Fire: The Spark That Ignited Human Evolution

Frances D. Burton, Author University of New Mexico Press $34.95 (231p) ISBN 978-0-8263-4646-9
Anthropology professor and primate expert Burton combs the evidence for clues to how our ancestors went from observing wild grassland fires to producing and using their own, and how that ability furthered evolutionary development. At the heart of thetext lies a detailed study of light; Burton details the quantity of light produced by various natural sources, from a moonless night to bright sunlight, and discusses how light reception impacts humans. For instance, ""Would a campfire have produced the light necessary to have had a physiological effect on our ancestors?"" Comparing results from a detailed campfire experiment with research on melatonin and circadian rhythms, Burton concludes that, in fact, ""the repercussions throughout hormonal systems and patterns of brain activity over time may be a critical factor in explaining the divergence of our species."" Burton further explores bipedalism, diet and social groups, and discusses scientific evidence for the dating of fire's use. With great detail and concise arguments, this well-sourced work will fascinate armchair scientists with an interest in anthropology and evolution.
Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Show other formats
FORMATS
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-8263-4648-3
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.