Explaining Human Origins: Myth, Imagination and Conjecture

Cambridge University Press | ISBN: 052165730X | 2002-07-22 | 244 pages | PDF | 1.2 Mb

The author argues that theories of human origins developed by archaeologists and physical anthropologists from the early nineteenth century to the present day are structurally similar to Western folk theories, and to the speculations of earlier philosophers. Reviewing a remarkable range of thinkers writing in a variety of European languages, he criticizes the lack of development in theories of human origins, but concludes optimistically that the power of the scientific approach will deliver more reliable theories--only if it is conscious of the baggage it carries over from popular discourse.



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