Summary Of ' Getting A Genome ' By Paul Shepard Essay

1140 Words Sep 10th, 2015 5 Pages
Shepard, P. (2013). Coming home to the Pleistocene. Island Press. “Getting a Genome”
Paul Shepard was an American author, environmentalist, and professor. Shepard earned his bachelor 's degree from the University of Missouri and a doctorate from Yale. He is recognized for his research on the Pleistocene. Shepard died on July 27, 1996 at the age of 71.

Shepard begins this chapter by discussing human evolution and the beginning of Homo sapiens in the Pleistocene approximately 500,000 years ago. The author continues by elaborating on our genetic change over time. He cites specific examples of this evolution: fossil evidence (Australopitucus), archaic genealogy analysis, and so on. Shepard implies that this slow evolution led to the emergence of speech and social organization.

The author transitions into discussing scavenging, and he states that it might have been more common than hunting millions of years ago. Shepard then discusses how this correlates to the evolution of our abilities (memory, climbing, building/using tools, and so on). The text then elaborates on foraging societies. These societies fostered group hunting and the division of labor.

Shepard continues by discussing human diversity and its origins. Ontogeny and the historical roots of the ontogenetic agenda are then discussed. Shepard then argues against the aboriginal inhabitants of the world being responsible for the extinction of many animals. The text concludes by discussing our place in today’s society…

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