So much information is now available when it comes to the subject of human evolution! Science blogs, less scientific blogs, online courses, TV programs, books and of course a wealth of science articles. All this diverse information can easily give the feeling of being completely lost – what shall I believe and what not? Whose information can I trust and what may be wrong? What is important and what is not important? Basically it feels like not being able to see the forest for all the trees! This is partly the reason why I have tried to put together a number of links for my students, so that they can access first hand information from good sources. Of course there are many other sources that I have not mentioned, and which are also very good, but then, one can’t have it all!
Today my links focus on Chris Stringer, the author of our course book The Complete World of Human Evolution. Chris has written many books about the subject of human evolution. I like Chris’ books because he not only presents his views on things, but also what other researchers think, and why different issues can be viewed from different angles. This becomes very clear in his recent book, The Origin of Our Species, where he presents his ideas, but also describes how ideas evolved and why other scientists have different arguments and what these arguments are based on. The Origin of Our Species is really nice reading with loads of background information on anatomy and anatomical differences, on the different analytical techniques used for studying human evolution and their potentials and drawbacks, on how the science has evolved and where it may be heading given all these new techniques. The Origin of Our Species is definitely one of my recommended readings for those students who want to learn even more.
Chris Stringer is regularly featured in the UK news; recently he commented on the 850,000-year-old human footprints found in Norfolk, UK and on the new finds from the site of Dmanisi in Georgia. Some other interesting interviews with Chris are listed below:
A Bone Here, a Bead There: On the Trail of Human Origins – an interview with Chris Stringer in the New York Times
Interview with Chris Stringer on Vimeo
I had the privilege to be a member of the scientific advisory board of the UK based RESET project, which ended last year. RESET brought together a range of scientists from the geology, volcanoloy, paleoclimate and human evolution community with the aim to improve our understanding of how humans may have responded to rapid environmental changes during the recent past. To celebrate the end of the project, RESET had organized a three day meeting last year in May, where the results were presented to the science community, and to the general public. One of the more glamorous speakers was Alice Roberts, a UK based TV presenter, who has made numerous films about human evolution. One of her TV series is currently shown on Swedish TV, but only the last part of the program can still be viewed online until February 22. However some of her programs are on Youtube, and thanks to one of my students, I can list the links to a program called Prehistoric Autopsy. Just skip the annoying advertisements to get directly to the film: