Bones of Contention: Controversies in the Search for Human Origins

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 16, 1997 - Science - 366 pages
2 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

Bones of contention: controversies in the search for human origins

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Lewin, an editor of Science magazine and co-author with Richard Leakey of Origins and People of The Lake , has written a fascinating inside look at the field of paleoanthropology, including some of ... Read full review


Bones of Contention
The Storytellers
The Taung Child Rejection
The Taung Child Acceptance
Ramas Ape Resurrected
Ramas Ape Destroyed
The Leakeys Father
The Leakeys Son
The KBS Tuff Controversy Denouement
Lucy The Naming
Lucy The Response
Mans Place in Nature

The KBS Tuff Controversy Genesis

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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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