The Bible is the bestselling book of all time. It has been venerated—or excoriated—as God’s word, but so far no one has read the Bible for what it is: humanity’s diary, chronicling our ancestors’ valiant attempts to cope with the trials and tribulations of life on Earth.
In The Good Book of Human Nature, evolutionary anthropologist Carel van Schaik and historian Kai Michel advance a new view of Homo sapiens’ cultural evolution. The Bible, they argue, was written to make sense of the single greatest change in history: the transition from egalitarian hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies. Religion arose as a strategy to cope with the unprecedented levels of epidemic disease, violence, inequality, and injustice that confronted us when we abandoned the bush—and which still confront us today.
Geen boek ter wereld heeft meer mensen bewogen dan de Bijbel. Maar de Bijbel is altijd vereerd – of verguisd – als het woord van God. Bijna niemand leest het boek voor wat het werkelijk is: het dagboek van de stoutmoedige pogingen van de mensheid om te gaan met de beproevingen van het leven. De Bijbelverhalen geven een diep inzicht in het wezen van Homo sapiens.
Gewapend met de laatste inzichten uit de cognitiewetenschappen, de evolutiebiologie, de archeologie en de godsdienstgeschiedenis zijn biologisch antropoloog Carel van Schaik en historicus Kai Michel op reis gegaan door het boek der boeken, van de Hof van Eden tot de heuvels van Jeruzalem. Ze ontdekken verrassende betekenissen in oude, soms raadselachtige geschiedenissen en komen tot een nieuwe visie op de culturele ontwikkeling van de mens sinds het begin van onze beschaving.
The Primate Origins of Human Nature brings a multi-disciplinary, multi-theory, and deeply
comparative perspective to the contested idea of “human nature.” Drawing on the findings
and concepts of classical physical anthropology, behavioral ecology, and comparative
and evolutionary psychology, this book uncovers and traces primate antecedents and
evolutionary causes for a broad range of supposedly unique features of human social
organization, life history, and behavior, from aesthetics to xenophobia.
Während etwas 200 000 Jahren haben auf unserem Planeten zwei nahe verwandte Menschenarten gelebt: Homo neanderthalensis in Europa, West- und Zentralasien bis Sibirien, Homo sapiens in Afrika. Vor etwa 40 000 Jahren, zu Beginn der letzten Eiszeit, erscheint Homo sapiens auch in Europa und trifft dort auf die seit langem ansässigen Neandertaler.
Wieso sind Tiere keine Personen? Verändert sich die Persönlichkeit eines Menschen nach einer Herztransplantation? Kann man bei virtuellen Konstrukten im Internet von Personen reden? Wieso hat das individuelle Genom keinen Personenstatus?
Diese und weitere Fragen stehen im Zentrum der Publikation. Vertreterinnen und Vertreter aus verschiedenen geisteswissenschaftlichen und naturwissenschaftlichen Disziplinen sowie Schriftsteller und Künstler kommen zu Wort.
Der Titel "Klon statt Person? Individualität im 21. Jahrhundert" verweist in leicht provokanter Weise auf eine Herausforderung, der sich die Menschen zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts zu stellen haben. Die Möglichkeit, Individuen zu klonen, stellt die Begriffe "Person" und "Individualität" grundsätzlich in Frage und bringt somit das abendländische Grundverständnis des Menschen ins Wanken.
This book has two main aims. The first is to carefully compare data from every orangutan research site, examining the differences and similarities between orangutan species, subspecies and populations. The second is to develop theoretical framework in which this differences and similarities can be explained. To achieve these goals the editors have assembled the world's leading orangutan experts to rigorously synthesize and compare the data, quantify the similarities of differences and seek to explain them.
Orangutans is the first synthesis of orangutan biology to adopt this novel, comparative approach. It analyses and compares the latest data, developing a theoretical framework to explain morphological, life history and behavioural variation. Intriguingly, not all behavioural differences can be attributed do ecological and/or genetic variation between and within the two islands; relative rates of social learning also appear to have been influential. The book also emphasizes the crucial impact of human settlement on orangutans and looks ahead to the future prospects for the survival of critically endangered natural populations.
Cooperative behavior has been one of the enigmas of evolutionary theory since the days of Charles Darwin.
The contributions to this book examine the many facets of cooperative behavior in primates and humans as some of the world's leading experts review and summarize the state of the art of theoretical and empirical studies of cooperation.
This book is thus the first to bridge the gap between parallel research in primatology and studies of humans. Comparative in approach, it highlights both common principles and aspects of human uniquness with respect to cooperative behavior.
The emergence of the genus Homo is widely linked to the colonization of "new" highly seasonal savannah habitats. However, until now, our understanding of the possible impact of this shift has been limited because we have little general knowledge of how seasonality affects the lives of primates. This book documents the extent of seasonality in food abundance in tropical woody vegetation, and then presents systematic analyses of the impact of seasonality in food supply on the behavioral ecology of non-human primates.
Syntheses in this volume then produce, for the first time, broad generalizations concerning the impact of seasonality on the behavioural ecology and reproduction in both human and non-human primates, and apply these insights to primate and human evolution. Written for graduate students and researches in biological anthropology and behavioural ecology, this is an absorbing account of how seasonality may have affected an important episode in our own evolution.
Virtual Reconstruction serves as an introduction to the principles of three-dimensional visualization techniques as they relate to fossil reconstruction and reverse engineering. It covers data acquisition, processing, virtual reconstruction, visualization, manipulation, reverse engineering, and applications to biomedicine. An adjunct Web site provides access to software, as well as sample data sets and relevant Internet links.Illustrating the concepts, methods, and applications of computer-assisted virtual reconstruction. Virtual Reconstruction demonstrates how readers can transform organisms from physical reality into virtual reality. Specifically, the authors provide the knowledge and tools needed to enable researchers to reconstruct fragmented and distorted fossil specimens in 3-D images so that their function, biomechanics, developmental changes, and evolutionary modifications can be determined. Likewise, the authors demonstrate how the same 3-D techniques can be used to enhance medical diagnosis and permit detailed planning of surgical intervention and forensic reconstruction on the basis of patient-specific anatomical data. They also provide a thorough introduction into modern methods of 3-D geometric-morphometric analysis.All the steps of 3-D reconstruction are covered in detail, including data acquisition, processing, graphical representation, interactive manipulation, morphometric analysis, and rapid prototyping. Helping readers to bridge the gap between theory and practice, the authors have taken a four-pronged approach to their subject:>The main text introduces basic concepts, provides technical information, presents practical applications, and discusses potential issues for further research.>Feature boxes offer schematic diagrams to simplify difficult concepts and case studies that demonstrate how concepts and methods are applied in real-world situations.>Appendices contain classical linear algebra formulation as well as standard data formats for text, standard images, biomedical images, and graphical objects.>Companion Internet site allows readers to experiment with sample data sets and applets and provides links to tutorials, applets, databases, and technical definitions: www.wiley.com/go/virtualreconstruction.
The two authors are internationally recognized as leaders and innovators in their field. Their text reflects more than a decade of research in computer-assisted paleoanthropology as well as their insightful lectures and courses in biomedical imaging, scientific visualization, and computational morphology.
This is the only reference that introduces readers, in the biosciences, to the concepts, methods, and applications of computer-assisted virtual reconstruction. It is an invaluable resource for researchers in physical anthropology, paleontology, morphology, anatomy, medicine, forensics, and primatology. Surgeons will find this book a reliable and state-of-the-art information source. Furthermore, the text is an excellent reference for computer scientists working in the biosciences.
From review by Barbara Smuts in Scientific American:
“Van Schaik proposes that the discovery of orangutan culture can provide a resolution to a long-standing puzzle: Why are apes so smart? [He] thinks that social factors are […] pivotal in explaining orangutan intelligence, but not in the way proposed by the social intelligence hypothesis. In a beautifully written, compelling narrative that reads like a detective story, he weaves together several threads of evidence to argue that orangutan intelligence is intimately related to technological innovations that are passed down through social learning….
Orangutans do something clever that other great apes don't do: they use leaves to make rain hats and leakproof roofs over their sleeping nests. But until recently, there was scant evidence of other kinds of tool making. At van Schaik's site, tools were common, and he documents in detail how the orangutans fashion tools out of twigs. They use some tools to fish for ants or termites, while they skillfully manipulate others to get at scrumptious seeds protected by razor-sharp hairs. At first glance, these tools do not seem to reflect advanced cognitive skills, but on closer inspection van Schaik found that each tool is carefully crafted to match the precise needs of a given situation. And like chimpanzees, orangutans sometimes make tools for later use, an apparent example of conscious planning.
…. Apes began as slow-moving, slow-growing, slow-aging animals with quick minds. Once these minds began to invent tools, van Schaik argues, apes became increasingly dependent on culture, and in a recurrent positive feedback loop, selection favored even larger brains, which improved culture, and so on. Van Schaik's answer to the puzzle raised at the beginning, then, is that great apes started out smart because they were safe from predators and ended up even smarter because their large brains and slow life histories allowed culture to develop and flourish.”
Sexual Selection in Primates provides an up-to-date account of all aspects of sexual selection in primates, combining theoretical insights, comprehensive reviews of the primate literature and comparative perspectives from relevant work on other mammals, birds and humans. Topics include sex roles, sexual dimorphism in weapons, ornaments and armaments, sex ratios, sex differences in behaviour and development, mate choice, sexual conflict, sex-specific life history strategies, sperm competition, and emphasised throughout. Sexual Selection in Primates is aimed at graduates and researchers in primatology, animal behaviour, evolutionary biology and comparative psychology.
The killing of infants by adult males is a remarkably widespread behavior among primates and some other mammalian orders. Long regarded as pathological behavior, more recent perspectives have considered it an adaptive male reproductive strategy. In this book, this so-called sexual selection hypothesis is carefully evaluated in both reviews and meta-analyses and in detailed, long-term case studies of a variety of primate species, written by experts in the field. Basic aspects of reproductive biology appear to predispose females to the risk of infanticide, in both primates and other mammalian radiation with slow-paced life histories. Having established the validity of the adaptive approach, subsequent chapters examine the consequences of the occurrence of infanticide for intersexual association, coalitionary strategies and social systems as a whole, as well as female reproductive biology and sexual behavior and dispersal behavior. These chapters on primates are complemented by chapters on birds and humans showing the value of the same approach for understanding the phenomenon in these taxa.
Strategies for Preserving Tropical Nature
Protected Areas & the Defense of Tropical Biodiversity
A Sumatran Sanctuary