human nature? Well-known molecular anthropologist Jonathan Marks uses the human-versus-ape controversy as a jumping-off point for a radical reassessment of a range of provocative issues--from the role of science in society to racism, animal rights, and cloning. Full of interesting facts, fascinating personalities, and vivid examples that capture times and places, this work explains and demystifies human genetic science--showing ultimately how it has always been subject to social and political influences and teaching us how to think critically about its modern findings.
Marks presents the field of molecular anthropology--a synthesis of the holistic approach of anthropology with the reductive approach of molecular genetics--as a way of improving our understanding of the science of human evolution. As he explores the intellectual terrain of this field, he lays out its broad areas of interest with issues ranging from the differences between apes and humans to the biological and behavioral variations expressed in humans as a species. Marks confronts head-on the problems of racial classification in science. He describes current theories about race and uses work in primatology, comparative anatomy, and molecular anthropology to debunk them. He also sheds new light on the controversial Great Ape Project, the Human Genome Diversity Project, and much more. This iconoclastic, witty, and extremely readable book illuminates the deep background of human variation and asks us to reconsider the role of science in modern society.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
4
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee: Apes, People, and Their Genes

User Review  - Scott Frank - Goodreads

The spiritual successor to Stephen Jay Gould's "Mismeasure of Man." Marks, with eloquent humor, tries to teach people why so much of what they think they know isn't quite true. What particularly great ... Read full review

Review: What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee: Apes, People, and Their Genes

User Review  - Thomas Stevenson - Goodreads

In the world of politics, science is whatever you want it to be. Marks says it isn't and set out to show the many ways that science has been misused to lead the unaware or uncritical to incorrect ... Read full review

Contents

MOLECULAR ANTHROPOLOGY
7
THE APE IN YOU
32
HOW PEOPLE DIFFER FROM ONE ANOTHER
51
THE MEANING OF HUMAN VARIATION
72
BEHAVIORAL GENETICS
100
FOLK HEREDITY
128
HUMAN NATURE
159
HUMAN RIGHTS FOR APES?
180
A HUMAN GENE MUSEUM?
198
IDENTITY AND DESCENT
219
IS BLOOD REALLY SO DAMN THICK?
242
SCIENCE RELIGION AND WORLDVIEW
266
Notes and Sources
289
Index
303
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)

Jonathan Marks teaches at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the author of Human Biodiversity: Genes, Race, and History (1995) and coauthor, with Edward Staski, of Evolutionary Anthropology (1992).

Bibliographic information