Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past


Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before, and it has become clear–in part from David Reich’s own contributions to the field–that genomics is as important a means of understanding the human past as archeology, linguistics, and the written word. Now,inThe New Science of the Human Past, Reich describes with unprecedented clarity just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species. He delineates how the Genomic Revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of our own lineage as modern humans; how genomics deconstructs the idea that there are no biologically meaningful differences among human populations (though without adherence to pernicious racist hierarchies); and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of human inequality–among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population.

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