The Fossil Chronicles by Dean Falk

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Synopsis

Two discoveries of early human relatives, one in 1924 and one in 2003, radically changed scientific thinking about our origins. Dean Falk, a pioneer in the field of human brain evolution, offers this fast-paced insider’s account of these discoveries, the behind-the-scenes politics embroiling the scientists who found and analyzed them, and the academic and religious controversies they generated. The first is the Taung child, a two-million-year-old skull from South Africa that led anatomist Raymond Dart to argue that this creature had walked upright and that Africa held the key to the fossil ancestry of our species. The second find consisted of the partial skeleton of a three-and-a-half-foot-tall woman, nicknamed Hobbit, from Flores Island, Indonesia. She is thought by scientists to belong to a new, recently extinct species of human, but her story is still unfolding. Falk, who has studied the brain casts of both Taung and Hobbit, reveals new evidence crucial to interpreting both discoveries and proposes surprising connections between this pair of extraordinary specimens.
 

About Dean Falk

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Dean Falk is a Senior Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her previous books include Finding Our Tongues: Mothers, Infants, and the Origin of Language and Braindance, Revised and Expanded Edition: New Discoveries about Human Origins and Brain Evolution.
 
Published October 3, 2011 by University of California Press. 280 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Fossil Chronicles

The Wall Street Journal

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Falk's expertise as an interpreter of fossil brains also drew her into the hobbit controversy after archaeologist Michael Morwood and an international team described, in 2004, the diminutive remains of a previously unknown species of human who lived on Flores Island in the Pacific sometime betwee...

Oct 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Fossil Chronicles

ForeWord Reviews

In her latest book, Dean Falk notes, “when it comes to the subject of human origins, scientists have been every bit as passionate about their convictions as religious fundamentalists.” In this accessible, informative account of the discoveries of two early human fossils, the author details the sc...

Nov 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Fossil Chronicles

Amerian Scientist

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Sep 09 2014 | Read Full Review of The Fossil Chronicles

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