Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

A Search for Who We Are

Book - 1992
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"Dazzling...A feast. Absorbing and elegantly written, it tells of theorigins of life on earth, describes its variety and charaacter, and culminates in a discussion of human nature and teh complex traces ofhumankind's evolutionary past...It is an amazing story masterfully told." FINANCIAL TIMES (LONDON) World renowned scientist Carl Sagan and acclaimed author Ann Druyan have written a ROOTS for the human species, a lucid and riveting account of how humans got to be the way we are. It shows with humor and drama that many of our key traits--self-awareness, technology, family ties, submission to authority, hatred for those a little different from ourselves, reason, and ethics--are rooted in the deep past, and illuminated by our kinship with other animals. Astonishing in its scope, brilliant in its insights, and an absolutely compelling read, SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS is a triumph of popular science.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c1992.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780394534817
Characteristics: xvi, 505 pages ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Druyan, Ann 1949-


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Jan 29, 2013

Lots of interesting examples of animal behavior.
Main thesis: is there any human quality that is uniquely human?
: NO. Every quality that is deemed as purely human is identified in animals, especially primates.
Very interesting ideas on xenophobia, how there is an optimum group size for evolution. Any larger and (beneficial) changes are quickly diluted. Any smaller and cross-breeding and group-vulnerability becomes an issue.

johnami Mar 21, 2012

Many complex ideas are clearly communicated in "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors." The main topic is evolutionary biology, from the very first instances of life on earth to the complexities of the present time. The authors provide a dramatic, moving narrative about how life came to be on our planet. They follow its path through billions of years of evolution, explain what evolution is and how it functions, and explain how all life on earth is related to the earliest lifeforms, even though they, and the earth itself, were so vastly different eons ago. A number of chapters examine our place in the primate species, especially by comparison with the behavior of chimpanzees. Clear scientific language and interesting, challenging concepts make this book a pleasure and challenge to read.

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