Find out how our social lives shaped our brains
Author: Clive Gamble, John Gowlett, Robin Dunbar Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Price: £9.99 / $16.95
Release date: Out now (UK) / 6 February 2018 (US)
Authored by evolutionary psychologist (Dunbar) and two archaeologists (Gamble and Gowlett), this book is the result of a superb combination of expertise enabling the reader to understand the theories behind our evolution and the hard evidence that supports them.
This extensive investigation explores the history of our brain, and the growth of this big-thinking, social computer. And, although the human and chimp lineages diverged approximately 7 million years ago, we still appear to carry instinctively social habits within our ancient minds. In just tens of thousands of years, we have gone from using stone tools to iphones, but our social lives at the basic level have hardly changed. We are now global citizens, with many of us living in megacities, yet we still possess ancient minds only capable of maintaining contact with a
limited natural social group of around 150 (so-called Dunbar’s number) individuals.
The authors brilliantly illustrate the differences and similarities between modern humans, our ancestors and our primate relatives, using informative graphs and captivating images to display the geometric patterns etched into rocks, as well as including fossil records of our origins and drawings of our oldest forbearers.
This book is a fantastic read for anyone interested in evolutionary biology and archaeology, particularly if you’ve always wondered about your own instincts. Why does an audience laugh in ripples rather than all together, and why do we line up the glasses on the table with lines on the checkered table cloth? A host of questions are answered within these pages.