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

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University of California Press, 2002 - Mathematics - 312 pages
6 Reviews
"In this clever, entertaining, and thoughtful book, Marks lays out some important limitations of science in general and genetics in particular. Using terms that everybody can understand, he demolishes the pretensions of scientists who try to use genetics to answer questions about the kinship of nations, the rights of animals, the racial identity of Kennewick Man, the hereditary Jewish priesthood, and the existence of God. Marks has a lot of fun with all this-and so will his readers."--Matt Cartmill, author of A View to Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature through History

"What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee covers a range of contemporary issues that are likely to be with us for a long time to come. No book written by a geneticist comes anywhere close."--Jon Beckwith, Research Professor, American Cancer Society, Harvard Medical School, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

"This witty book takes on perhaps the most fundamental biological, political, cultural, and epistemological question: How do we know what is similar to what, and when does it matter? Yet I hardly minded being dispossessed of a tale or two, left with a much better account of human genetic history and diversity, the triviality of too much that passes for science, and the important task of crafting a biological anthropology that takes both parts of its name seriously."--Donna Haraway, author of Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science

"Marks provides an informed and powerful critique of reductionist claims about genetics as an explanation of human behavior, cognitive abilities, and racial differences. His colorful examples range from the common ancestry of humans with daffodils and our similarities with fruit flies. A great book!"--Dorothy Nelkin, coauthor of The DNA Mystique: The Gene as a Cultural Icon

"Marks's superb teaching, lively wit, razor-sharp logic, and impeccable scientific insight come together in this book. While controversial, this narrative also proves that science and humanism can and must (if we are to navigate the unsettling future that biotech promises) mix."--Gina Maranto, Quest for Perfection: The Drive to Breed Better Humans

"A compulsively readable, erudite, and intensely personal view of our biology and our place in nature. Marks unhesitatingly plunges into the morass of human cultural, genetic, and political diversities, and in the process produces much for all of us to ponder."--Ian Tattersall, author of Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness

"There is no book just like this one. It will open further a needed debate on quality of scientific argumentation and the inherent politics of human science."--Alan H. Goodman, coeditor of Building a New Biocultural Synthesis: Political-Economic Perspectives on Human Biology

"This book is timely, engaging, authoritative, and provocative."--Kenneth Korey, Professor of Anthropology, Dartmouth College
  

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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

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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).

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