Genetics and the Search for Modern Human Origins (Hardback)John H. Relethford (author)
Hardback 264 Pages
A major debate in anthropology concerns the relationship between anatomically modern humans and earlier "archaic" humans including the Neandertals. What was the origin of modern humans? Did we arise as a new species in Africa 200,000 years ago and then replace archaic human populations outside of Africa, or are our origins part of a single evolving lineage extending back over the past two million years? In addition to fossil and archaeological evidence, anthropologists have increasingly turned to using genetic data on living populations to address this question. Patterns of genetic variation within and between living human populations are felt to contain clues as to our species' evolutionary history, and provide a reflection of the past. This book reviews the modern human origins debate focusing on the genetic evidence relating to our origins, including genetic variation in living humans and recent discoveries of ancient DNA from fossil specimens. Following a brief introduction to the problem and a review of evolutionary genetics, the book focuses on gene trees and the search for a common ancestor, genetic diversity within populations, genetic distances between populations, the use of genetic data to reconstruct ancient demography, and Neandertal DNA. The main point of the text is that although the genetic data are often compatible with a replacement model, they are also compatible with some multiregional models. The concluding chapter makes the case that modern human origins are mostly, but not exclusively, out of Africa.
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 743 g
Dimensions: 256 x 183 x 21 mm
"This textbook provides a good introduction to the field of human populations genetics for people lacking a genetics background..." (Trends in Genetics, Vol. 17, No. 9, September 2001) "...controversies...grounded in a solid college-level introduction to how the genetic code and evolution account for genetic diversity." (SciTech Book News, Vol. 25, No. 3, September 2001) "...lucid and engaging...enjoyable to read...will appeal to the general science reader...suitable for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses..." (American Journal of Human Biology, Vol. 14, No. 4, July/August 2002) "...an accessible guide through the models and the data...will be a popular recommended text..." (Heredity)
You may also be interested in...
ReviewsSign In To Write A Review
Please sign in to write a review
Sign In / Register
Not registered? CREATE AN ACCOUNTCREATE A plus ACCOUNT
Download the Waterstones App
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?
Click & Collect
Reserve online, pay on collection
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at