The First Human by Ann Gibbons
The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors

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Synopsis

In this dynamic account, award-winning science writer Ann Gibbons chronicles an extraordinary quest to answer the most primal of questions: When and where was the dawn of humankind?Following four intensely competitive international teams of scientists in a heated race to find the “missing link”–the fossil of the earliest human ancestor–Gibbons ventures to Africa, where she encounters a fascinating array of fossil hunters: Tim White, the irreverent Californian who discovered the partial skeleton of a primate that lived 4.4 million years ago in Ethiopia; French paleontologist Michel Brunet, who uncovers a skull in Chad that could date the beginnings of humankind to seven million years ago; and two other groups–one led by zoologist Meave Leakey, the other by British geologist Martin Pickford and his French paleontologist partner, Brigitte Senut–who enter the race with landmark discoveries of their own. Through scrupulous research and vivid first-person reporting, The First Human reveals the perils and the promises of fossil hunting on a grand competitive scale.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Ann Gibbons

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Ann Gibbons, the primary writer on human evolution for Science magazine for more than a decade, has taught science writing at Carnegie Mellon University. She has been a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Science Journalism Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. www.anngibbons.com
 
Published April 10, 2007 by Anchor. 336 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Business & Economics, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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While acknowledging a 2004 Gallup poll demonstrating that 45 percent of Americans believe “God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago,” Gibbons provides for everyone else an evocative examination of what we know about where, when and why our species arose—in...

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Entertainment Weekly

With great flair (and a real gift for explaining a somewhat dusty science), Ann Gibbons recounts a recent tale of four research teams in The First Human — each with its share of gigantic brains, egos, and competitive drive — locked in a thrilling race to establish nothing less than the dawn of h...

Apr 14 2006 | Read Full Review of The First Human: The Race to ...

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