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Jared Diamond should be required reading He has influenced my view of humanity and history than probably anyone except maybe a history professor in college, where I was a history minor No, I think I Diamond has influenced me I stumbled across a 3 part series on PBS based on Guns, Germs and Steel a couple of years ago and was floored I bought and read the book immediately and was even blown away Since then I have read Collapse How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and Why is Sex Fun Both of them were also mind blowing and insightful The Third Chimpanzee was Diamond s first book and it really lays the groundwork for his three following In fact 3C read a bit like an abridged version of the other three books combined But that is not to say it did not contain things the other books didn t.or at least that I don t remember The next time I recommend Diamond to a friend, I think I will recommend 3C because it is a great overview of his works.I was particularly struck by the chapters on language, both animal languages that are only beginning to be unraveled, as well as the information on human languages.The book also contains a striking chapter about genocide It was a tough chapter to read and teetered on the edge of being overwhelmingly depressing to me But it is something that can t be ignored Humans have a long history of killing each other on a massive scale If humanity is going to change how we act in the future, we can t gloss over the past because it demonstrates human tendencies Besides his incredible insight, I appreciate Diamond for a number of other reasons First off I find his writing reachable Although he often talks about some very complex and specific things, he does a brilliant job of making it understandable to a layperson He also pulls no punches he seems to have a very realistic view of humanity, good and bad He is quick to point out inconsistencies, discrimination and arrogance, including his own He preaches without ever feeling preachy He also has a fun sense of humor and appreciates irony as it regularly occurs in life I would be dumber and my life less full if I had not discovered Jared Diamond And much to my joy he has a new book coming out in mere weeks This is a wonderful book by a great author In fact, I prefer this book to the other books that I ve read by Jared Diamond It is entertaining, informative, and every page is interesting The book covers a vast range of topics, such as how are humans qualitatively different from other animals, why do men do stupid things to impress women, why do people practice adultery, why do humans practice genocide, how did languages evolve, why do some people become addicted to drugs, why do humans produce art, and why do humans age The book ends with the ecological harm humans have done to the planet not just recently, but in ancient times as well , and the extinctions of species that we cause Diamond shows how none of these activities are unique to humans each activity has some analog in animal behavior, as well.Like Diamond s other books, there is plenty of speculation here He makes sweeping generalizations that are not always held up by documented facts But Diamond s enthusiasm rings loud and clear, and his speculations always sound reasonable, at least to me. More Than % Of Human Genes Are Shared With Two Species Of Chimpanzee The Third Chimpanzee Is ManJared Diamond Surveys Our Life Cycle, Culture, Sexuality And Destructive Urges Both Towards Ourselves And The Planet To Explore The Ways In Which We Are Uniquely Human Yet Still Influenced By Our Animal Origins If you ve read Guns, Germs and Steel or Collapse you know what to expect from Jared Diamond a blizzard of fascinating facts, insights and theories that will spark tens of conversations among your like minded friends and colleagues.Diamond is a master of spinning hard fact and intriguing theory into readable books, and he does so again in The Third Chimpanzee The Evolution Future of the Human Animal, exploring the link between humans and the beings we call apes Diamond argues against such a distinction, and posits that humans are simply a third variety of chimpanzee and the evolution of human bodies, minds and culture.If you re in the mood for an interesting and informative info dump you ve come to the right book Diamond explores high and low, illuminating research ranging from comparisons of genitalia size There s reason why Hung like a Gorilla is not a popular phrase and the theories behind these differences, the possible reasons behind Homo Sapiens sudden technological leap beyond our early origins and our cousins the Neanderthals, and finally a discussion of the threats to our existence that Diamond later devoted Collapse to Diamond weaves his own experiences working with remote tribes in Papua New Guinea into the narrative and I that found this aspect of his storytelling balances the fact heavy sections well.I learned a great deal from this book about the evolution of my own body, and the ways that the human form could indicate social and behavioral traits to a neutral observer Diamond uses the example of Aliens viewing our species for the first time Diamond makes these learnings both accessible and interesting and I experienced a number of out loud wow science exclamation moments while reading this book.If you re at all interested in evolutionary theory and our genetic proximity to our forest dwelling relatives, you should read this book If you re still uncertain that we re related to chimpanzees and gorillas, you too, should read it I guarantee you ll be convinced we should have been inviting Bonzo and Harambe to our family barbecues If you re really, really certain we aren t related to apes and you aren t interested in being convinced otherwise well, I suspect you aren t browsing this section of the library bookstore anyway. Excellent I m giving it four stars instead of five only because from the vantage of 2014 its age shows, mainly in the absence of some information learned since it was written about the Neanderthals and the similar but then unknown Denisovan people specifically, the presence of small amounts of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in the modern human gene pool and in the absence of that knowledge, the author makes some assumptions about our history with those other peoples that are incomplete at best but the book is impressive in its accurate anticipation of the situations of the present and probable future The title is based on our very close genetic links with the two species normally called chimpanzees, i.e the common chimp and what Diamond calls the pigmy chimp, normally referred to now as the bonobo Any other species as closely related to those two as we are would be recognized as simply a third type of chimpanzee by naturalists, hence the title But this book is not only about our species, but about the environments that have shaped us and how we in turn began shaping the rest of the natural world, usually unintentionally but no less powerfully, once our numbers and technology made that possible, starting with humankind s probable role in the mass extinctions of large animals wherever we showed up and continuing through today s problems of climate change, overfishing and hunting, introduction of invasive species, and habitat encroachment The threat of nuclear war is in there, but Diamond accurately predicted that it would become less likely as the catastrophic consequences of environmental devastation grew visible and irreversible.Informative, thought provoking, often funny I recommend this strongly to anyone interested in human history and prehistory and our relationships with the places and the other life forms on our planet. Funny that I read this book in Mexico, a country where people believe in creation than evolution For the record, I think we evolved from apes For the record, that doesn t bother me in the least.I am going to do two things, first, I will talk about what I learned from this book, secondly I am going to go on a rant about anthropology While this book was interesting, there were parts where the author stepped far beyond his area of expertise, leading to some very weak chapters Further, this was written almost 20 years ago, and it is simply amazing how quickly scientific knowledge has advanced Some parts were outdated, which I found remarkable Scientific facts seem to have a very quick expiration date.This book details defining characters of human society symbolic language, art, agriculture, war, drug abuse and environmental destruction and presents our evolutionary precursors to these traits He covers some excellently, and others with not as much conviction He begins by discussing the unique aspects of the human body both genetically and our life cycle This part was quite interesting I learned that we share a whopping 98.4% of our genes with chimpanzees, which is pretty cool if you ask me It was interesting to see how our prolonged life cycle and the unique characteristic of females menopause has influenced human life Those two things allowed us to transmit lots of information because old folks would be the story tellers and survival experts when shit hit the fan and allowed women to also live a bit after having children It s quite dangerous to have children, let us recall So menopause was a great thing for women, evolutionarily speaking Interesting to learn that genetic changes took thousands of years to develop, but once they developed than cultural evolution exploded and since has outpaced biological evolution Evolution slowly brought us to the place where we had the tools to really start running with it.One thing that stands out from this book is that a large part of our progress was heavily dependant on the environment and our genes Rarely do we stop and thank water for being there, or acknowledge how certain geographical features shaped us as humans Perhaps we should do this often.At points, the author stepped outside of his area of expertise to strengthen his argument via other disciplines I admire the approach and feel it s best to cover one subject through as many routes of knowledge as possible The tricky thing is, you just have to make good arguments in those other fields There were two chapters which I shook my head often than I nodded it, they covered art and astronomy The author, in discussing what makes humans unique tries to find precedent in other animals as to how this evolved in humans Art proves tricky Art, which I would define as the soul expressing itself in reality, is a uniquely human endeavor Diamond makes the claim that chimpanzees and elephants have produced art in captivity He quotes an abstract expressionist painter and critic and a psychologist as his authorities However, the issue is that other animal art is not a spontaneous creation They were provided the tools in captivity, it s much likely that they pick up paintbrush and smoosh paint to gain the approval of their handlers and earn extra attention than it is an undeniable expression of their soul Also, the category of art that Diamond holds up as his see, they can produce art in fact defines itself as anti figurative aesthetic, meaning art that tries to look like nothing in order to symbolize emotion So yes, chimps splashing paint fits into this very specific category, but that doesn t make it art outside of that interpretation Show me realistic art, art that holds the mirror to reality with a bit clarity and then show me another animal spontaneously producing that, then we ll talk This author simply does not understand art, which is fine, but which also means you should steer far clear of it while making a case.However, the chapter that blew my mind than any other was one chapter on our place within the universe This chapter came from left field, was almost entirely speculative and had very little to do with the central thesis I have no idea why the editor didn t cut it Suddenly he begins to explain the immense size of the universe, accurately Then he suddenly declares that there are no planets that can support life incorrect , we re the only one with life speculative , period I was shocked, and I m going to give him the benefit of the doubt only because we have learned very much about the abundance of habitable planets in the universe since 1992 That is the only thing that can possible explain this chapter, because after factually stating how immense the universe is, he then is completely incorrect scientifically about the abundance of planets and finally 100% speculative about there being no other life The crappy part is he tries to present it all as factual, when in reality just his first stand of evidence was Ugh What the hell.Now, time to rant, this book embodied a perspective on life that I am coming to disdain anthropology, or 21st century intellectualized racial awwwing at the primitive people who are just so interesting Primitive people make great facebook photo albums Let me explain The author did a lot of research on New Guinea, and talks extensively about it Due to the terrain, there were many different societies who lived close to one another but remained isolated Each pocked was a unique culture, with unique traditions and all that For example, apparently round them parts the cool thing to do is wear basically a codpeice or penis stick Some tribes painted them yellow, some green, some had flowers, some feathers, dudes had multiple and some were special occasion ones, etc You getting the picture if so what color is your penis stick, haha Lots of penis sticks, no shoes, native instruments, so cute right None of the influence from evil modern society and satan incarnate aka the white man Only within the last 40 years or so did these tribes begin to modernize, trade, get modern goods and all.The author fondly recalls one of his strolls through the jungle back in the good old days where he came up to a tribe banging on drums and they were so amazed to see him, a white man About 20 years later he goes back to visit the tribe, with I m sure his notebooks to do observations on them, fancy camera, maybe a computer, etc and to his horror hears them listening to pop music and sees a few wearing Reeboks Gasp, they were so much cuter, so much useful to the purpose of my research paper, when they didn t have Reeboks.What I find appalling about this perspective is it completely ignores the desires of the native people and it ignores the benefits that one is able to obtain from modern society The very system that allowed the author to think in this way, be educated, and write a book is the one he wants to hold back from cultures because he would rather see the variety of penis ornaments What if these people want to be modernized Is it such a horrible thing that they learn about medicine and their infant mortality rate plummets Is it a bad thing that their life expectancy is over 40 now What if they want to wear Nikes Is it such a bad thing to see a world map, understand it s a big place, learn that there are about 7 billion other humans out there What I simply do not understand about the awww, look at and study the primitive people perspective is the lack of consideration for the desires, wishes, or well being of the culture in question It s like they feel guilty about being white and going to good prep schools So they ll write academic papers about those cute jungle people, and take photos and all that, but it s like they want that to remain the way it is Don t modernize, I just got grant money to study you It s like their vacation from reality, and I think it s frankly insulting to the people being photographed and studied as if they were animals.Breathe Anyway, I thought this book was going to be excellent, instead it was average Perhaps a new edition would really go a long way in improving it I learned some interesting statistics, but am not very inspired to continue reading Diamond.It has also proved possible to work out a calibration between genetic distance and elapsed time, and thereby get an approximate answer to the question of when we and chimps split apart from our common ancestor That turns out to be somewhere around seven million years ago, give or take a few million years 12If our ethical code makes a purely arbitrary distinction between humans and all other species, then we have a code based on naked selfishness devoid of any higher principle If our code instead makes distinctions based on our superior intelligence, social relationships, and capacity for feeling pain, then it becomes difficult to defend an all or nothing code that draws a line between all humans and all animals 30The emergence of Homo sapiens illustrates the paradox discussed in the previous chapter that our rise to humanity was not directly proportional to the changes in our genes 37Those of us accustomed to getting our information from the printed page or television will find it hard to appreciate how important even just one or two old people are in a preliterate societyone such person in a preliterate society can thus spell the difference between death and survival for the whole society 50Cro Manon Neanderthal transition was a harbinger of what was to come, when the victors descendants began squabbling among themselves It may at first seem paradoxical that Cro Magnons prevailed over the muscular Neanderthals, but weaponry rather than strength would have been decisive Similarly, it s not gorillas that are now threatening to exterminate humans in central Africa, but vice versa People with huge muscles require lots of food, and they thereby gain no advantage if slimmer, smarter people can use tools to do the same work 52Until the great leap forward, human culture had developed at a snail s pace for millions of years that pace was dictated by the slow pace of genetic change After the leap, cultural development no longer depended on genetic change Despite negligible changes in our anatomy, there has been far cultural evolution in the past forty thousand years than in the millions of years before 56Our mean duration of coitus about four minutes for Americans is much longer than for gorillas one minute , pygmy chimps fifteen seconds , or common chimps seven seconds , but shorter than for orangutans fifteen minutes and lightning fast compared to the twelve hour long copulations of marsupial mice 75In these days of growing human over population, one of the most ironic tragedies is the catholic church s claim that human copulation has conception as its natural purpose, and that the rhythm method is the only proper means of birth control The rhythm method would be terrific for gorillas and most other mammal species, but not for us In no species besides humans has the purpose of copulation become so unrelated to conception, or the rhythm method so unsuited for contraception 78How does one decide whether recognizably distinct animal populations from different localities constitute different species, or belong instead to the same special and just constitute different races also known as subspecies The distinction is based on interbreeding under normal circumstances, members of the same species may interbreed normally if given the opportunity, while members of different species don t 112The longer life span of modern humans as compared to that of apes does not rest only on cultural adaptations, such as tools to acquire food and deter predators It also rests on the biological advantage of menopause and increased investment in self repair Whether those biological adaptations developed especially at the time of the great leap forward or earlier, they rank among the life history changes that permitted the rise of the third chimpanzee to humanity 135Up to half the words in typical human speech are purely grammatical items, with no referent that one can point to 153 Most of today s leading infectious diseases and parasites of mankind could not become established until after the transition to agriculture These killers persist only in societies of crowded, malnourished, sedentary people constantly reinfected by each other and by their own sewage 187Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming brought another curse to humanity class divisions 187 Discussing dangerous behaviors, such as smoking or tattoos Males of many species have bright colors, loud songs, or conspicuous displays that attract predators Why should a male advertise such an impediment, and why should a female like it Zahavi s theory goes to the heart of this paradox According to his theory, those deleterious structures and behaviors constitute valid indicators that the animal is being honest in its claim of superiority, precisely because those traits themselves impose handicaps 197Continental differences in level of civilization arose from geography s effect on the development of our cultural hallmarks, not from human genetics Continents differed in the resources on which civilization depended especially in the wild animal and plan species that proved useful for domestication 236Plants and animals spread quickly and easily within a climate zone to which they ve already adapted To spread out of this zone, they have to develop new varieties with different climate tolerances A glance at the map of the old world shows how species could shift long distances without encountering a change of climate 245These calculations, which belong to a science called glottochronology chronology of languages , yield the rule of thumb that languages replace about 20 percent of their basic vocabulary every one thousand years 262The steppe itself reaches its western limit in the plains of Hungary That s where all subsequent steppe invaders of Europe, like the Mongols, stopped To spread further, steppe society had to adopt to the forested landscape of western Europe by adopting intense agricultural or by taking over existing European societies and hybridizing with their peoples Most of the genes of the resulting hybrid societies may have been the genes of old europe 271Chimpanzee behavior suggests that a major reason for our human hallmark of group living was defense against other human groups, especially once we acquired weapons and a large enough brain to plan ambushes If this reasoning is correct, then anthropologist s traditional emphasis on man the hunter as the driving force of human evolution might be valid after all with the difference that we ourselves were our own prey as well as the predator that forced us into group living 294Our power threatens our own existence 311 If you want to find answers for your questions like the qualitative discrepancies between human and animals, how and why men do stupid things for attracting women, the reasons for being unfaithful among men, evolution of language, the reason for creating artworks by people, please read this book The author shows that such odd behaviors are not just pertaing to humans, but also has root in ancestral interfaces with animals. We are all 98% chimp By that I mean that we share 98% of our genes with our closest animal ancestors Diamond patiently explains what that means and explores what makes us human.People say that humanity is differentiated by the use of tools and language, but also by murder and genocide Actually the animal kingdom has examples of rudimentary tools, complex language, murder and genocide Perhaps it is the degree to which we indulge that makes us human no bonobo or aardvaark has a red button where, by pushing it, they could obliterate whole cities.No penguin or gazelle lives in as diverse a range of habitats as humanity, nor do they bend nature to its will in quite the same way as we do.So what does make us human Diamond makes the case that language of increasing complexity and abstractness this is a word is the prime suspect.An interesting book, and thought provoking I marked it down because I did not find this as compelling as the other books I have read by him Perhaps this is because he invokes many of the same themes as other books, and I have lost the thrill of the new as far as Diamond is concerned.By bizarre coincidence Diamond was on Desert Island Disks on BBC R4 on Friday Must catch up with this. Hayvanlardan Tanr lara Sapiens nsan T r n n K sa Bir Tarihi kitab n n ba ta idefix gibi sitelerde bilin li ve kas tl bir bi imde s rekli indirime gidip raflardan hi indirilmemesinin en b y k sebeplerinden birisi bu kitab n a k ve net bir kapitalist sistem propagandas i eriyor olmas d r lgili kitaba yazd m yorumda detaylar n ve gerek elerini g receksiniz.Bu kitap Sapiens e k yasla kesinlikle daha kaliteli, daha tutarl , daha kapsaml ve bilimsel Sadece kaynak as 45 sayfa tutan bu kitab n raflarda s rekli yer almamas , her hafta indirime girmemesi, setler halinde sat lmamas , DR larda pohpohlanmamas , insan y celtip evrenin merkezine koyan antroposentrik bak a s yla yaz lmad ndan ve s rekli ve yo un bir kapitalizm propagandas yapmad ndand r lgin detaylardan birisi bu kitapta Sapiens kitab n n ortaya s rd fikirlerin hemen hepsinin ve fazlas n n yer al yor olmas nsan ocu unun yay lmac l , orman katli, biyolojik evrimi, atom bombalar n n korkutucu tehlikesi gibi konular bu kitapta da yer ald gibi Sapiens te yer almayan yahut da y zeysel olarak ge i tirilen Tek ve oke lilik, homoseks elite, Aldatma Menapoz Yumurtlama d neminin gizlenilmesi E se imi Dilin evrimi ve dil a a lar n n k kenleri Sava ve sald rganl k empanzeler, bonobolar ve insan davran lar n n di er hayvanlardaki k kenleriSapiens te a rl k verilen do al se ilimde insan n kulland gibi, insan da kullanan bu day gibi bitkilerden bu kitapta bahsedilmiyor Aksine, Sapiens te iddia edildi inin aksine d nyan n her yerinde yaln zca bu day tar mda kullan lmam O kadar fazla evcil ve yabani bitki tar mda kullan lm ki, bir Orta Do u k kenli yazar n Orta Do u nun kulland bu daya bu kadar a rl k vermesi Sapiens in bu kitab n yan nda s n k kalmas n n sebeplerinden bir di eri.Ben bu kitab ok be endim Kesinlikle bu tip pop ler bilim kitaplar aras nda okumaktan bu kadar ok keyif ald m ve a k ara en fazla bilgiyi en az yorucu ve efor isteyecek ekilde aktaran ba ka bir kitap olmad Kitapta soyk r mlar b l m nde, iddia edilen Ermeni Soyk r m ile ilgili olarak yay nc n n d tABD nin yapt soyk r mlar g zard edilmi kitab n tarafs zl na g lge d rmeklindeki sa ma dipnot yay nc n n kitab n devam ndaki neredeyse tamamen Bat l ve ABD lilerin yapt soyk r mlara dair b l mleri okumad n g steriyor Yay nc n n dipnotu son derece anlams z ve abs rd olmu B yle bir dipnot d meden nce kitab dikkatli okumak gerekir.Raf mda oldu u i in son derece mutlu oldu um iyi ki sat n alm m ve okumu um dedi im bir kitap olan nc empanze, yazar n di er kitaplar n da okuma evkimi art rd.Onlar okumay iple ekiyorum. Original review The audience called for an encore and Jared obliged The rewind was not as much fun.Update The Homosexual Chimpanzee However, this book has some great explanations on human sexuality but does not address one which I was not able to find a satisfactory explanation for, evolutionarily speaking Homosexuality The following is an explanatory excerpt from The Extended Phenotype by Richard Dawkins I am adding this here for my own reference, but I am sure you will find it damn interesting tooConsider human male homosexuality as a serious example On the face of it, the existence of a substantial minority of men who prefer sexual relations with their own sex rather than with the opposite sex constitutes a problem for any simple Darwinian theory The rather discursive title of a privately circulated homosexualist pamphlet, which the author was kind enough to send me, summarizes the problem Why are there gays at all Why hasn t evolution eliminated gayness millions of years ago The author, incidentally, thinks the problem so important that it seriously undermines the whole Darwinian view of life Trivers 1974 , Wilson 1975, 1978 , and especially Weinrich 1976 have considered various versions of the possibility that homosexuals may, at some time in history, have been functionally equivalent to sterile workers, foregoing personal reproduction the better to care for other relatives I do not find this idea particularly plausible Ridley Dawkins in press , certainly no so than a sneaky male hypothesis According to this latter idea, homosexuality represents an alternative male tactic for obtaining matings with females In a society with harem defence by dominant males, a male who is known to be homosexual is likely to be tolerated by a dominant male than a known heterosexual male, and an otherwise subordinate male may be able, by virtue of this, to obtain clandestine copulations with females.But I raise the sneaky male hypothesis not as a plausible possibility so much as a way of dramatizing how easy and inconclusive it is to dream up explanations of this kind Lewontin, 1979, used the same didactic trick in discussing apparent homosexuality in Drosophila The main point I wish to make is quite different and much important It is again the point about how we characterize the phenotypic feature that we are trying to explain.Homosexuality is, of course, a problem for Darwinians only if there is a genetic component to the difference between homosexual and heterosexual individuals While the evidence is controversial Weinrich 1976 , let us assume for the sake of argument that this is the case Now the question arises, what does it mean to say there is a genetic component to the difference, in common parlance that there is a gene or genes for homosexuality It is a fundamental truism, of logic than of genetics, that the phenotypic effect of a gene is a concept that has meaning only if the context of environmental influences is specified, environment being understood to include all the other genes in the genome A gene for A in environment X may well turn out to be a gene for B in environment Y It is simply meaningless to speak of an absolute, context free, phenotypic effect of a given gene.Even if there are genes which, in today s environment, produce a homosexual phenotype, this does not mean that in another environment, say that of our Pleistocene ancestors, they would have had the same phenotypic effect A gene for homosexuality in our modern environment might have been a gene for something utterly different in the Pleistocene So, we have the possibility of a special kind of time lag effect here It may be that the phenotype which we are trying to explain did not even exist in some earlier environment, even though the gene did then exist Yes, this is inconclusive, but it does point out some interesting directions in which we can direct our evolutionary reasoning Don t you think