Human Evolution: Our Brains and Behavior

Human Evolution Our Brains and Behavior The story of human evolution has fascinated us like no other we seem to have an insatiable curiosity about who we are and where we have come from Yet studying the stones and bones skirts around what i

  • Title: Human Evolution: Our Brains and Behavior
  • Author: Robin I.M. Dunbar
  • ISBN: 9780190616786
  • Page: 462
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The story of human evolution has fascinated us like no other we seem to have an insatiable curiosity about who we are and where we have come from Yet studying the stones and bones skirts around what is perhaps the realest, and most relatable, story of human evolution the social and cognitive changes that gave rise to modern humans.In Human Evolution Our Brains and BThe story of human evolution has fascinated us like no other we seem to have an insatiable curiosity about who we are and where we have come from Yet studying the stones and bones skirts around what is perhaps the realest, and most relatable, story of human evolution the social and cognitive changes that gave rise to modern humans.In Human Evolution Our Brains and Behavior, Robin Dunbar appeals to the human aspects of every reader, as subjects of mating, friendship, and community are discussed from an evolutionary psychology perspective With a table of contents ranging from prehistoric times to modern days, Human Evolution focuses on an aspect of evolution that has typically been overshadowed by the archaeological record the biological, neurological, and genetic changes that occurred with each transition in the evolutionary narrative Dunbar s interdisciplinary approach inspired by his background as both an anthropologist and accomplished psychologist brings the reader into all aspects of the evolutionary process, which he describes as the jigsaw puzzle of evolution that he and the reader will help solve In doing so, the book carefully maps out each stage of the evolutionary process, from anatomical changes such as bipedalism and increase in brain size, to cognitive and behavioral changes, such as the ability to cook, laugh, and use language to form communities through religion and story telling Most importantly and interestingly, Dunbar hypothesizes the order in which these evolutionary changes occurred conclusions that are reached with the time budget model theory that Dunbar himself coined As definitive as the stones and bones are for the hard dates of archaeological evidence, this book explores far complex psychological questions that require a degree of intellectual speculation What does it really mean to be human as opposed to being an ape , and how did we come to be that way

    One thought on “Human Evolution: Our Brains and Behavior”

    1. This era will be remembered as the time of data science and machine learning, when massive amounts of data have begun helping us to understand, analyze, and control just about everything. This beautiful, exciting book shows that understanding our evolution and behavior as human beings requires exactly the opposite approach, because data is so scarce. Starting with little more than "stones and bones," the scant archaeological evidence of ancient primates, and adding the behavior and characteristi [...]

    2. "You have to know the past  to understand the present" Inviting friends to dinner may seem like an important feature of civilized modern cultural habits but many may be oblivious of the fact why and how it all evolved; may date back to the time when there wasn't any human beings to hang around.The book is more than a typical traditional work on evolution of species specifically ours, homo sapiens and our dead family members. Rather than quoting the conventional accounts and facts relied upon th [...]

    3. If, like me, you read the occasional popular science book about humans, you have probably at some point come across "Dunbar's Number". This is derived from the fact that, if you graph brain size (ok really relative size of certain parts of the brain to body size, but you get the idea) to average group size (e.g. how many chimpanzees sleep in a group at night, how many gorillas, how many bonobos, how many orangutans, etc.), you find a correlation. The bigger the brain (after taking into account b [...]

    4. This interesting look at our primate ancestors, the great and smaller apes today, and ourselves, combines various researches, some of which will be familiar, some more newly learnt. There are many graphs and charts, usually easy enough to understand, showing clear progressions. Time requirements and energy use is the main concept through the Neanderthals, the big-brained apes and bigger brained humans needing more food, their social structures, the typical village size being 150 people throughou [...]

    5. Interesting what drives our social circles and social needs as humans. The reason for why we care about who. How we evolved to different lifestyles and what kind of activities bond us together more efficiently.

    6. This is the complete review as it appears at my blog. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here.Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or [...]

    7. A wealth of information presented in a refreshing conversational manner. Use of graphics was effective in conveying the message and reducing the density of the read. Two topics I would have enjoyed additional coverage from the author were the relationship between archaic and anatomically modern humans (AMH) and physical gestures, (sign language) as a possible precursor to vocal language. Communication does not require oral language to be effective. Simple gestures such a pointing and waving woul [...]

    8. Robin Dunbar did an excellent job in researching, formatting, and reporting a frankly complex topic. The question of our origins has always been at the forefront of biology. In fact, a multidisciplinary effort is still attempting to elucidate the exact course of our species. Dunbar brings a psychologist's perspective to the topic of evolution and attempts to explain the idea that evolution affects not only our bodies, but also our brains, and in particular, our behavior. Amazingly enough, Dunbar [...]

    9. Thank You NetGalley and Oxford Press for the free advanced reading copy. A very thoroughly researched book of human origins from Australopithecines to Homo sapiens. The book focuses more on socio-cognitive interactions and their result on brain development and bipedal gait then just biological evidence.

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