From the list on human evolution and the human story.
Who am I?
Our discovery that we are modified monkeys rather than modified mud is a human achievement on a par with a Mozart opera or a Vermeer painting. As a historian and philosopher of science, my lifelong mission has been to see how this knowledge transcends earlier myths about divine creation and opens the way to a far richer and more optimistic vision of human nature, our achievements, and our future possibilities. New knowledge can be terrifying. It can also be exciting and liberating. It is an obligation, a privilege, and a joy to be able to express our full humanity. The authors I shall introduce exemplify this so very much.
Michael's book list on human evolution and the human story
Why did Michael love this book?
If you can read only one book on human evolution, this is it. “Lucy,” a fossil Australopithecus afarensis, discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, is the proverbial “missing link.” About three million years old, she had a chimpanzee-size brain, about 400cc (as opposed to modern humans, about 1200cc), and yet walked upright. Told by Don Johanson, one of the team who discovered her, and science writer Martin Edey, the book is informative, serious, and yet at the same time written with a light touch that makes the tale akin to a thriller like Stephen King. It is a thriller. Our great great grandma was not Eve, eating illicit apples, but a modified monkey roaming the plains of Africa.