The 10,000 Year Explosion

The 10,000 Year Explosion

How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution

Book - 2009
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Resistance to malaria. Blue eyes. Lactose tolerance. What do all of these traits have in common? Every one of them has emerged in the last 10,000 years. Scientists have long believed that the "great leap forward" that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago marked the end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [2009], ©2009
ISBN: 9780465002214
0465002218
Branch Call Number: 599.938 Co
Description: xii, 288 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Harpending, Henry
Alternative Title: Ten thousand year explosion

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pm221
Aug 11, 2017

It is not at all clear to me why any-one would think that human evolution stopped with the emergence of anatomically modern forms some 70 ka ago, but this book should dispel any such doubts. Most interesting of all is the final section on evolution of exceptional intelligence in specific non-intermarrying religious groups. One almost gets the impression that this was the reason for writing the book, the rest being more mundane introduction to the subject.

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