50 great myths of human evolution : understanding misconceptions about our origins / John H. Relethford.
By: Relethford, John.Material type: BookCall no.: GN281 .R38 2017Publication: Chichester, West Sussex, UK : Wiley Blackwell, 2017Description: xi, 289 p. : ill.ISBN: 9780470673928 (paperback); 0470673923 (paperback); 9780470673911 (hardcover); 0470673915 (hardcover).Other title: Fifty great myths of human evolution : understanding misconceptions about our origins.Subject(s): Human evolution
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Includes bibliographical references (pages 258-272) and index.
Introduction : myths and misconceptions -- 1. Ideas about evolution -- Evolution is a theory not a fact -- Evolution is completely random -- All evolutionary changes are adaptive -- In evolution, bigger is always better -- Natural selection always works -- Some species are more evolve than are others -- Humans lived at the same time as the dinosaurs -- 2. Human origins -- If apes evolved into humans, then apes should not exist today -- "Ramapithecus" was a human ancestor -- Humans and African apes split from each other over 15 million years ago -- Gigantopithecus was the ancestor of "Bigfoot" (assuming Bigfoot exists) -- Human traits all evolved at the same time -- Large brains evolved very early in human evolution -- The common ancestor of African apes and humans walked like a chimpanzee -- Bipedalism first evolved on the African grasslands -- Lucy was so small because she was a child -- Australopithecus was a killer ape -- Human evolution can be described as a "ladder" -- All hominin species have probably been discovered -- There are no transitional fossils in human evolution -- 3. Evolution from the Genus Homo -- Only one species of Homo lived 2 million years ago -- Early Homo had modern human brain size -- Only humans are toolmakers and have culture -- We can identify species by the stone tools they made -- Homo habilis definitely made shelter -- Our ancestors have always made fire -- Early humans got all of their meat from hunting -- Species with larger brow ridges are more ape-like -- Neandertals walked bent over and were dumb brutes -- Modern humans appeared first in Eurasia -- "Mitochondrial Eve" is our only common female ancestor -- Neandertals did not interbreed with modern humans -- We do not need fossils any more to learn about human evolution -- All recent human species had large brains -- 4. Recent and future human evolution -- Each of us has billions of distinct ancestors -- The first Americans came from Europe or the Middle East -- The first Polynesians came from South America -- The origin of agriculture led to an improvement in health -- Civilization has been influenced by extraterrestrials -- The recent increase in life expectancy was due initially to antibiotics -- There are three distinct shades of human skin color -- Biological race is useful for understanding human variation -- All African Americans have the same genetic history -- Genetic ancestry is the same thing as cultural identity -- Sickle cell anemia is a "black disease" -- There is a strong genetic relationship between brain size and intelligence test scores -- Humans are no longer evolving -- Blond hair will eventually disappear -- We can predict future human evolution.
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