Humankind studying itself now faces one of the most fascinating challenges in the realm of knowledge. The author leads the reader on this engaging journey through the natural history of humans considered as an animal species, one of the many, even though its unique features are remarkable. After a brief discussion of the early stages of anthropology, the author compares the basic characteristics of Homo Sapiens and other anthropomorphic primates, within a broader biological context. The book also addresses evolution, the idea pioneered by scholars such as Linnaeus and Darwin, and the theory that explains evolution on the basis of natural selection. The final section of the text is an exploration of the distant past, in that it tells of selected key episodes in the search for the so-called "missing link", i.e., an ideal extinct form of life, "half man and half monkey", that would reconcile us completely with the natural world.
Giorgio Manzi teaches Biology and Human Paleontology at "La Sapienza" University in Rome, where he also heads the Museum of Anthropology. He studies human evolution in Europe and the population of Mediterranean areas in prehistoric and historic times.
1. Questa metà del cielo
2. L'uomo e la scimmia
3. Noi che siamo primati
4. Lamarck, Cuvier e un certo Darwin
5. Il tempo profondo
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