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The Accidental Species

Misunderstandings of Human Evolution by Henry Gee

2:46pm, November 24, 2013

This is not a typical book about human evolution. There’s no chronology of fossil discoveries, no detailed description of hominid species or even an illustration of human family trees. In fact, the book is largely about what we don’t know about human evolution — and what we’ve gotten wrong.

Gee, an editor at Nature and a former paleontologist, begins by taking a swipe at the oversized human ego. Despite what many people, including some scientists, seem to think, Homo sapiens is not the pinnacle of evolution. “Human beings are special in many ways — of course we are — but so is every other species,” Gee writes. There’s nothing
exceptional about the way evolution shaped the human lineage, and the hallmarks of humankind

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