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Eco Homo : How the Human Being Emerged from the Cataclysmic History of the Earth - 97 edition

Eco Homo : How the Human Being Emerged from the Cataclysmic History of the Earth (ISBN10: 0465018041; ISBN13: 9780465018048)
ISBN13: 978-0465018048
ISBN10: 0465018041

This edition has also been released as:
ISBN13: 978-0465018031
ISBN10: 0465018033

Summary: Did you ever wonder why people walk upright? Why we have such big brains? Why some people have dark skin and some have light? Why our early ancestors ever left Africa and started wandering over the globe? And perhaps even why we, with all our technological sophistication, still like to barbecue raw meat over an open fire? This book is about the immense forces of nature that formed and shaped the human species over millions of years. It is also about the new high-tech
science that has allowed us to peer into the dark recesses of the past as never before and to reconstruct the trials, adaptive successes, and evolution of our ancestors. In Eco Homo, paleoanthroplogist Noel T. Boaz presents a narrative of human evolution, a natural history of our origins, in the contexts of ecology and environmental change. Our story begins with the appearance of higher primates in the Old World tropics. We then narrow our focus to Africa and examine eight hypotheses that explain the major evolutionary divergences of the gorilla, the chimpanzee, and finally human ancestors, or hominids. The events in this evolution only make sense from a standpoint of the adaptations that our ancestors made to changing environments, different geography, and fluctuating climates.

Ecological change, characterized by increasingly severe environmental fluctuations of greater and greater amplitude during the late Pleistocene period, forced the evolution of culture as we know it. Culture in the hands of the first agriculturists 10,000 years ago increased population densities, created diseases unknown to earlier hominids, built the first villages and temples, and gave humans the pervasive misconception that they were above the laws of nature, even as they rushed headlong into a despoilment of their habitat unknown in any other species. The message of Eco Homo for the ecological future of the species is that we cannot escape nature. If we attempt to do so-to step outside the bounds of our basic biological adaptations-we suffer the consequences. Culture needs to be brought under control and to be made to serve human adaptation, not vice versa. If we can tame runaway culture, we may be able to regain a measure of the ancestral equilibrium between our adaptations and a sustainable environment.



...show more
Summary: Did you ever wonder why people walk upright? Why we have such big brains? Why some people have dark skin and some have light? Why our early ancestors ever left Africa and started wandering over the globe? And perhaps even why we, with all our technological sophistication, still like to barbecue raw meat over an open fire? This book is about the immense forces of nature that formed and shaped the human species over millions of years. It is also about the new high-tech science that has allowed us to peer into the dark recesses of the past as never before and to reconstruct the trials, adaptive successes, and evolution of our ancestors. In Eco Homo, paleoanthroplogist Noel T. Boaz presents a narrative of human evolution, a natural history of our origins, in the contexts of ecology and environmental change. Our story begins with the appearance of higher primates in the Old World tropics. We then narrow our focus to Africa and examine eight hypotheses that explain the major evolutionary divergences of the gorilla, the chimpanzee, and finally human ancestors, or hominids. The events in this evolution only make sense from a standpoint of the adaptations that our ancestors made to changing environments, different geography, and fluctuating climates.

Ecological change, characterized by increasingly severe environmental fluctuations of greater and greater amplitude during the late Pleistocene period, forced the evolution of culture as we know it. Culture in the hands of the first agriculturists 10,000 years ago increased population densities, created diseases unknown to earlier hominids, built the first villages and temples, and gave humans the pervasive misconception that they were above the laws of nature, even as they rushed headlong into a despoilment of their habitat unknown in any other species. The message of Eco Homo for the ecological future of the species is that we cannot escape nature. If we attempt to do so-to step outside the bounds of our basic biological adaptations-we suffer the consequences. Culture needs to be brought under control and to be made to serve human adaptation, not vice versa. If we can tame runaway culture, we may be able to regain a measure of the ancestral equilibrium between our adaptations and a sustainable environment.



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Edition/Copyright: 97
Cover:
Publisher: Basic Books, Inc.
Year Published: 1997
International: No

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