Marek Kohn

Arguments Ad Hominin

The Origin of Our Species

By

Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 333pp £20 order from our bookshop

When there are more significant researchers than significant specimens, and the question is what has made us human, the scholarly knives are sharper than knapped flints. Palaeoanthropology is a highly strung discipline in which strength of conviction makes up for a shortage of raw material and cherished hypotheses are constantly vulnerable to unexpected new discoveries. It makes an exciting spectator sport, notwithstanding the frustrating tendency of factions to draw opposite conclusions from the same weathered fragments of ancient bone.

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