A most interesting problem : what Darwin's Descent of man got right and wrong about human evolution / edited by Jeremy M. DeSilva ; with an introduction by Janet Browne
- Introduction / Janet Browne -- The fetus, the fruit fly, and the fish heart : a reflection on Darwin's chapter 1. The evidence of the descent of man from some lower form / Alice Roberts -- Remarkable, but not extraordinary -- the evolution of the human brain : a reflection on Darwin's chapter 2. Comparison of the mental powers of man and the lower animals / Suzana Herculano-Houzel -- The Darwinian road to morality : a reflection on Darwin's chapter 3. Comparison of the mental powers of man and the lower animals -- continued / Brian Hare -- Charles Darwin and the fossil evidence for human evolution : a reflection on Darwin's chapter 4. On the manner of development of man from some lower form / Yohannes Haile-Selassie -- A century of civilization, intelligence, and (white) nationalism : a reflection on Darwin's chapter 5. On the development of the intellectual and moral faculties during primeval and civilised times / Kristina Killgrove -- Ranking humanity among the primates : a reflection on Darwin's chapter 6. On the affinities and genealogy of man / John Hawks -- "On the races of man" : race, racism, science and hope : a reflection on Darwin's chapter 7. On the races of man / Agustín Fuentes -- Resolving the problem of sexual beauty : a reflection on Darwin's part II (chapters 8-18). Sexual selection / Michael J. Ryan -- This view of wife : a reflection on Darwin's chapters 19-20. Secondary sexual characters of man / Holly Dunsworth -- Dinner with Darwin: sharing the evidence bearing on the origin of humans : a reflection on Darwin's chapter 21. General summary and conclusion / Ann Gibbons.
- "In 1859, Charles Darwin proposed a mechanism for biological evolution in his most famous work, On the Origin of Species. However, Origin makes little mention of humans. Despite this, Darwin thought deeply about humans and in 1871 published The Descent of Man, his influential and controversial book in which he applied evolutionary theory to humans and detailed his theory of sexual selection. February 2021 will mark the 150th anniversay of it's publication. In A Most Interesting Problem, twelve leading anthropologists, biologists, and journalists revisit The Descent. Following the same organization as the first edition of Descent - less the large section on sexual selection -- each author reviews what Darwin wrote in Descent, comparing his words to what we now know now. There are chapters on evidence for human evolution, our place in the family tree, the origins of civilization, human races, intelligence, and sex differences. An introduction by Darwin biolographer and historian Janet Browne provides context for Descent and a conclusion by Science magazine journalist Ann Gibbons looks to the future of the study of human evolution. All the chapters are written with a broad audience in mind. Ultimately, readers learn that Darwin was remarkably prophetic in some of his predictions, such as that the earliest human fossils would be discovered in Africa. But he was wrong in other areas, particularly in regards to variations between the sexes and races. Thus, A Most Interesting Problem is not so much a celebration of Darwin as it is a tribute to how science works, how scientific ideas are tested, and the role of evidence in helping structure narratives of human origins. The reader is left with a view of how far we have come in our quest for understanding human origins, biological variation, behavior, and evolution"--
- 9780691191140 hardcover and 069119114X hardcover
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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