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Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  282 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
In 1988, Newsweek headlined the discovery that everyone alive on the earth can trace their maternal DNA back to one woman who lived in Africa 150,000 years ago. It was thought that humans populated the world through a series of migratory waves from their African homeland. This book reveals the revolutionary theory about our origins.
Paperback, 440 pages
Published July 2004 by Constable & Robinson (first published January 1st 2003)
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Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer's The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa (2003) is absolutely one of the very best non-fiction books I've read in a few years! And I say this on several levels too. First, if you are at all interested in your own human origins, and what makes us human, you'll love this book. Second, if you're interested in paleoanthropology, and are interested in what happened after anatomically modern humans (i.e., Homo sapiens) appeared in Africa somewhere around 200,000 years ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book which I have read twice. I would give it five stars except that some of the facts I memorised seem to have been contradicted in other books, articles and television documentaries I've come across.

I have tended to stick with Opphenheimer's dates and theories because I've noticed that the interpretations from DNA analysis are being supported by more recent fossil finds. Perhaps Oppenheimer is just ahead of the pack.

Nov. 2013. I've been following the subject and Oppenheimer hims
Jul 24, 2011 Dеnnis rated it really liked it
Peculiar enough...i was reading with russian translation next to it. They even managed once to translate male line as "female", putting the reasoning of entire chapter upside down. Let alone constant references from translators to Bible. Ridiculous and enraging.
Jan 18, 2014 John rated it liked it
This is a hard book to rate. The author combines his genetic knowledge with archaeological, linguistic and climatic data, to offer some very interesting opinions on historical populations movements. There is a lot that was new and compelling (to me at any rate) in his opinions. On the other hand he seemed very politically correct and afraid to offer any opinion that would offend anyone from Neanderthals to Sub-Saharan Africans, and seemed to have an agenda that conflicted with science. In retros ...more
Aug 14, 2010 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Following the 'Out of Africa' theory where modern humans can trace their origins to an African ancestor. Not an easy read but the book outlines what science is currently telling us about human origins.
Dec 26, 2011 Iset rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
What a tour de force from Stephen Oppenheimer. With a background in genetics and in interest in population movements of the past, Oppenheimer set out to investigate how Homo sapiens populated the Earth. Did we come out of Africa or evolve on multiple continents simultaneously as the multiregionalists would have us believe? What routes did migrating populations take and what difficulties did they encounter? How can people have reached Australia before Europe? By what date did people reach the Ame ...more
Apr 25, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
I am immensely interested in the subject of history through the study of Mitochondrial DNA, the type of DNA passed from mother to child over and over and over again. Since you get this type of DNA from your mother, a male can not pass it on (unlike other types of DNA). There is an aspect of Mitochondrial DNA which mutates every several thousand years. So by charting who carries each mutation and comparing it with where it is predominantly found on the earth, the migrations of each person's ances ...more
Meg Bortin
Mar 20, 2016 Meg Bortin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: human-origins
Having read quite a few books on the subject, I found this to be a fascinating read. Oppenheimer convincingly makes the case that there was only one successful early exodus of modern humans from Africa, via the foot of the Red Sea, using climate data to back up his analysis, and he dates the exit to about 85,000 years ago. This challenges the widespread view that early humans who later moved on to Europe left Africa via a northern route following the Nile, and also challenges the timing. I am wo ...more
Apr 07, 2015 Kerszi rated it liked it
Nie jestem antropologiem, biologiem, geografem, ale interesuje się ludzkością i emigracją. Książka jest dosyć długa i od czasu do czasu operuje specyficznymi terminami. Całkowity zamęt może przyprawić ilość ludzkich linii, dobrze że autor ich nazwał np Kain, Abel... chociaż numerki i cyfry też wystąpiły. Ale one same byłyby już do strawienia tylko dla specjalistów. Przeczytałem całą książkę, ale w sumie epilog wystarczyłby.
Although somewhat outdated, nevertheless the book provides a background for Oppenheimer's more recent work published in 2014, 'Origins of the British.' A good read if you follow developments in genetics.
Oct 04, 2016 Nadge rated it it was amazing
As a Cultural Heritage Specialist doing research and media work, I could not put this book down. In fact I re-read the sections on the migration out of Africa and especially the parts on Southeast Asia/ Australasia and the peopling of Sundaland (nickname for the then unsunken continent known to the Malay peoples as 'Benua Mu'), and after the deluge now the Malay Archipelago. It's interesting how all the native Bumiputra/ Pribumi of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines - whether Orang Asli/Suk ...more
Johan D'Haenen
Feb 09, 2017 Johan D'Haenen rated it liked it
This is without a doubt a good work, from a scientific viewpoint, but for the amateur layman, there is too much detail in explaining the whereabouts and the wanderings of all the different tribes throughout the climatic changes.
As for me, I was much more interested in and delighted by "The 7 daughters of Eve".
The work of Oppenheimer, albeit it thorough and detailed, could not keep my imagination and interest going.
Nevertheless, I will keep this work for reference...
Meadows13 Meadows
I found this book in a open-air book mart in Cape Town and read it while on temporary assignment in South Africa. I found it to be an extremely readable discussion of human migration out of Africa. It was the first I'd read on this subject that brought in prehistoryic climatology to explain what may have directed and limited human migration patterns. Its conclusions were very congruent with "The Seven Daughters of Eve"; another of my highly recommended books on the subject of human migration pat ...more
Feb 08, 2017 Scott rated it really liked it
A fantastic explanation of early human migrations. Written before the discovery of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in people. Would love to see an updated edition.
Jan 26, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was ok
Actually, I didn't read it, beyond the introductory chapter ... nothing wrong with the book, but I just decided that I already had the gist of what the book was about - essentially how DNA can be used to show that all non-Africans descend from a common ancestor who migrated from Africa, and the dates at which different parts of the world were colonised by homo sapiens. In the end, I just wasn't interested enough to want to read a few hundred pages on the hows and whys.
Oct 18, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, grown-up
This book completely shifted my scale of thought about humanity and our origins. It is a fascinating exploration of what science can reveal about how people came to populate the earth, where they settled first, and how the wide diversity of the human population came to be. The concepts are not simple and I had to reread many sections, but the author explains the ideas thoroughly and logically.
James Elder
A somewhat mixed bag. A fascinating subject but some of the science was very heavy going and I found myself skimming it. When the text isn't bogged down in haplogroups however, Oppenheimer writes very well, and the section on the academic controversy over pre-Clovis migration to the Americas was excellent.
Francis Bacon
Jun 05, 2011 Francis Bacon rated it it was amazing
First book I've read about human evolution and found it fascinating - especially interesting are the various waves of migration from Africa and the likely 'beachcomber' route to Australia. Some of the technical description of different genetic lineages is a bit tough going but overall well worth reading.
Peter Levi
Mar 05, 2013 Peter Levi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look back through the DNA map to figure out when and where humanity sprung. Oppenheimer's conclusion that all of humanity is descended from just seven women is fascinating. The only downside is that the sample size he has to deal with needs to be larger to fully accepting his findings, but nevertheless it's well worth reading.
David Becker
Sep 11, 2015 David Becker rated it it was ok
Made it about two-thirds of the way through before giving up. The author does a fine job of relating facts and drawing hypotheses, but he has very little narrative gift. Just too dense and dry for me.
It's really hard to rate the book, surely full of detailed and useful data for everyone interested in story of the mankind, but almost completely ruined by very unprofessional translation to Polish. Google translator would be not much worse than this.
Jan 17, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popularnonaukowe
Rzetelna, dobrze napisana pozycja naukowa. Tylko na prawdę bardzo długo się czyta... No, ale nareszcie wiem dlaczego rdzenni Amerykanie są tak podobni do Azjatów i skąd się wzięli Aborygeni w Australii :)
Mar 23, 2011 Melanie rated it really liked it
This is the book that got me really interested in evolution many years ago. It is not only a very interesting theory that is still relevant today, but also a very readable book.
Jan 28, 2008 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
I hadn't read anything like this so the science was a little hard to get through. Overall, an interesting story of modern humans from 80,000 years ago to some 20,000 years ago.
Bosco Poon
Sep 03, 2012 Bosco Poon rated it really liked it

Nov 29, 2015 Gwydion rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fascinating although the genetic science was far beyond my ken.
Megan Regel
The information is neat but the presentation is hellaciously boring.
Karan Seraph
Karan Seraph rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2016
Maiamali rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2012
Joe Muturi
Joe Muturi rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2016
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