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Humankind : how biology and geography shape human diversity

Author: A H Harcourt
Publisher: New York, NY : Pegasus Books, 2015. ©2015
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First Pegasus books cloth edition June 2015View all editions and formats
Summary:
Overview: An innovative and illuminating look at how the evolution of the human species has been shaped by the world around us, from anatomy and physiology, to cultural diversity and population density. Where did the human species originate? Why are tropical peoples much more diverse than those at polar latitudes? Why can only Japanese peoples digest seaweed? How are darker skin, sunlight, and fertility related? Did  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: A H Harcourt
ISBN: 1605987840 9781605987842 9781681771625 1681771624
OCLC Number: 892878707
Notes: "June 2015"--Title page verso.
Description: 324 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Contents: Prologue : Where we are going-and why --
We are all African : the birthplace of humankind --
From here to there and back again : a mostly coastal route out of Africa-across the world? --
How do we know what we think we know? : the science behind the "facts" --
Variety is the spice of life : where we are affects what we are --
Gene maps and roads less traveled : barriers to movement maintain diversity --
Is man merely a monkey? : human cultural diversity varies across the globe in the same way and for the same reasons as biological diversity --
Islands are special : size and metabolism in a small environment --
We are what we eat : our diet affects our genes, and different regions eat different foods --
What doesn't kill us halts us or moves us : other species influence where we can live --
Mad, bad, and dangerous to know : we are bad for many species, even if we help a few --
Conquest and cooperation : humans are bad for each other, even if we occasionally help one another --
Epilogue : Are we going to last the distance? --
Citations --
Sources --
Some suggested reading --
Index.
Other Titles: How biology and geography shape human diversity
Responsibility: Alexander H. Harcourt.

Abstract:

Overview: An innovative and illuminating look at how the evolution of the human species has been shaped by the world around us, from anatomy and physiology, to cultural diversity and population density. Where did the human species originate? Why are tropical peoples much more diverse than those at polar latitudes? Why can only Japanese peoples digest seaweed? How are darker skin, sunlight, and fertility related? Did Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens ever interbreed? In Humankind, U.C. Davis professor Alexander Harcourt answers these questions and more, as he explains how the expansion of the human species around the globe and our interaction with our environment explains much about why humans differ from one region of the world to another, not only biologically, but culturally. What effects have other species had on the distribution of humans around the world, and we, in turn, on their distribution? And how have human populations affected each other's geography, even existence? For the first time in a single book, Alexander Harcourt brings these topics together to help us understand why we are, what we are, where we are. It turns out that when one looks at humanity's expansion around the world, and in the biological explanations for our geographic diversity, we humans are often just another primate. Humanity's distribution around the world and the type of organism we are today has been shaped by the same biogeographical forces that shape other species.

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