African Exodus: The Origins of Modern Humanity

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Macmillan, Jun 15, 1998 - History - 282 pages
From Christopher Stringer and Robin McKie's research we learn that we are a young species that rose like a phoenix from a crisis that threatened our survival and then conquered the world in a few millennia. "We emerged out of Africa," the authors contend, "less than 100,000 years ago and replaced all other human populations." Our genes betray this secret of common racial heritage; further, the apparent racial distinctions of modern humans that have given rise to centuries of prejudice and inequality are shown to be merely geographical variants. Drawing on impressive fossil and genetic evidence and writing in an exceptionally readable style, Christopher Stringer, the primary architect of the Out of Africa model, and science writer Robin McKie challenge a long-held assumption that our species evolved separately as different races with ancient genetic roots, reaching back two million years. Instead, the authors go beyond the incomplete fossil record to the nuclear genome, "from the bones of the dead to the blood of the living," to tell the dramatic story of how our species thrived while others, including Neanderthals, died out. They argue persuasively that though modern humans may not always look alike, our biological constitutions are unvarying: An Eskimo and an Australian aborigine, a Chinese and a Swede - people worlds apart - are more alike than two gorillas from the same forest. It is the same DNA lineage that points unmistakably to a common ancestor whose offspring evolved into Homo sapiens shortly before the African exodus. By revealing the fount of all humanity while also exposing one of the most important and bitter debates in contemporary science, African Exodus reaches beyond paleoanthropology to politics and culture to answer definitively The Bell Curve.

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AFRICAN EXODUS: The Origins of Modern Humanity

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As surely as night follows day, one could expect a retort to the multiregional evolution of Homo sapiens as expounded by Milford Wolpoff et al. (in Race and Human Evolution, 1996). In the latter ... Read full review

African exodus: the origins of modern humanity

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In sharp contrast to the multiregional interpretation of hominid development offered by Milford Wolpoff and Rachel Caspari in Race and Human Evolution (LJ 12/96), Stringer, director of the Human ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Dr. Christopher Stringer, the scientist responsible for the single-origin theory, is the director of the Human Origins Group at the Natural History Museum in London.

Robin McKie is the Science Editor of the Observer in London.

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