History Within: The Science, Culture, And Politics Of Bones, Organisms, And Molecules

Hardcover | May 27, 2016

byMarianne Sommer

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Personal genomics services such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com now offer what once was science fiction: the ability to sequence and analyze an individual’s entire genetic code—promising, in some cases, facts about that individual’s ancestry that may have remained otherwise lost. Such services draw on and contribute to the science of human population genetics that attempts to reconstruct the history of humankind, including the origin and movement of specific populations. Is it true, though, that who we are and where we come from is written into the sequence of our genomes? Are genes better documents for determining our histories and identities than fossils or other historical sources?
           
Our interpretation of gene sequences, like our interpretation of other historical evidence, inevitably tells a story laden with political and moral values. Focusing on the work of Henry Fairfield Osborn, Julian Sorell Huxley, and Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza in paleoanthropology, evolutionary biology, and human population genetics, History Within asks how the sciences of human origins, whether through the museum, the zoo, or the genetics lab, have shaped our idea of what it means to be human. How have these biologically based histories influenced our ideas about nature, society, and culture? As Marianne Sommer shows, the stories we tell about bones, organisms, and molecules often change the world.

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Personal genomics services such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com now offer what once was science fiction: the ability to sequence and analyze an individual’s entire genetic code—promising, in some cases, facts about that individual’s ancestry that may have remained otherwise lost. Such services draw on and contribute to the science of human...

Marianne Sommer is professor in the Department of Cultural and Science Studies at the University of Lucerne. She is the author of Bones and Ochre: The Curious Afterlife of the Red Lady of Paviland.

other books by Marianne Sommer

Bones and Ochre: The Curious Afterlife of the Red Lady of Paviland
Bones and Ochre: The Curious Afterlife of the Red Lady ...

Hardcover|Feb 28 2008

$66.53 online$68.50list price
Format:HardcoverDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.5 inPublished:May 27, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022634732X

ISBN - 13:9780226347325

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part I. History in Bones: Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857–1935) at the American Museum of Natural History

Chapter 1. From Visual Memory to “Racial Soul”
Chapter 2. Paper Ancestors? or “A Word-Painting of the Scene and of the Man or Woman”
Chapter 3. The Hall of the Age of Man: The Politics of Building a Site of Phylogenetic Remembrance
Chapter 4. Creative Evolution, or Man’s Struggle up Mount Parnassus
Chapter 5. History Within between Science and Fiction

Part II. History in Organisms: Julian Sorell Huxley (1887–1975) at the London Zoo and Other Institutions

Chapter 6. If I Were Dictator: The Modern Synthesis, Evolutionary Humanism, and a Superhuman Memory
Chapter 7. Evolution in Action: The Zoo as a Site of Phylogenetic Remembrance
Chapter 8. Scientific Humanism in the Extended Zoo: History Within as the Basis of Democratic Reform
Chapter 9. Evolutionary Humanism: Planned Ecology and World Heritage Management through the Colonial Office, UNESCO, IUCN, and WWF
Chapter 10. The Ascent of Man Defended

Part III. History in Molecules: Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza (1922–) and the Genographic Network

Chapter 11. Human History as Brownian Motion, or How Genetic Trees and Gene Maps Draw Things Together
Chapter 12. Cultural Transmission and Progress
Chapter 13. The Geography of “Our Heritage”: From the Human Genome Diversity Project to the Genographic Project
Chapter 14. The Genographic Network: Science, Markets, and Genetic Narratives
Chapter 15. The Genographics of Unity in Diversity

Postscript
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“History Within offers an ambitious analysis of efforts to construct scientific narratives about human evolution and biological variation over the long twentieth century. Sommer focuses on three distinctive episodes that, when considered together, span more than a century to arrive at our contemporary genomic age. Specifically, she examines the ideas and strategies of three men: Henry Fairfield Osborn, Julian Huxley, and Luca Cavalli-Sforza. For Sommer, each serves as a representative of three successive eras of academic efforts to read human history through the evolutionary sciences. Throughout History Within, Sommer presents a multitude of fresh, fascinating materials that show how ideas about history itself have animated thought about what it means to be human. A leader in the emerging field of the history of biological anthropology, Sommer is well positioned to synthesize major themes, and the long period of time covered in the manuscript—more than 100 years—provides new and important contexts for evaluating contemporary attitudes about race and genomics. Sommer has written a rigorous social and intellectual history of the human-oriented life sciences that is sure to be an important contribution to the history of science.”