Book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us

£18.99

Around 45,000 years ago, something happened. We dragged ourselves away from our origins by creating culture, with tools and art and abstract thought and our newly minted minds. The cognitive revolution gave us a sense that we are special, and specially created, distanced from nature. Writers, scientists, philosophers and religions have marvelled at our brilliance for millennia. Yet we are apes, wedded to the rest of creation by genes, anatomy, and physiology, all rooted in a shared evolution. All species are unique, but are we more unique than other animals?

Not yet published

SKU: 9780297609407 Category: Tags: , ,

Description

‘Charming, compelling and packed with information. I learned more about biology from this short book than I did from years of science lessons. A weird and wonderful readPETER FRANKOPAN

We like to think of ourselves as exceptional beings, but is there really anything special about us that sets us apart from other animals? Humans are the slightest of twigs on a single family tree that encompasses four billion years, a lot of twists and turns, and a billion species. All of those organisms are rooted in a single origin, with a common code that underwrites our existence. This paradox – that our biology is indistinct from all life, yet we consider ourselves to be special – lies at the heart of who we are.

In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, utilises fire, or has sex for reasons other than to make new versions of ourselves. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop our culture to a level of complexity that outstrips any other observed in nature.

THE BOOK OF HUMANS tells the story of how we became the creatures we are today, bestowed with the unique ability to investigate what makes us who we are. Illuminated by the latest scientific discoveries, it is a thrilling compendium of what unequivocally fixes us as animals, and reveals how we are extraordinary among them.

With illustrations by Alice Roberts

Additional information

Weight 0.476 kg
Dimensions 24.4 × 17.9 × 2.4 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Hardback

Pages

258

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

599.938 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K