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Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding Audio Download – Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading 'Mothers and Others:- The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding' by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, an American primatologist and anthroplogist, is like reading the love-child of E.O Wilson's 'Sociobology - The New Synthesis' crossed with Germaine Greer's 'The Female Eunach.'

I am not a scientist or an academic but enjoy reading books about 'evolutionary psychology' (or 'sociobiology' if you prefer) to satisfy my curiosity as to the origins of human nature. When it comes to her abilities as a writer Blaffer Hrdy is not in the same league as the likes of Jared Diamond, Steven Pinker or Matt Ridley and that is why I have only rated the book at 4 stars as opposed to five, but as a thinker on the matter of the origins of human nature I think she is the equal of any of her male contempories writing on the topic for a popular audience.

Blaffer Hrdy argues that human beings are unique amongst apes in the degree in which we co-operate with others, in the first chapter of the book she contrasts this behaviour with our nearest genetic relatives the chimpanzees by inviting the reader to engage in the thought experiment of imagining a group of chimpanzees on a long-haul aeroplane flight, an unremarkable fact of life for modern homo sapiens, and its most likely result:- 'bloody earlobes and other appendages would litter the aisles.'

For anyone seeking to understand human behaviour within an evolutionary framework the extent of human co-operation is a puzzle. Ever since Mendelism was combined with Darwinism, putative sociobiologist's have been trying to explain how such a social creature as our's could emerge from 'selfish genes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a gem - especially the first half, using wideranging primate data to argue for the importance of coperative breeding in shaping human evolution. If you liked her previous book you will be sure to enjoy this one too!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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