The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey
Allen Lane, 2002 - 224 pages
Around 60,000 years ago, a man walked the soil of Africa. Every person alive today is descended from him. How did he come to be father to all of us - a real life Adam? To find out, Spencer Wells embarked on a unique voyage of discovery, travelling the world and deciphering the genetic codes of people from the Sahara Desert to Siberia. He reveals how our DNA enables us to work out where our ancestors lived, (and who they may have fought, loved and learned from); to re-trace their footsteps from Africa to the far corners of the earth ; to understand how we evolved into such a huge variety of sizes, shapes and races - and, ultimately, to create a family tree for the whole of humanity.
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The journey we trace is primarily one made by men , because it is the Y -
chromosome , inherited from Adam down the male line , which gives us our
keenest tool for deciphering the journey . The Y helps to place the stones , bones
archaeology gives us an independent way of assessing how old they are . But
what if we wanted to guess at the age using only genetic data ? Could we do it ?
The answer is yes , and this brings us to the other dating method - counterpart to
It marks the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic in Europe , and broadcasts the
arrival of fully modern humans on the scene . Along with the diverse tools they left
their art gives us a fleeting glimpse into the minds of the people who created it .
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Review: The Journey of Man: A Genetic OdysseyUser Review - Joe - Goodreads
Conclusion of Wells' work is that we're all descendants of a single man who lived in Africa about 20,000 years ago. And he is convincing! Very interesting book, with some genetic science thrown in to spice it up (but it doesn't get in the way). Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - snash - LibraryThing
The book presents a picture of man's migrations between 60,000 and 10,000 years ago. It is a companion book with the TV special and provides more background into the scientific rational of the study and its conclusions. It is presented in a manner quite understandable to the lay person. Read full review