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The Scars of Evolution

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  16 reviews
When Elaine Morgan wrote The Descent of Woman in 1972, it sent shock waves around the world, and is now widely regarded as a key work on human evolution, and essential to any discussion of women's place in society. Now, with The Scars of Evolution, Morgan offers a pioneering look just where it was our earliest ancestors came from, and the legacy--not always advantageous--t ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 17th 1994 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1990)
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Steven Smith
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Aha: a book about Evolution that makes sense. It's no wonder why right-wingers despise the story of evolution: the bit about standing up on the savanna to peek over grasses is a dumb, nonsensical, and inaccurate story. Scars of Evolution takes into our bodies and explores what really happened, why we developed the way we are, and where it must have happened.

Thanks Elaine Morgan: what a relief... and a great story.
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfic-science
An excellent book that tells the story of evolution from the perspective of the human body itself. Brilliant.
Megan Olmstead
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone interested in human evolution.
Guy Winch
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Aurélien Thomas
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biology
The Aquatic ape hypothesis is this idea according to which we would have evolved not from apes having conquered the land, but an aquatic environment - or, at least, semi-aquatic. A few decades ago the idea had a few ears among the general public. It was then defended vigorously by Elaine Morgan, author of a few scientific books despite not being a scientific herself (she had a degree in English).

Well... It certainly did echo among the general public, but what about the scientific community? Blun
Becky Black
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I love the idea of the Aqautic Ape Hypothesis, even if I don't quite buy it yet. But true or not, this is a well-written book that certainly encouraged me to think about things from a new perspective. The arguments are persuasive, at least while you're reading the book. It also reminds the reader how our bodies are a patchwork, even a bodge-job of adaptations rather than some kind of perfect end result built to a design.
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
this is just a book of hypothesis. i loved it thought. it was an explanation of so many things that sets us apart from every other mammal.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
An interesting book and one that will definitely give you more to think about.
Amanda Mercedes
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So fascinating!!! Will read again, because I love talking about this stuff.
Tom Kennedy
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Good science reader
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is about the aquatic ape theory, that says that when humans left the forest and split from chimpanzees, we went to live in a swamp/lake environment rather than on the savannah which is the more common theory. The author says that the similarity between many of our features and aquatic mammals such as dolphins, dugongs and seals proves this. That includes our hairlessness, the fat beneath our skin, our ability to hold our breath, our internal vaginas and hymens - all things that most o ...more
Quentin Feduchin
I like her books.
In 1979 I read, 'Descent of Woman' that she wrote in 1972. I was almost enthralled by it, so much that she wrote made sense.
I know that she seems to have no doctorate to her name, yet she has won awards; I guess that means something.
This book asks questions: why do we walk on large hind legs? It is not an advantage, nor is it obvious, although she pointed to it in her earlier book, as mentioned above. This clarifies it further.. Also, why are we naked, also clarified, also not
Sep 08, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is definitely one of the more compelling perspectives on evolutionary theory. Elaine Morgan isn't actually a scientist, she's a journalist I believe, but she manages to put forth her arguments in a pretty persuasive manner.

I'm a little wary of taking her views too seriously though, seeing as she's just a layman, and she does think with a pretty obvious feminist slant (not that that's bad in general, but science is supposed to be impartial).

I give it a 3 because I really think there is
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this book!! Not a novel, but a discussion of the theroy that humans spawned from aquatic monkeys!! Once you read it, you will believe!!
Morgan goes into a little more details about the drawbacks of being a transitional life-form, half-landlubber and half-aquatic.
Brilliant and bloody interesting. Nicely written, lots of science and differentiation between what is fact, speculation and just accepted conjecture.
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Welsh feminist and proponent of the aquatic ape evolution theory, which claims that mankind evolved from sea-based apes.

Morgan was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours for services to literature and to education.

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