Here is a groundbreaking book about how the extraction of DNA from ancient bones has profoundly changed our understanding of human prehistory while resolving many long-standing controversies.
Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before, and it has become clear—in part from David Reich’s own contributions to the field—that genomics is as important a means of understanding the human past as archeology, linguistics, and the written word. In Who We Are and How We Got Here, Reich describes with unprecedented clarity just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species. He explains how the genomic revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of the lineage of modern humans and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of inequality—among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population. His book gives the lie to the orthodoxy that there are no meaningful biological differences among human populations, and at the same time uses the definitive evidence provided by genomics to show that the differences that do exist are unlikely to conform to familiar stereotypes.
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