Where Do We Come From?
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Where Do We Come From?

The Molecular Evidence for Human Descent
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Jan Klein
730 g
237x167x26 mm

From the moment we first began to contemplate the world, three questions have occupied our minds: Where do we come from?, What are we?, and Where are we going? Artists, religious thinkers, philosophers, and most recently scientists have all searched for answers. Here, the authors describe how scientists decipher human origin from the record encrypted in the DNA and protein molecules. After explaining the nature of descent and the methods available for studying genealogical relationships, they summarize the information revealed by the molecular archives. In doing so, they draw conclusions about our identity, our place in the living world, and our future.
This book strives to provide a picture of human evolution for those who want to be informed rather than be entertained. It does not assume that the readers are so simple-minded that their interest has continually to be whetted by amusing anecdotes. On the contrary, it expects the reader to have a good measure of intelligence and sufficient interest in the topic to continue reading.
1 A Tahitian Prelude Art, Myth, and Science.- 2 Bridging the Generation Gap The Physical Basis of Ancestor-Descendant Relationship.- 3 Crane's Foot Biological Meaning of Descent.- 4 Klados and Phylé The Molecular Nature of Evolution.- 5 The Painted Tree Methods of Phylogenetic Reconstruction.- 6 The Tree of Life From the Root to the Crown.- 7 The Rise of the Metazoan Tribes The New Phylogeny of the Animal Kingdom.- 8 Our Place in Nature The Closest Living Relative.- 9 Of Time and the Tree The Time Scale of Evolution.- 10 The Narrow Road to the Deep North Hominids and the Origin of Homo sapiens.- 11 Through the Neck of a Bottle The Genesis and the Genetic Nature of Homo sapiens.- 12 Who Are We? Where are We Going? The Present Condition and the Future of Our Species.- Appendix One.- Appendix Two.- Appendix Three.- Appendix Four.- Appendix Five.- Sources and Further Reading.- Illustration and Quotation Credits.

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