Fossil Men: The Quest For The Oldest Fossil Skeleton And The Battle To Define Human Origins by Kermit PattisonFossil Men: The Quest For The Oldest Fossil Skeleton And The Battle To Define Human Origins by Kermit Pattison

Fossil Men: The Quest For The Oldest Fossil Skeleton And The Battle To Define Human Origins

byKermit Pattison

Hardcover | February 6, 2018

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In 1994, an excavation team led by fossil-hunting legend Tim White—“the Steve Jobs of paleoanthropology”—uncovered the bones of a human ancestor in Ethiopia’s Afar region. Radiometric dating indicated the skeleton, classified as Ardipithecus ramidus, was 4.4 million years old, more than a million years older than “Lucy,” our earliest known human ancestor. The findings shattered many widely accepted assumptions about human evolution—how we started walking, how we evolved our nimble hands, and, most significantly, whether we were descended from a common ancestor that resembled today’s chimpanzee—and repudiated a half-century of paleoanthropological orthodoxy.

Fossil Men is the first full-length exploration of Ardi, the fossil men who found her, and her impact on what we know about the origins of the human species. Kermit Pattison brings into focus a cast of eccentric, obsessive scientists, including one of the world’s greatest fossil hunters, Tim White—an irascible and demanding scientist feared by friends and enemies alike; Gen Suwa, a Japanese savant who slept in his office so he could devote more time to fossils; Owen Lovejoy, a onetime creationist-turned-paleoanthropologist; Berhane Asfaw, who survived imprisonment and torture to become Ethiopia’s most senior paleoanthropologist and who fought for Africans scientists to gain equal footing in the study of human origins; and the Leakeys, for decades the most famous family in anthropology, who maintained a testy relationship with the Ardi team and cast doubt on the discovery.

An intriguing tale of scientific discovery and bitter rivalry that moves from the sun-baked plains of Africa and a nation caught in a brutal civil war, to modern high-tech labs and academic lecture halls, Fossil Men is popular science at its best, and a must read for fans of Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, and Edward O. Wilson.

About The Author

Kermit Pattison is a journalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, GQ, Fast Company, Runner’s World, and Time. He has spent more than five years researching this story and spent extensive time in the field with Tim White’s team. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Details & Specs

Title:Fossil Men: The Quest For The Oldest Fossil Skeleton And The Battle To Define Human OriginsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.13 inPublished:February 6, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062410288

ISBN - 13:9780062410283

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