Self-Made Man: Human Evolution from Eden to Extinction

Jonathan Kingdon, Author, Kingdon, Author John Wiley & Sons $27 (369p) ISBN 978-0-471-30538-5
Prehistoric humans, in Oxford zoologist Kingdon's view, were preoccupied with making, fine-tuning and applying tools. In his ambitous scenario, the quest for new technologies, rather than pure Darwinian selection, played a key role in human evolution. By speculatively mapping the dispersal of modern humans out of Africa across the continents, Kingdon fleshes out the currently fashionable ``Noah's Ark model'' of evolution, which is rejected by those paleoanthropologists who support a multiple-origins model. This provocative and lively saga of human origins also contends that the four or five classic ``races'' share a highly mixed genetic past, with Africans being ``genetically the most diverse people on earth.'' Europeans, by Kingdon's reckoning, are mostly recent migrants out of Africa and the Middle East, while the Japanese are a mix of Koreans and Ainu. Kingdon calls today's environmental movement ``a major turning point in human history,'' as society seeks to put limits on technology's dangerous side effects. Illustrated. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 369 pages - 978-0-471-15960-5
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