White on books18 Oct 2011
The Browser has up an interview with paleoanthropologist Tim White, focused around his choice of five books to recommend: (“Tim White on prehistoric man”). A snippet of the interview:
Why do you think it is so important to find out about prehistoric men and women? How can it help us?
Well, simply to contextualise our place in nature. This is something that is of universal interest. Every culture studied by anthropologists has its own mythology of how people came about. These range from Australian aboriginal accounts to people in the Arctic, to people in the Middle East. The differences among these different myths are very great, of course, because they are all just myth. If we really want to find out where we came from, there is only one way that we can do that, and that is through the science of palaeontology. And so that is why we go out and try to get the evidence and pull that evidence together to understand what truly happened in our history and prehistory.
He didn’t recommend Human Osteology. I hope he’ll consider writing a trade book someday, as it would be very interesting to see him unpack his perspective on the fossil record in a single narrative.
(via Jerry Coyne)