A History of the Human Brain: From the Sea Sponge to CRISPR, How Our Brain Evolved

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Science journalist Bret Stetka takes the reader on a roller coaster ride up the evolutionary trail from the sponge to modern man. Most frequently, he focuses on the differences in behavior between the apes (Hominids) and the humans (Hominins) in the more recent span of extended time. By examining the behavior of chimps, gorillas, and bonobos, reflections of human similarities and modifications due to brain development are compared and contrasted. Changes in diet, hunting, toolmaking, climate, and other factors all played roles in the sculpting of cerebral function. Social interaction with the development of language appears to have been factors in the tempering of the innate urge for violence so evident in many of man’s relatives. Studies from a multitude of linguists, sociologists, anthropologists, geneticists, biologists, and many other researchers are knitted together in this tapestry describing human behavior and how it changed over the ages. Unfortunately, I had hoped to learn more about the change in brain anatomy, neurochemistry, and interconnections as anticipated from the book title. And while CRISPR technology has the potential of overriding conventional natural selection, too little is mentioned about its potential risks.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Timber Press
Publish Date 16-Mar-2021
ISBN 9781604699883
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Category Science & Nature