Over the past 180 years scientists have sifted through evidence that at least twenty-seven human species have evolved on planet Earth. Yet of all of them, why does only one remain? What enabled us to survive when so many other human species were shown the evolutionary door? The author of ... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Over the past 180 years scientists have sifted through evidence that at least twenty-seven human species have evolved on planet Earth. Yet of all of them, why does only one remain? What enabled us to survive when so many other human species were shown the evolutionary door? The author of Thumbs, Toes, and Tears - And Other Traits That Make Us Human, Chip Walter tells the intriguing tale of how against all odds and despite nature's brutal and capricious ways we stand here today, the only surviving humans, and the planet's more dominant species. Drawing on a wide variety of scientific disciplines, he reveals how a rare evolutionary phenomenon led to the uniquely long childhoods that make us so resourceful and emotionally complex. Walter explains why we developed a new kind of mind and how our highly social nature has shaped our moral (and immoral) behavior. And in exploring the traits that enabled our success, he plumbs the roots of our creativity and investigates why we became self-aware in ways that no other animals is. Along the way, Last Ape Standing profiles the mysterious "others" who evolved with us and who have also shaped our kind in startling ways - the Neanderthal of Europe, the "hobbits" of Indonesia, the Denisovans of Siberia, and the recently discovered Red Deer Cave people of China, who died off just as we stood at the brink of civilization eleven thousand years ago. Last Ape Standing is evocative science writing at its best - a witty, engaging and accessible story that explores the forces that molded us into the peculiar and astonishing creatures we are.
1. The Battle for Survival
2. The Invention of Childhood (or Why It Hurts to Have a Baby)
3. Learning Machines
4. Tangled Webs - the Moral Primate
5. The Everywhere Ape
6. Cousin Creatures
7. Beauties in the Beast
8. The Voice Inside Your Head
Epilogue: The Next Human
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