The Third Chimpanzee has ratings and reviews. Chuck said: Another great book from Jared Diamond. I found this to be just as engaging as Guns. Diamond, Jared. The rise and fall of the third chimpanzee. I. Title. ISBN 0- Photoset by Speedset Ltd, Ellesmere Port. Printed and bound in. The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, published in , was the first of my six books written for the general public. I look back.

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THe Third Chimpanzee: the evolution and future of the human animal

Return to Book Page. The Development of an Extraordinary Species We human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet — having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art — while chimps remain animals concerned prima The Development of an Extraordinary Species We human beings thirrd 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees.

Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet — having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art — while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival.

What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins? Paperbackpages. Published January 3rd by Harper Perennial first published May 2nd To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Third Chimpanzee chimpanaee, please sign up.

Can anyone recommend an up-to-date book covering these themes? See all 3 questions about The Third Chimpanzee…. Lists with This Book. Another great book from Jared Diamond. I found this to be just as engaging as Guns, Germs, and Steel, and also an easier read. I find that his books have so much information that it is helpful for me to outline them as I go. Here are my favorite bullet points from The Third Chimpanzee.

Not at all a comprehensive outline, but may be of interest to some people. Chapter 1 – Our ancestors diverged from other apes around 7 million years ago. We are really a third kind of chimp. Chapter 2 – We descended from Cro-Magnons, not Neanderthals.

Progress no longer depended on genetic evolution but cultural evolution. Chapter 3 – Across primate species, degree of polygyny is correlated with sexual dimorphism in body size and other physical features, and also testis size of males. We avoid people we grew up with between birth and 6 years, but then as htird we seek out partners similar to chim;anzee people. Chapter 6 – Racial variation can be explained only partly by natural selection correlation between skin darkness and latitude – which is nevertheless noisy ; but it is also probably due largely to sexual selection which results from the mating preferences reviewed in the previous chapter.

Chapter 7 – Body is like a car. Scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repair. When do you scrap it? When everything breaks at once. But it’s not a conscious decision to scrap it. The evolutionary reasoning is this: Human childbirth is particularly dangerous. Having a fourth kid could kill the mom and put the other three at risk. Chapter 8 – Most chimoanzee animal “language” studied to date is the vocalizations of vervet monkeys.

They are truly words, not just stimulus-response grunts, because they sometimes use them in a lie to confuse rival troops.


That stage may have enabled the Great Leap Forward. Chapter 9 – First human Cro-Magnon art emerged around the Great Leap Forward 40, years ago in the form of cave paintings and flutes.

The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

It is as if women put each of their suitors in sequence through a weight-lifting contest, sewing contest, chess tournament, eye test, and boxing tournament, and finally went to bed with the winner.

And now that we have lots of free time, our art can get very elaborate and serve other functions such as aesthetics as well. Chapter 10 – No other primate practices agriculture. Closest thing is ants, which grow fungus and use insects jaerd as aphids like cattle, drinking their honeydew. The elite became healthier, but at the expense of the majority who became worse off.

It spread largely because it could support a population density 10x of hunter-gatherers, and 10 malnourished warriors can still beat 1 healthy bushman. Chapter 11 – We drink and use drugs as a sexual advertisement that says, look how much of a handicap I can give myself and still be superior. Like birds of paradise with long tails that make it susceptible to attack. It says, look how long and heavy my tail is but I can still get away from predators.

Jaged 12 – An important consideration in guessing whether intelligent life exists elsewhere is the degree of convergent evolution inevitably. On the other hand, eyes and flight evolved multiple times independently.

Chapter 13 – Europe has about 50 languages, but New Guinea has one hundredth of the population but 1, languages. Chapter 14 – Of the many plants and animals available as candidates for domestication, only a few are actually domesticable, and those happened to be in Europe and the Near East.

Chapter 15 – Language evolves over time, and languages diverge to become mutually unintelligible when a group becomes isolated, just like speciation. The package of agriculture and technology there allowed rapid waves of expansion, then another expansion into the Americas, and now half the world speaks Indo-European languages. Chapter 16 – Chimps are xenophobic. They recognize members of other bands and treat them differently. Chapter 17 – Tells the story of three ancient civilizations that collapsed due to environmental exhaustion: Easter Island, Anasazi, and Petra.

Humans crossed the latter during an opening 12, years ago. They reached Tierra del Fuego within 1, years. Chapter 19 – Four mechanisms of species extermination: View all 11 comments. Apr 05, M. View all 4 comments. The audience called for an encore and Jared obliged. The rewind was not as much fun. However, this book has some great explanations on human sexuality but does not address one which I was not able to find a satisfactory explanation for, evolutionarily speaking: I am adding this here for my own reference, but I am sure you will find it damn intere Original review: I am adding this here for my own reference, but I am sure you will find it damn interesting too.

On the face of it, the existence of a substantial minority of men who prefer sexual relations with their own sex rather than with the opposite sex constitutes a problem for any simple Darwinian theory.

The rather discursive title of a privately circulated homosexualist pamphlet, which the author was kind enough to send me, summarizes the problem: Why hasn’t evolution eliminated “gayness” millions of years ago? TriversWilson, and especially Weinrich have considered various versions of the possibility that homosexuals may, at some time in history, have been functionally equivalent to sterile workers, foregoing personal reproduction the better to care for other relatives.

According to this latter idea, homosexuality represents an ‘alternative male tactic’ for obtaining matings with females. In a society with harem defence by dominant males, a male who is known to be homosexual is more likely to be tolerated by a dominant male than a known heterosexual male, and an otherwise subordinate male may be able, by virtue of this, to obtain clandestine copulations with females.


But I raise the ‘sneaky male’ hypothesis not as a plausible possibility so much as a way of dramatizing how easy and inconclusive it is to dream up explanations of this kind Lewontin,used the same didactic trick in discussing apparent homosexuality in Drosophila. The main point I wish to make is quite different and much more important.

It is again the point about how we characterize the phenotypic feature that we are trying to explain. Homosexuality is, of course, a problem for Darwinians only if there is a genetic component to the difference between homosexual and heterosexual individuals.

While the evidence is controversial Weinrichlet us assume for the sake of argument that this is the case. Now the question arises, what does it mean to say there is a genetic component to the difference, in common parlance that there is a gene or genes ‘for’ homosexuality? It is a fundamental truism, of logic more than of genetics, that the phenotypic ‘effect’ of a gene is a concept that has meaning only if the context of environmental influences is specified, environment being understood to include all the other genes in the genome.

A gene ‘for’ A in environment X may well turn out to be a gene for B in environment Y. It is simply meaningless to speak of an absolute, context-free, phenotypic effect of a given gene.

Even if there are genes which, in today’s environment, produce a homosexual phenotype, this does not mean that in another environment, say that of our Pleistocene ancestors, they would have had the same phenotypic effect. A gene for homosexuality in our modern environment might have been a gene for something utterly different in the Pleistocene. So, we have the possibility of a special kind of ‘time-lag effect’ here.

It may be that the phenotype which we are trying to explain did not even exist in some earlier environment, even though the gene did then exist. View all 14 comments. Nov 29, Scott rated it really liked it Shelves: If you’ve read Guns, Germs and Steel or Collapse you know what to expect from Jared Diamond- a blizzard of fascinating facts, insights and theories that will spark tens of conversations among your like minded friends and colleagues.

Diamond is a master of spinning hard fact and intriguing theory into readable books, and he does so again in The Third Chimpanzee: If you’re in the mood for an interesting and informative info-dump you’ve come to the right book.

Diamond explores high and low, illuminating research ranging from comparisons of genitalia size There’s reason why ‘Hung like a Gorilla’ is not a popular phrase and the theories behind these differences, the possible reasons behind Homo Sapiens’ sudden technological leap beyond our early origins and our cousins the Neanderthals, and finally a discussion of the threats to our existence that Diamond later devoted Collapse to. Diamond weaves his own experiences working with remote tribes in Papua New Guinea into the narrative and I that found this aspect of his storytelling balances the more fact heavy sections well.

I learned a great deal from this book about the evolution of my own body, and the ways that the human form could indicate social and behavioral traits to a neutral observer Diamond uses the example of Aliens viewing our species for the first time.