Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Children of the Ice Age: How a Global Catastrophe Allowed Humans to Evolve” as Want to Read:
Children of the Ice Age: How a Global Catastrophe Allowed Humans to Evolve
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Children of the Ice Age: How a Global Catastrophe Allowed Humans to Evolve

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  6 reviews
A richly informed and inspired description of our evolution from Australopithecus to the Homo Sapiens we are today.
Paperback, 278 pages
Published August 15th 1998 by W. H. Freeman (first published 1996)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Children of the Ice Age, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Children of the Ice Age

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 68)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nov 08, 2008 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Students of evolutionary theory
If I had read Children of the Ice Age 12 years ago when it was first published it probably would have garnered four stars. In 2008, many of the topics Steven Stanley takes up are now accepted wisdom, such as the idea that hominids arose out of australopithecine populations isolated from their native forests in east Africa by drastic climatic change. Or that the hominid lineage is more a bush than a tree, with a host of branchings and not enough fossil evidence in most cases to make more than an ...more
Jake Leech
Meh. Stanley's presenting a pretty interesting idea here, but at this point he's a victim of his own success--this is no longer a giant bombshell. Additionally, Stanley's got a problem that I see in a lot of science books like this; he's got a 50-page idea and a book deal. That means we see a lot of tangents about stuff like hyena behavior in a chapter which probably should have just said "Australopithecines aren't very good at resisting predators and probably got eaten a lot. Exhibit A, all of ...more
Paleoanthropology, human evolution not according to Darwin and cartoonists picturing ape, straightening and gradually becoming a human, but a bushy evolution tree, filled with casualties of environmental changes and adaptations play. Main discoveries of the human predecessors (dead branches) were reviewed one by one with explanations what went wrong and how it could be different if the situation was different.

It provides a lot of information, but this is an exceptionally boring book by style. T
My only serious complaint with the book is the prevalence of Stanley saying that lack of fossil evidence a million years+ ago doesn't negate his theories and then turning around and dismissing Neanderthals for having no fossil evidence of culture. You can't have it both ways, sir.

Also I could have done without the moralizing in the last 10 pages, I read the book to learn about ancient human species, not to read about the author's fears of science.

Other than that it's well written and reasonably
Billie Mulcahy
Interesting theory about how a group that had been fairly stable over a long period of time, the australopithecines, rather rapidly gave rise to homo and became extinct shortly afterwards. There is a lot of interesting data about climatology, and how land movements alter ocean currents and can change climate. Also, there is a good explanation of why bipedalism preceded development of a large brain, and how the isthmus of Panama may have contributed to the last glaciation.
I eat good argumentation like the Cookie Monster eats those cookies of which he's so fond. Yumm...
Arbraxan marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2015
Meghan marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2015
Scott marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2015
learnreadimagine marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2014
Nick Jones
Nick Jones marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2013
Kazabana Tsukime
Kazabana Tsukime marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2013
Crystal marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2013
Kate Sherrod
Kate Sherrod marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Earth System History Extinction Exploring Earth & Life Through Time Macroevolution: Pattern and Process The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species

Share This Book