The First Chimpanzee: In Search of Human Origins

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Recent scientific research has established that Charles Darwin was wrong: humanity is not descended from the apes! The common ancestors of modern humans, gorillas, and chimpanzees - the Australopithecines - displayed distinctly human characteristics, including the ability to walk upright and a tendency to live on treeless plains. In other words, apes are descended from humans or protohumans. Through confirmed only recently by DNA analysis, this possibility was first suggested ...
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More About This Book

Overview

Recent scientific research has established that Charles Darwin was wrong: humanity is not descended from the apes! The common ancestors of modern humans, gorillas, and chimpanzees - the Australopithecines - displayed distinctly human characteristics, including the ability to walk upright and a tendency to live on treeless plains. In other words, apes are descended from humans or protohumans. Through confirmed only recently by DNA analysis, this possibility was first suggested more than two decades ago by the authors of The First Chimpanzee.

Now acclaimed science writers John Gribbin and Jeremy Cherfas re-examine the implications of this mementous finding and the added fact that human genetic material differs from that of chimpanzees by little more than 1 percent. In this fascinating investigation of our evolutionary past, you'll find the answers to such essential questions as:

Could the hairy apes be descended from a man-like ancestor?

Can tiny differences in DNA bring about huge differences in appearance?

What accounts for the vast difference in intelligence between humans and chimpanzees?

Can we trust DNA analysis to pinpoint the timing of a split between two species?

Why would a species that could upright return to the trees?

From the scientific research, Gribbin and Cherfas have constructed a compelling detective story --the story of where we came from.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760745427
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 7/31/2003
  • Pages: 256

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2005

    Even the *facts* are wrong...

    First let me say I am a professional scientist and evolutionist and I think this book is worth a read. But their dates, facts about characteristics of species discussed, and sometimes the geology is wrong. flat wrong. Many of their Don Johanson quotes are 25 years old. Much of their premise hinges on the idea that regulary genes that mutate to produce neotony can just as easily *perfectly* mutate back in the opposite direction...producing a hairless ape (among other characteristics) back to a hairy ape. In all the species we have documentation of regulatory mutations, nowhere have we seen a reversal. The odds are tremendously against such a mutation, and the results would be debatable if it did. Chimps cannot possibly be descended from a human-like ancestor. They cite the problems with the shape of the hip, but there are other problems: the shape and function of the wrist, the length of the arms that allows knuckle-walking, finger opposition and dexterity, AND comparing the cranial capacity during childbirth and subsequent growth between ancestor, chimp, and human just blows their theory apart. The list goes on and on. BUT there are some interesting ideas in here, mixed with misinformation. I won't throw out the book, but I am writing on one page the useful ideas here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2004

    Quite interesting read...

    I wandered into the 'Science' section at B&N and read a couple chapters. I've since bought the book and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2004

    Good book

    Best book I've read in a while on this subject. I am a big fan of S. V. Gould and J. Diamond. This book makes you think about the authors' premise. You may not agree but they put out info for you to ponder. At least their biases are out in the open.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2003

    Excellent Story

    Their elaborate story relies upon solid DNA evidence and is no doubt correct for the most part . It will be found offensive to 'creation Pseudo-scientists' and many religious fundamentalists.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2003

    Bogus Science

    This book starts with a false premise and goes downhill from there. The ideas that they are challenging went out of fashion fifty years ago. This book is not worth reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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