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The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 29. Mai 2003

5.0 von 5 Sternen 2 Kundenrezensionen

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Spencer Wells traces human evolution back to our very first ancestor in The Journey of Man. Along the way, he sums up the explosive effect of new techniques in genetics on the field of evolutionary biology and all available evidence from the fossil record. Wells's seemingly sexist title is purposeful: he argues that the Y chromosome gives us a unique opportunity to follow our migratory heritage back to a sort of Adam, just as earlier work in mitochondrial DNA allowed the identification of Eve, mother of all Homo sapiens. While his descriptions of the advances made by such luminary scientists as Richard Lewontin and Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza can be dry, Wells comes through with sparkling metaphors when it counts, as when he compares genetic drift to a bouillabaisse recipe handed down through a village's generations. Though finding our primal male is an exciting prospect, the real revolution Wells describes is racial. Or rather, nonracial, as he reiterates the scientific truth that our notions of what makes us different from each other are purely cultural, not based in biology. The case for an "out of Africa" scenario of human migration is solid in this book, though Wells makes it clear when he is hypothesizing anything controversial. Readers interested in a fairly technical, but not overwhelming, summary of the remarkable conclusions of 21st-century human evolutionary biology will find The Journey of Man a perfect primer. --Therese Littleton -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.


“Written with much verve, easy to read, and up-to-date on many important developments.”
—Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Stanford University, author of The History and Geography of Human Genes and Genes, Peoples, and Languages

"Spencer Wells, whose genetic work has contributed to our understanding of human prehistory, has provided an account of the spread and mixing of the human species from its origin in Africa that is both scientifically accurate and accessible to the nonscientist.”
—Richard Lewontin, Harvard University, author of It Ain’t Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions

“Wells traces our distant history with a mix of clarity and charm that’s rare among scientists. He makes the complexities of population genetics wonderfully clear.”
The New York Times Book Review
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
While "African Eve" received much attention during the last 15 years, few books are available on her male counterpart. This book traces the history of the male Y-chromosome back to its African origins, and uses the regional distribution of its variations to support a detailed theory on world's population history.
The exposition is precise, but easily understandable to the layman. Nowhere in any history book could I find such a complete account of middle palaeolithic population movements.
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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
One of the few books that I find easy to read as a "non-specialist", explaining the mechanisms that could have led to our success in the "conquest" of our Planet. The explanations really seem to make sense, and are compatible with our understanding of Life. A book worth reading.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta) (Kann Kundenrezensionen aus dem "Early Reviewer Rewards"-Programm beinhalten)

Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen 165 Rezensionen
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great history of modern humans 23. November 2016
Von William Divale, Ph.D. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Great book and very well written. I am a professional cultural anthropologist who just retired after 42 years of teaching. I had not paid much attention to the new work on genetics done in physical anthropology. This new research changes our picture of modern human origins completely. Spencer Wells does a great job of bringing the findings of several disciplines together to make a very strong argument. We all come from Africa - that is well known - but all modern humans stem from the same African woman who lived 150,000 years ago. Our spread through-out the planet out of Africa began only 60,000 years ago. He shows that by following the coastal route out of Africa our human ancestors could move rapidly across the planet. The old view is that we evolved from Homo Erectus and then Neanderthal man, but it appears that we just wiped them out, although there was some interbreeding. If you find this review hard to believe, then read the book.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Pretty good story of Humanity 3. Dezember 2015
Von mark seligman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book is an interesting but not gripping recounting of the biology and ancestry of human beings as traced primarily through the Y chromosone that identifies paternal lineage. It is probably worth 3.5 stars, but I think that the rating system tends to overexpress the views of people who love a book and the people who hate it resulting in few mid range reviews.
The technical aspects of DNA analysis are presented in an easily understandable manner. One does not need a PhD in biology to get this book.
The story is told straigthforwardly maybe too straightforward; for instance a friend had his DNA run to discover a significant contribution of African genes mixed in with his Irish ones. It turns out that during the 8th century the Vikings actually brought Africans to Ireland. This book seems to gloss over some of these events in order to keep the story clearer. I suspect that some controversies in the field are muted a bit; every scientific field has controversies.
The story of Kennebec man seems a little out of date, and that did make me wonder if there were other things that might need some updates.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Wonderful Clarification for Those Who Really Want to Know The Basics of Human Proliferation Throughut Planet Earth ! 8. Juni 2015
Von Bernard Z. Friedlander - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book is excellent in its field, and it would have gained its fifth star if the scientific foundations of genetics and genetic variability had been explained with a few more concessions to educated general readers who need help with the technical intricacies of genetic variation.
Except for that minor warning, Spencer Wells has done a very great service to those of us who seek a clearer understanding of the details of how our species came to occupy all of Earth, after our very high-risk emergence from Eastern Africa about 60,000 years ago.
The importance Wells attributes to Darwinian thinking about the application to homo sapiens of variability and selection to our emergence and proliferation is profound. Two key points stand out with great clarity: the very small populations of homo sapiens that survived the hazards that their varied groups encountered, before the development of agriculture, and the very high mortality that prevailed among those groups which faced the hazards of their journeys.
It seems ironic now, when our human expansion and "conquest" of Earth raises serious doubts about our species' capacity to continue to survive, that there was so long a period when it seems remarkable that homo sapiens survived at all.
Bernard Z. Friedlander, PhD, Madison, WI
3.0 von 5 Sternen Worth The Effort but Tedious 9. Juni 2017
Von OLD1mIKE - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Well written. Presents the evolution of modern man by following the DNA history of the Y Chromosome (man vs women's DNA). Interesting. Worth the read. Aimed at the Lay reader. I am glad I read the book. But also a bit tedious and required some effort to stay connected. I have a general feeling about the topic but couldn't carry on a conversation about it. Starting with the DNA Adam (M168 chromosome), then moving on to the next DNA branch (M130 and M89). Eventually its the story of how man exited Africa and populated the world by following the sequence of the DNA chromosomes. Apparently a companion book to a TV documentary. I thought a simple Time Line in Chapter 1, showing things like Upper/Middle Palaeolthic periods, Neanderthals, Homo Sapiens, Homo Erectus etc would have been helpful to me.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good intro to an interesting subject. 22. April 2014
Von prince of nerds - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I wanted a nice easy primer into the field of genetic history. This book served that purpose well. Not overly much detail is gone into, it sticks to presenting the large overview of things, which is what I wanted and expected.

Some reviewers complain about the quality of the maps, in my paperback version they were all good, I had no problem reading them.

Nice primer into the field of genetic history, neither too scholarly nor too superficial. For me anyway, YMMV.
The small physical size of the paperback is convenient.

It's only useful as an introduction into the subject, not for indepth research.
It focuses almost exclusively on the Y chromosome data, little information from other sources is presented.
The names of the haplogroups are given as M168, M89, M9, M45 etc rather than the more familiar CT, F, K, P etc. The book offers no translation between the naming schemes. Wikipedia makes that translation easy, though.
Possibly the most important page is the map on page 182, it should have been at the very front, the whole book needs to be read with that map in mind.

On the balance, I find 4 stars to be right.
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