The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey
Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003 - 218 pages
Around 60,000 years ago, a man—genetically identical to us—lived in Africa. Every person alive today is descended from him. How did this real-life Adam wind up as the father of us all? What happened to the descendants of other men who lived at the same time? And why, if modern humans share a single prehistoric ancestor, do we come in so many sizes, shapes, and races?
Examining the hidden secrets of human evolution in our genetic code, Spencer Wells reveals how developments in the revolutionary science of population genetics have made it possible to create a family tree for the whole of humanity. Replete with marvelous anecdotes and remarkable information, from the truth about the real Adam and Eve to the way differing racial types emerged, The Journey of Man is an enthralling, epic tour through the history and development of early humankind.
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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
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 .
They give us a way to determine absolute dates that we can use to test our
hypotheses about the timing of human migrations . The rate at which mutations
occur is roughly constant , so the level of variation tells us how long they have
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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