Lone Survivors

Lone Survivors

How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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A leading researcher on human evolution proposes a new and controversial theory of how our species came to be

In this groundbreaking and engaging work of science, world-renowned paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer sets out a new theory of humanity's origin, challenging both the multiregionalists (who hold that modern humans developed from ancient ancestors in different parts of the world) and his own "out of Africa" theory, which maintains that humans emerged rapidly in one small part of Africa and then spread to replace all other humans within and outside the continent. Stringer's new theory, based on archeological and genetic evidence, holds that distinct humans coexisted and competed across the African continent--exchanging genes, tools, and behavioral strategies.

Stringer draws on analyses of old and new fossils from around the world, DNA studies of Neanderthals (using the full genome map) and other species, and recent archeological digs to unveil his new theory. He shows how the most sensational recent fossil findings fit with his model, and he questions previous concepts (including his own) of modernity and how it evolved.

Lone Survivors will be the definitive account of who and what we were, and will change perceptions about our origins and about what it means to be human.

Publisher: New York : Times Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2012.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780805088915
Branch Call Number: 599.938 STR
Characteristics: xii, 320 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm

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stewstealth
May 08, 2014

This is an informative book on the history of modern humans and their predecessors. The narrative could have been better with some of the ancillary information included in end notes instead of the text. Definitely worth reading for anyone interested in the subject.

r
ReidCooper
Jan 15, 2014

An excellent, highly readable book on the evolution of modern humans. The big challenge is, so much is being discovered now thanks to new technnologies, this book will need a revised edition soon.

s
Stratified_nomad
Mar 23, 2013

While highly informative, I just don't find Stringer to be a very compelling writer. He obviously commands a thorough understand of paleoanthropology, but most of his presentation is fairly mundane. That said, this book is absolutely worthwhile for those interested in human evolution. I agree with another poster that some of the terminology is fairly scientific/technical for general readers; a glossary would have been very useful.

s
SEELOCHAN BEHARRY
Jan 31, 2013

This is one of the best reads of 2012. Remarkable amount of information from different fields are well put together.
If one reads only one book in science per year this would be great choice
Seelochan Beharry

d
Drayjayeff
Aug 06, 2012

I found this a fascinating read. Stringer's excitement about his field and its recent discoveries are infectious. He's adept at explaining complex topics in accessible language. The only real criticism I have concerns specialized terminology. Having defined a term once, Stringer seems to expect us to retain that information. Doesn't work well for the lay reader. A glossary would have been very helpful.

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