The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa

Stephen Oppenheimer

Published by Basic Books, 2003
ISBN 10: 0786711922 / ISBN 13: 9780786711925
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Synopsis: Out of one, and only one, major exodus from Africa 80,000 years ago by migratory African ancestors was the entire non-African world in all its racial and cultural diversity ultimately populated—so argues Stephen Oppenheimer in this groundbreaking volume that has stirred heated controversy among authorities in geology, linguistics, archaeology, and anthropology. Thoroughly researched and meticulously argued, with dramatic evidence garnered from recent advances in the field of genetics through DNA analysis, Oppenheimer traces the evolution of modern humankind out of a common African ancestry. For again and again, Oppenheimer's extensive genealogical research, based on our gender-specific so-called Adam and Eve genes, has led him straight back to Africa and placed him in direct opposition to the multiregionalists. Whereas they maintain that archaic human populations, like the Neanderthals in Europe and Homo erectus in the Far East, evolved locally into the races we know today, Oppenheimer establishes that European Neanderthals, for instance, are not ancestors of modern humans but cousins who have stemmed from the same African root. Unsettling long-established anthropological and cultural assumptions—and prejudices—Oppenheimer's provocative exploration of our human origins provides a fresh new perspective on the nature of the human destiny that all of us share.

From Publishers Weekly: "There was only one main Exodus of modern humans from Africa, and no more," writes medical doctor and researcher Oppenheimer (Eden in the East), taking on advocates of "multiregional" origins and those who believe there were several exoduses out of Africa. Oppenheimer deftly brings together recent advances in population genetics, climatology and archeology to advance his theory that when groups of Homo sapiens left Africa approximately 80,000 years ago, they first headed east along the Indian Ocean, where they formed settlements as far away as India over several thousands of years. It was only during a respite in glacial activity, when deserts turned into traversable grasslands, that our ancestors headed northwest into the Russian steppes and on into eastern Europe, as well as northeast through China and over the now submerged continent of Beringia (located where the Bering Strait is today) into North America. Much of Oppenheimer's theory relies on recent advances in studies of mitochondrial DNA, inherited through the maternal line, and Y chromosomes, inherited by males from their fathers. The author devotes a chapter to the question of when humans first arrived in the New World, the raging Clovis vs. pre-Clovis controversy. Oppenheimer briefly discusses development of racial characteristics like facial structure and skin coloration, important topics often viewed as too hot to handle. This book will appeal mainly to science buffs; the level of detail may prove daunting to general readers. It is the basis for a three-hour special that aired earlier this month on the Discovery Channel. Illus. not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Title: The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of ...
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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