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Tales of the Ex-Apes: How We Think about Human Evolution

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 What do we think about when we think about human evolution? With his characteristic wit and wisdom, anthropologist Jonathan Marks explores our scientific narrative of human origins—the study of evolution—and examines its cultural elements and theoretical foundations. In the process, he situates human evolution within a general anthropological framework and presents it as  What do we think about when we think about human evolution? With his characteristic wit and wisdom, anthropologist Jonathan Marks explores our scientific narrative of human origins—the study of evolution—and examines its cultural elements and theoretical foundations. In the process, he situates human evolution within a general anthropological framework and presents it as a special case of kinship and mythology.   Tales of the Ex-Apes argues that human evolution has incorporated the emergence of social relations and cultural histories that are unprecedented in the apes and thus cannot be reduced to purely biological properties and processes. Marks shows that human evolution has involved the transformation from biological to biocultural evolution. Over tens of thousands of years, new social roles—notably spouse, father, in-laws, and grandparents—have co-evolved with new technologies and symbolic meanings to produce the human species, in the absence of significant biological evolution. We are biocultural creatures, Marks argues, fully comprehensible by recourse to neither our real ape ancestry nor our imaginary cultureless biology.


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 What do we think about when we think about human evolution? With his characteristic wit and wisdom, anthropologist Jonathan Marks explores our scientific narrative of human origins—the study of evolution—and examines its cultural elements and theoretical foundations. In the process, he situates human evolution within a general anthropological framework and presents it as  What do we think about when we think about human evolution? With his characteristic wit and wisdom, anthropologist Jonathan Marks explores our scientific narrative of human origins—the study of evolution—and examines its cultural elements and theoretical foundations. In the process, he situates human evolution within a general anthropological framework and presents it as a special case of kinship and mythology.   Tales of the Ex-Apes argues that human evolution has incorporated the emergence of social relations and cultural histories that are unprecedented in the apes and thus cannot be reduced to purely biological properties and processes. Marks shows that human evolution has involved the transformation from biological to biocultural evolution. Over tens of thousands of years, new social roles—notably spouse, father, in-laws, and grandparents—have co-evolved with new technologies and symbolic meanings to produce the human species, in the absence of significant biological evolution. We are biocultural creatures, Marks argues, fully comprehensible by recourse to neither our real ape ancestry nor our imaginary cultureless biology.

43 review for Tales of the Ex-Apes: How We Think about Human Evolution

  1. 5 out of 5

    João

    I do not always agree with Jonathan arguments (and sometimes I really vehemently disagree), and he tends to ramble slightly. But find me a clearer thinker and writer as passionate by human evolution as he is.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian Estabrook

    Indispensable book for those who are interested in human evolution and want to unlearn biological and genetic reductionism.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schey

    I enjoyed this book because it got more into the social and cultural evolution of humans.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bram Hessels

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ágota Biró-Szilágyi

  8. 4 out of 5

    Keisuke

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lóránd B

  10. 4 out of 5

    Greg Conradi Smith

  11. 5 out of 5

    EJB1001

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Owens

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  14. 5 out of 5

    Seth433

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erik Summerville

  16. 5 out of 5

    Zawn V

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    Sheila

  18. 4 out of 5

    University of California Press

  19. 4 out of 5

    DrosoPHila

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aga

  21. 5 out of 5

    Taylore

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Banks

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shi-Hsia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Slingshot

  27. 5 out of 5

    Albina

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Woolford

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shanda

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janna

  31. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Hodges

  32. 5 out of 5

    El Profe Aguila

  33. 5 out of 5

    Noha

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    Murali Behara

  35. 5 out of 5

    James Michael

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kerryn

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    Allison Sliter

  38. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  39. 5 out of 5

    Simo Ibourki

  40. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Skoczen

  41. 5 out of 5

    Scott Frank

  42. 5 out of 5

    Andrzej

  43. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

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