BN.com Gift Guide

The Monkey in the Mirror: Essays on the Science of What Makes Us Human

Overview

Nothing fascinates us more than explorations of human origins,
and nobody tells the story better than Ian Tattersall.

What makes us so different? How did we get this way? How do we know? And what exactly are we? These questions are what make human evolution a subject of general fascination. Ian Tattersall, one of those rare scientists who is also a graceful writer, addresses them in this delightful book.

...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $7.95   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$7.95
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(169)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. 2001 Hard Cover New in New jacket 6 x 8 1/2. First Edition. First printing. New with minimal shelfwear. Essays about the fundamental questions of our ... time full of delightful stories, scientific wisdom, and fresh insight about our evolutionary future. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Longmont, CO

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$14.00
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(26)

Condition: New
Widely regarded as one of the rare eminent scientists who is also a graceful writer, Ian Tattersall takes up some of the most controversial questions in evolutionary theory in ... this extraordinary set of essays. Tattersall stresses that living creatures, including humans, are not finely enginered organisms with every component perfectedly adapted to their function. We are - thank goodness - jury-rigged, improvised beings, owing as much to chance as to adaptation. And that's true of all living creatures. Evolutionary theory isn't a finite set of conlcusions based on overwhelming evidence: It's our evolving effort to make sense out of a handful of incomplete fossil remains. The fundamental questions of our origins - and our evolutionary future - find new life in this extraordinary book, full of delightful stories, scientific wisdom, and fresh insight. 203 pages. 8vo - over 7?" - 9?" tall. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Glen Ellyn, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$20.45
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(43)

Condition: New
2001 Hardcover New New in new dust jacket. BRAND NEW. Excellent condition. Never read or opened. No remainder mark.

Ships from: Bella Vista, AR

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$32.48
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(321)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$471.52
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. 2001 Hardcover New 0151005206. BRAND NEW, FLAWLESS COPY, NEVER OPENED--203 pages. "Nothing fascinates us more than explorations of human origins, and ... nobody tells the story better than Ian Tattersall. What makes us so different? How did we get this way? How do we know? And what exactly are we? These questions are what make human evolution a subject of general fascination. Ian Tattersall, one of those rare scientists who is also a graceful writer, addresses them in this delightful book. Writing in an informal essay style, Tattersall leads the reader around the world and into the far reaches of the past, showing what the science of human evolution is up against-from the sparsity of evidence to the pressures of religious fundamentalism. Looking with dispassion and humor at our origins, Tattersall offers a wholly new definition of what it is to be human."Delightful stories, scientific wisdom, fresh insight-the perfect science book." Read more Show Less

Ships from: New Hampton, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Nothing fascinates us more than explorations of human origins,
and nobody tells the story better than Ian Tattersall.

What makes us so different? How did we get this way? How do we know? And what exactly are we? These questions are what make human evolution a subject of general fascination. Ian Tattersall, one of those rare scientists who is also a graceful writer, addresses them in this delightful book.

Writing in an informal essay style, Tattersall leads the reader around the world and into the far reaches of the past, showing what the science of human evolution is up against-from the sparsity of evidence to the pressures of religious fundamentalism. Looking with dispassion and humor at our origins, Tattersall offers a wholly new definition of what it is to be human.

Delightful stories, scientific wisdom, fresh insight-the perfect science book.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Ian Tattersall is one of the most innovative researchers in the field of human origins. In this collection of original essays, he muses on a wide range of topics relating to evolution. Essays include a discussion of human and animal intelligence, an update on Neanderthals, and the reasons behind Tattersall's belief that humans are not currently evolving.
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR BECOMING HUMAN
There is no more literate anthropologist writing on human evolution today than Ian Tattersall. . . . Becoming Human is at once absorbing in its details, provocative in its thoughtful speculations and delightfully informal in style."
-San Francisco Chronicle
Although many popular anthropological accounts of the human species have been written, few are as engaging as that of Ian Tattersall."-Natural History
Ian Tattersall combines his unique knowledge of the human fossil record, Paleolithic archaeology, primate behavior, prehistoric art . . . to offer a convincing scenario of how we have come to hold dominion over the earth."
-Donald Johanson, Scientific American
Library Journal
In eight essays, anthropologist and American Museum of Natural History curator Tattersall (Becoming Human) explores the current understanding of organic evolution in terms of science and reason. He stresses the creative diversity of life forms throughout biological history, including the past existence of different hominid species. His own interpretation of evolution maintains that there have been three major episodic innovations in the emergence of humankind (each separated by about two million years): upright bipedality, Paleolithic technology, and the modern bodily anatomy. Of special interest is Tattersall's critical analysis of the so-called Neandertal problem. Oddly, he does not discuss space travel or genetic engineering in regard to the future of our species. Furthermore, Tattersall does not rigorously emphasize the power of scientific inquiry and the fact of organic evolution in the face of ongoing threats to empirical explanations, e.g., postmodernism, biblical fundamentalism, and religious creationism. Consequently, this is not the groundbreaking and helpful book it could have been. Even so, it is suitable for large science collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/01.] H. James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of eight original essays that make up a primer on evolution. Beginning with an explanation of how scientists work, Tattersall, curator of Human Evolution at the American Museum of Natural History and author of Becoming Human (1998), etc., moves on to the mechanism of evolution, and our changing ideas about it-entirely Darwinian in Darwin's time, still Darwinian at the core. He stresses that living creatures, including humans, are not finely engineered organisms with every component perfectly adapted to its function. They are complex and clever, yet often clumsily improvised, owing as much to chance as to ingenious adaptation. There's no denying that humans are unique, but even our most dazzling cerebral powers did not spring up full-blown. Our sense of ourselves as individuals is an example. It turns out we can teach apes, our closest cousins, to recognize themselves in a mirror. They were the first species capable of making that connection-even monkeys can't. Halfway through, Tattersall turns to our immediate ancestors and asks the traditional question: What is the single change that set our ancestors apart from apes and placed them on the path to becoming human? Big brains and clever hands were leading candidates until a few decades ago. Today almost all experts agree that walking upright made the difference. Hominids walked for millions of years before Homo sapiens appeared a hundred thousand years ago. Soon after, the fossil record blossoms with evidence of painting, sculpture, music, notation, sophisticated, decorated tools, and elaborate burial rituals. These all result from the capacity for abstract, symbolic thinking, which differentiates modern humans from thosethat came before. Clearly something important occurred in the evolving brain, yet the modern big brain had existed for thousands of generations before this cultural explosion. There are plenty of strong personal opinions here (Neanderthals were a dead-end species; human evolution has stalled for the foreseeable future), but they ring true. The whole production is as absorbing and literate as one would expect from Tattersall.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151005208
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/8/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Tattersall is curator of human evolution at the American Museum of Natural History, and the author of many books and articles. His most recent book, Becoming Human, won the distinguished W.W. Howells Prize of the American Anthropological Association. An expert on both fossil humans and lemurs, he has done fieldwork in places as varied as Madagascar, Yemen, and Vietnam. He lives in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Chapter 1 What's So Special about Science? 1
Chapter 2 Evolution: Why So Misunderstood? 29
Chapter 3 The Monkey in the Mirror 56
Chapter 4 Human Evolution and the Art of Climbing Trees 79
Chapter 5 The Enigmatic Neanderthals 107
Chapter 6 How Did We Achieve Humanity? 138
Chapter 7 Written in Our Genes? 169
Chapter 8 Where Now? 185
Index 205
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)