Red Ape Orangutans and Human Origins

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9780241118504: Red Ape Orangutans and Human Origins

We've all heard that chimpanzees are our closest relatives - that, in fact, they share 98% of their genes with us. But what evidence supports these often-repeated commonplaces? Very little, concludes physical anthropologist Jeffrey Schwartz. In his keenly insightful demolition of conventional wisdom on the family relationships between apes and humans, Schwartz provides a fresh examination of fossil evidence, modern anatomy and physiology, and DNA. He argues that it is not chimpanzees or other African apes that are humankind's closest cousins, but Asian orangutans. The result is a compelling challenge to what we think we know about the origins of humans, and about the pursuit of science.In this thoroughly revised edition of The Red Ape, Schwartz analyzes the myriad fossil discoveries made since the publication of the first edition. He reveals the embarrassing fact that orangutan and human teeth are so similar that they have commonly been misidentified for each other in the fossil record, even by experts. New material provocatively addresses whether molecules (DNA) are more reliable than fossils and anatomy in assessing evolutionary relationships. Numerous new plates and drawings illustrate the text.

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About the Author:

Jeffrey Schwartz is professor of physical anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of The Red Ape, What Bones Tell Us, and Skeleton Keys.

From Scientific American:

Schwartz argues that it is not chimpanzees or other African apes that are humankind's closest relatives, but Asian orangutans. His theory is controversial, to say the least, but the case he makes for it is compelling--and highly readable. Schwartz, a professor of physical anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, has thoroughly revised this edition to give a new perspective on the latest debates about the process of evolution, raising questions about scientific reasoning and the interpretation of biological data. He also reminds us of our responsibility to protect the large red apes who may turn out to be our closest evolutionary cousins. It is a fascinating and provocative read.

Editors of Scientific American

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Schwartz, Jeffrey H
Published by Elm Tree Books (1987)
ISBN 10: 0241118506 ISBN 13: 9780241118504
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
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Murray Media
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Book Description Elm Tree Books, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110241118506

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