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- November 26, 2020 at 8:32 am #3510Helaine ConawayGuest
The Hominid Gang
Behind the Scenes in the Search for Human Origins
by Delta Willis
- Genres: science
- ISBN: 9780670828081 (0670828084)
- Format: hardcover, 338 pages
- Publisher: Viking Books
- Release date: October 30, 1989
- Language: english
- Author: Delta Willis
About The Book
“No subject in the evolutionary sciences could possibly be more important than paleoanthropology — the study of human fossils — in our attempt to fulfill the Socratic injunction: know thyself. Unfortunately, no subject is more encumbered by bias and mythology arising from our extreme reluctance to treat such a close and emotive issue with dispassion….
“Chronicles of actual practice, written by people who know the work in an intimate day-by-day manner, are our best sources of insight into the actual practice and content of science…. Fine works of this genre are among the rarest commodities of good writing in science. Some have been done by practicing scientists themselves; others have been composed by writers who make the rare step of immersing themselves so deeply into the daily lives of scientists that they develop the requisite, but nearly indefinable, ‘feel’ of professional understanding.
“The Hominid Gang lies firmly in this second and rarest genre of books by good writers who truly understand by dint of penetrating intelligence and extraordinary effort. Delta Willis did not grow up with the advantages of museums on the next block, or fossils in her backyard. She hails from Arkansas where, in her words, ‘the teaching of evolution was legally banned when I attended high school, and I developed crow’s feet before I could spell “australopithecine.”‘ For several years now, she has traveled to field sites with leading paleontologists, hiked all over East Africa, haunted libraries, laboratories, museums, and university corridors — all to under¬stand science as daily practice, replete with drudgery, tedium, boredom, inefficiency, and failure.
“Delta Willis shows us the true complexity and camaraderie of science as a collective enterprise.”
—from the Introduction by Stephen Jay Gould
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