- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: RHUK; New Ed edition (28 May 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099913801
- ISBN-13: 978-0099913801
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.2 x 2.5 cm
- Customer Reviews: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Rise And Fall Of The Third Chimpanzee Paperback – 28 May 1992
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"Eloquent and knowledgeable account of the tiny genetic difference between humans and chimps" (Independent)
"Some biologists are just scientists; but some truly are thinkers. Jared Diamond is one of the latter. Whatever he applies himself to, his contribution is original and worthwhile" (Colin Tudge)
"A fascinating portrait with more than enough uncomfortable facts to stop any dinner-party conversation in its tracks - an important book" (Financial Times)
"Confirms Diamond as an impressive scholar and popularizer-an enjoyable, stimulating and audacious book" (Nature)
About the Author
Jared Diamond is a renowned Professor of Physiology and Geography, known for his award-winning work, Guns, Germs and Steel, which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 and an Aventis Prize for Science Books. It also formed the basis for a documentary series by the National Geographic Channel. Often known as America’s best known Geographer, he currently teaches at University of California, Los Angeles. Some of his work includes Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed, The World Until Yesterday and a plethora of essays on science and geography.
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This is a book that completely shatters the delusion that we humans are a special creation. It also pricks at, thereby, bursting the bubble which people who believe in past golden ages cling to, leaving them with no option other than to face the stark naked reality.
The book succeeds in conveying the message that we have to learn to take responsibility for our actions and make some real changes in the way we live our lives if we are to survive as a species. This is a must read for everyone. I highly recommend it!
And considering that part of DNA code is duplicate and junk code, actual difference in useful DNA sequence in humans and Chimpanzee is just of fraction of 1.6%. So we humans are just another species of Chimpanzee – we are the Third Chimpanzee.
But how did we gain spectacular knowledge to dominate the Earth while other two Chimpanzee species are still tree dwelling? That is where ‘The Rise and Fall of Third Chimpanzee’ book starts.
This book explains, what separated us from animals, what were causes of our rise.
Does our special human traits like art, languages, agriculture and tools usage have any evolutionary precursor?
And how about our destructive traits like genocide, drug abuse and environmental destruction, are any animals guilty of these traits?
The answer to both of these questions is yes. And this book explains evolutionary roots of traits that make us human.
This books looks into roots of our life-cycle, culture, sexuality and also future of human society and where we are heading.
Anybody who has read ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ or ‘Collapse’ needs no introduction to Jared Diamond, but those who have not read these books – Jared Diamond is one of the most prominent thinker, scientist and intellectuals of our time. This book has important threads which lead to his other books.
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Do you believe that you are directly related to today's apes? Specifically, that you are a third species of chimpanzee? Jared Diamond makes a pretty strong case for it. Moreover DNA testing proves that chimps are our closest living relative. You may not have known it, but there are two species of chimp in the world today; the common chimp and the Bonobo or pygmy chimp. if humans are as closely related to them as DNA testing indicates, then we are clearly the third species of chimpanzee.
I recently observed the Bonobos in the San Diego zoo and I didn't know whether they were Bonobos or common chimps until I read the sign telling me that they were Bonobos. It was about two million years ago that these two chimp species had a common ancestor and after all that time elapsing, it is hard to tell them apart. It is only about 5 to 7 million years ago, that humans and chimps had a common ancestor according to DNA aging analysis yet it is obvious that we humans are very different from chimps. How did this come to be?
Jared Diamond fills the rest of his book answering that question. Much of the ground-breaking research and discovery in the story of pre-humans and prehistoric humans was done by anthropologists and their work is summarized by Diamond. Yet Diamond has lived among stone age cultures and has a large contribution to make to the discussion from that valuable experience. Moreover, Diamond is an independent thinker in the full sense of the term. He doesn't always agree with the popular scientific views and builds very good cases for his differing interpretations.
If human prehistory interests you, then I think you will enjoy this book. I found the discussion of language evolution particularly enlightening. We are the only animal in the world that can speak and write. In the same way that mutations in DNA allow us to unravel our prehistory, changes in our original language allow us to track the travels of early language-using humans. Diamond focuses on P.I.E, or Proto Indo European language, which is the basis for most of the major languages spoken in the world today. He presents a well-researched discussion of it. The popular thinking is that P.I.E, was spread geographically with the spread of agriculture starting 10,00 years ago. Diamond's view differs sharply from that belief. He associates the spread of P.I.E. with the domestication of horses and invention of horseback-riding, which was a major paradigm changer. The data fits his model better in my opinion. At this point, I invite you to read the book and join the discussion.
Ralph D. Hermansen, August 28,2015
There is a lot of very interesting information in the book. Though some of it I had read before in other contexts, here what are fragments of data in other books are arranged in a way that their importance to the whole picture of human history can be more easily understood and appreciated. The author definitely has a handle on the wider perspective. As a naturalist and professor of physiology, he sees humanity as "Homo sapiens," and animal much like other animals.
I had read about the concept and content of "Indo-European" languages years ago when studying ancient history. It was known even in the late 19th and early 20th century that the shared words of various languages probably belonged to the parent, but I was still very intrigued by the more recent ideas about the primary homeland of the speakers of the early language, their lifestyle and their degree of connectedness with modern languages and people. Diamond is quite honest, however, about what professional researchers in the field of linguistics think about these efforts, which is not much.
What surprised me the most about language, however, was the degree to which other animals also "speak" in their own way. I suspect anyone with a pet comes to realize their capacity to communicate with their owners on subjects of interest to them! Animal art is also something I'd heard of before--I knew that the Phoenix Zoo had an elephant that painted--but as the author states, the artists in this case live in captivity, are subject to human contact, and have very little else to do. I worked as a volunteer at the Minnesota Zoo for a year and often wondered how the animals kept from going completely insane in such a small fragment of what would have been their ranges in the wild. Perhaps participating in "art therapy," especially for the brighter inmates was a good outlet for a mental life no longer devoted to the rigorous activity necessary to ensuring safety and nutrition. As the author points out, observations in the wild have yet to observe these same animals participating in art projects---though he indicates elephants in the wild do make designs in the dust with their trunks.
The book is also a little depressing. Unlike Clive Finlayson's book The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neanderthals Died Out and We Survived, which suggested simple chance put paid to the Neanderthals rather than aggression from our own species, Diamond--and many others--seems inclined to lay the whole affair at our doorstep. Similarly he convicts us of destroying the megafauna of North America. In fact, he, like Bryan Sykes, Adam's Curse: A Future without Men, seems to see humans as thoroughly destructive animals. From the evidence of our current world, I'd have to agree. In The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind Roger Lewin and Richard Leakey liken the spread of humans throughout the world as a cancerous, terminal disease of the biosphere and opine as to whether the rise of intelligent life isn't the end stage of the disease. While Dr. Diamond does not seem quite this negative, I suspect he might agree to some extent.