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Commissioned by the BBC to deliver the Reith Lectures in 1991, Steve Jones has used them as the basis for this book which argues that the evolution of our genes may be compared to the evolution of language. Genetics, argues the author, can help us unravel the mechanisms and fortunes of human evolutions in far more detail and with much greater confidence than was possible a few years ago. This book shows readers how close we are to success in the search for our origins. Drawing on complementary studies in anthropology and cultural history as well as the latest discoveries in the field of genetics, the book deals with pedigrees, mutation, natural selection and other processes that led to the origins of humanity and the divergence of human populations from each other and from their primate ancestors.
Winner of Rhone Poulenc General Prize for Science Books 1994 and Yorkshire Post Literary Award Best First Work Category 1993.