The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Third Chimpanzee.
This section contains 581 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal Study Guide

The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal Summary & Study Guide Description

The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal by Jared Diamond.

This text, written with a personal and accessible scientific tone, first seeks to examine the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens in an effort to explain current behaviors and social structures. The text then tries to extrapolate likely future outcomes based on the investigation of the past. The text is divided into a logical set of topics, created such that subsequent topics build on previous topics. Because of this, the main theses develop somewhat slowly but the time taken in initial investigation pays off in later chapters as a strong framework is provided on which to present complex ideas. Overall, the text is interesting and compelling, and presents an internally consistent and convincing viewpoint. Most of the theory presented agrees with conventionally accepted biological and archaeological thought. Major differences to conventional thought are noted by the author, who usually notes his own bias and explains the rationale behind his departure from standard interpretation.

Part one investigates the evolutionary originals of primates and attempts to establish the most-likely evolutionary origin of modern humans. Additionally, our closest living biological relatives are considered. A variety of evidences are presented as support for the author's positions. Part one also considers the unique event or series of events, which the author terms "the great leap forward," which caused modern humans to diverge so notably from other closely-related primates.

Part two investigates several aspects of modern humans that are biologically peculiar - the topics included are particularly intriguing. The dominant theme of the section is, naturally, sex, and topics include the evolution of human sexuality, the science of adultery, the possible processes by which humans select reproductive partners, and an engaging overview of the theory of sexual selection. A variety of evidences from a wide range of fields of study are presented. The section concludes with a consideration of why organisms experience senescence.

Part three considers four areas of humanity that are generally considered unique to H. sapiens. The author presents human language, art, agriculture, and destructive drug use as behaviors that are typically considered uniquely human. However, examples of all of these behaviors are then noted within the animal kingdom, and the author concludes that humans are unique with these behaviors only in degree. The section concludes with an out-of-place consideration of the likelihood of finding extra-terrestrial intelligent life.

Part four considers the advent of human conquest of the globe. It begins with a particularly compelling review of "first contact" between explorers and previously isolated populations and then considers the aspects of some cultures which have enabled them to dominate other cultures in politics and warfare. The methodology utilized is credible and presents a feasible worldview stripped of most political ideologies. The section coalesces most of the principle theses of the text.

Part five concludes the text by considering the likely future of H. sapiens, including an analysis of our impact on the global ecology. The section includes a catalogue of genocides and a litany of environmental destruction and political conquests and is notably pessimistic about the immediate and long-term future. The epilogue presents a concise summation of the text and a continuation of the relatively negative view of the future developed in part five.

The text concludes with a very useful and lengthy section of further readings. The citations clearly indicate the sources from whence much of the text was derived. A perusal of the list allows a directed investigation into personally interesting areas and should be consulted throughout the reading of the text for possible sources of expanded and additional information.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 581 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal Study Guide
Copyrights
BookRags
The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal from BookRags. (c)2014 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.