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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen a concise population history of our species
In a book notable for its accessibility to non-specialists, Cavalli-Sforza presents a concise overview of the history of our species. He relies first and foremost on relationships among aboriginal populations that he has been instrumental in delineating through molecular analyses (e.g. use of blood groups and more recently other systems such as microsatellites). He...
Veröffentlicht am 15. Juni 2000 von Peter Gray

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2.0 von 5 Sternen interesting stuff, needs editing
I bought this book following a very interesting review in the NY Review of Books, but I found it something of a disappointment. It seems to me heavy on genes, and somewhat lighter on people and language, so I would not recommend it unless one is interested in the science involved. I also found a persistent mismatch in the amount of explanation given. Some concepts...
Veröffentlicht am 30. Juli 2000 von Aldo


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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen a concise population history of our species, 15. Juni 2000
In a book notable for its accessibility to non-specialists, Cavalli-Sforza presents a concise overview of the history of our species. He relies first and foremost on relationships among aboriginal populations that he has been instrumental in delineating through molecular analyses (e.g. use of blood groups and more recently other systems such as microsatellites). He also relies on archeological and linguistic evidence as independent lines of evidence. The attempt at synthesis of these varied lines of evidence is admirable. A few figures--one displaying early human migration and another geographical distributions of 17 linguistic families--show some of the key population movements described in the text. I wish there were more of these kinds of summary figures. The book succeeds in clearly explaining concepts such as genetic drift and the utility of different genetic systems for understanding human evolution (e.g.Y chromosome variations help us understand male histories and mitochondrial DNA female histories in particular). It also contains a chapter on language evolution that contrasts principles of linguistic evolution with genetic evolution, and a final chapter on cultural evolution. Overall, this book contains a good, concise, synthetic account of the history of modern humans, beginning with our origins in Africa 100,000-200,000 years ago, and migrating to different parts of the world since and at different times. Much of the work appears to build on a more technical 1994 work: History and Geography of Human Genes, perhaps a more suitable reference for those with more background on these topics. The book could have been improved with more graphical depictions of the population movements discussed, as well as by pictures of major and frequently mentioned aboriginal populations such as the Saami (or Lapplanders).
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A summary of human genetic and linguistic evolution, 18. Juni 2000
Cavalli-Sforza's invaluable contribution to the understanding of why, before the more recent diasporas, we lived were we lived, spoke what we spoke and looked like what we looked like, was made concrete with the publication, in 1994, of the excellent "The History and Geography of Human Genes". Much less complete than this book were the more recent "The Great Human Diasporas" and Sforza's last book, "Genes, Peoples and Languages". These somewhat summarize what can be found in the pages of "The History and Geography of Human Genes", by the same author,with which they share several maps and tables.
Nevertheless, "Genes, Peoples and Languages" was worth reading, since it incorporates more recent genetic data and linguistic research, and this is what you are looking for if you want to keep up with the advances in this field. A more comprehensive explanation to statistical methods used to define genetic trees and to draw principal component maps, plus an interesting chapter on cultural transmission explaining how, in the microsphere, it helps to operate genetic and linguistic evolution, are novelties in this publication.
Putting aside race and its seemingly subjective definitions, racism and its definetely scientifically undermined fundaments, I would like to recommend this book to those who, like myself, are curious laymen fascinated by the matter of human biological and cultural origins. A more thorough approach to the subject(more maps, tables, trees, drawings and text)you'll find in "The History and Geography of Human Genes, though.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Enjoyable, once the politically correct boilerplate is thru, 26. Mai 2000
Cavalli-Sforza & The Reality of Race by Steve Sailer ([...])
The New York Times has hailed "Genes, Peoples, and Languages", the new book by Professor Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, the dean of population geneticists, for "dismantling the idea of race." In the New York Review of Books, Jared Diamond salutes Cavalli-Sforza for "demolishing scientists' attempts to classify human populations into races in the same way that they classify birds and other species into races".
Cavalli-Sforza himself has written, "The classification into races has proved to be a futile exercise"; and that "The idea of race in the human species serves no purpose."
Don't believe any of this. This is merely a politically correct smoke screen that Cavalli-Sforza regularly pumps out that keeps his life's work -- identifying the myriad races of mankind and compiling their genealogies -- from being defunded by the commissars of acceptable thinking at Stanford.
What's striking is how the press falls for his squid ink, even though Cavalli-Sforza can't resist proudly putting his genetic map showing the main races of mankind right on the cover of his 1994 magnum opus, "The History and Geography of Human Genes."
(Here's also a link to Cavalli-Sforza's map on the website of molecular anthropologist Jonathan Marks, author of "Human Biodiversity," one of the few leftists acute enough to notice the spectacular contradiction between Cavalli-Sforza's boilerplate about the meaninglessness of race and the cover of his most important book:........)
This is Cavalli-Sforza's own description of this map that is the capstone of his half century of labor in human genetics: "The color map of the world shows very distinctly the differences that we know exist among the continents: Africans (yellow), Caucasoids (green), Mongoloids ... (purple), and Australian Aborigines (red). The map does not show well the strong Caucasoid component in northern Africa, but it does show the unity of the other Caucasoids from Europe, and in West, South, and much of Central Asia."
Basically, all his number-crunching has produced a map that looks about like what you'd get if you gave Jesse Helms a paper napkin and a box of crayons and had him draw a racial map of the world. In fact, at the global level, Cavalli-Sforza has largely confirmed the prejudices of the more worldly 19th Century imperialists. Rudyard Kipling and Cecil Rhodes could have hunkered down together and whipped up something rather like this map in honor of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
Cavalli-Sforza's new book, "Genes, Peoples, and Languages," is a surprisingly readable updating of a series of lectures on his work that he's been giving for years. It's not at all a bad introduction to this hugely productive scientist. But to find out just how politically unpopular Cavalli-Sforza's findings really are, you need to crack open his tecnically intimidating but endlessly fascinating landmark, "The History and Geography of Human Genes." (The reaonably priced abridged version is all that you'd ever need; the $195 unabridged volume is for libraries only.) It remains the best summary of how the early humans of Africa split apart into the countless racial groups we see today.
Cavalli-Sforza's team compiled extraordinary tables depicting the "genetic distances" separating 2,000 different racial groups from each other. For example, assume the genetic distance between the English and the Danes is equal to 1.0. Then, Cavalli-Sforza has found, the separation between the English and the Italians would be about 2.5 times as large as the English-Danish difference. On this scale, the Iranians would be 9 times more distant genetically from the English than the Danish, and the Japanese 59 times greater. Finally, the gap between the English and the Bantus (the main group of sub-Saharan blacks) is 109 times as large as the distance between the English and the Danish. (The genetic distance between Japanese and Bantus is even greater.)
From these kind of tables, Cavalli-Sforza reached this general conclusion: "The most important difference in the human gene pool is clearly that between Africans and non-Africans ..." As you can imagine, this finding could get him in a bit of hot water if the campus thought police ever found out about it. So, we should certainly forgive the charade he keeps up to fool the New York Times. But, we definitely don't have to believe it.
Ultimately, what is a "race"? It is essentially a lineage, a family tree. A racial group is merely an extremely extended family that inbreeds to some extent. Thus, race is a fundamental aspect of the human condition because we are all born into families. Burying our heads in the sand and refusing to think clearly about this bedrock fact of life only makes the inevitable problems caused by race harder to overcome.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Geinus at work, 24. Mai 2000
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If you've never read any of Sforza's work you ar in for a treat. He treats science in the manner Sherlock Holmes treated crime, and has just as much fun in the chase. If you have ever wondered: "Is race really skin deep?", or,quite literally, "Where do we come from?" Sforza is your man.
I gave the book four stars from the standpoint of someone who is quite conversant with science. If you are a "newbee", five stars would be more appropriate.
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen interesting stuff, needs editing, 30. Juli 2000
I bought this book following a very interesting review in the NY Review of Books, but I found it something of a disappointment. It seems to me heavy on genes, and somewhat lighter on people and language, so I would not recommend it unless one is interested in the science involved. I also found a persistent mismatch in the amount of explanation given. Some concepts are explained redundantly throughout the book, but other explanations are, in my view, too brief or unclear. I also didn't care for the chatty digressions in some spots, like the introduction to the Chapter 5. The story this author has to tell is a fascinating one, but he hasn't written a very readable book, at least for the layman.
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2 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Seid umschlungen Millionen, 24. September 2011
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Genes, Peoples, and Languages (Penguin Press Science) (Taschenbuch)
Er hat die historische Schweigemauer der Schriftlosigkeit durch die Populationsgenetik überwunden.Unter seiner Anleitung wird die Vorgeschichte des modernen Menschen-homo sapiens- als Frühgeschichte mit seinen weltweiten Wanderungen lebendig. Der Autor war zwar als Forscher nicht der erste und einzige , aber einer der ersten, der das neue Wissen populär unter die Menschen gebracht hat.Und er hat dabei über die manchmal kompliziert anmutenden statistischen Stammbäume und Verfahren hinaus durchaus eine Botschaft an alle Menschen: es gibt genetisch keine trennenden Rassen schranken.Vergeßt das Gespenst von hohen und minderwertigen Rassen! Wir sind alle eines Stammes! Das ist schon fast eine biblische Botschaft, wissenschftlich untermauert. Aber Cavalli-Sforza ist kein trockener Gelehrter nur im Genlabor sondern ein wahrer Humanist, der die menschlichste aller Fähigkeiten- die Sprache- in seine Populationsgenetik einbezieht und dabei Gene-Völker-Sprachen synchronisiert.Wer Sinn für die Dramatik der genetischen & sprachlichen Entschleierung der menschlichen Geschichte hat- wird dieses schmale Buch(TB) als eine spannende Geschichte erleben, die uns alle angeht.Da muß man dann auch die manchmal theoretischen Darlegungen sich erarbeiten. Aber man wird belohnt- und deswegen wird das Ergebnis auch nicht verraten- denn: lest selbst!Wen wundert es da, dass die deutsche Übersetzung längst vergriffen ist- aber das englische Taschenbuch tut es auch. J.E.G. sabum September 2011
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2 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen No original thought here, 29. Juni 2000
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Diana Carra Haugh (Donaldson, PA United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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While Genes, Peoples and Languages is written in appealing,informal narrative, the engaging chatter fails to disguise that there isn't much original thought here. The information he's dealing with is exciting and ought to provoke speculation and new directions of thought, but the author contents himself with forcing the findings into the same old nineteenth century doctrine we've been laboring with all along. He tells us about the astounding genetic similarities between all peoples,but barely wonders how current thinking, which he reviews, on human evolution and global expansion can be reconciled with the new genetics. I've been hoping for someone to ask, given these findings, Who really are we? What was our past? Genes, Peoples and Languages isn't that book.
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Genes, Peoples, and Languages (Penguin Press Science)
Genes, Peoples, and Languages (Penguin Press Science) von Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza (Taschenbuch - 27. September 2001)
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