Marks presents the field of molecular anthropology—a synthesis of the holistic approach of anthropology with the reductive approach of molecular genetics—as a way of improving our understanding of the science of human evolution. This iconoclastic, witty, and extremely readable book illuminates the deep background of our place in nature and asks us to think critically about what science is, and what passes for it, in modern society.
Jonathan Marks teaches at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He is the author of Human Biodiversity: Genes, Race, and History (1995) and coauthor, with Edward Staski, of Evolutionary Anthropology (1992).
“The style is chatty and informal, the chapters well-organized, and the documentation and referencing very useful. The author is evidently in full scholarly command of his material.”—Chris Knight Royal Anthropological Inst Journal (Man)
“A welcome contribution at a time when so much nonsense is accepted about sociobiology, the ‘science’ of racism and colonialism.”—Scott Johnson Intl Socialist Review
“Marks gives an incisive and witty masterclass...”—The Guardian
"In this clever, entertaining, and thoughtful book, Marks lays out some important limitations of science in general and genetics in particular. Using terms that everybody can understand, he demolishes the pretensions of scientists who try to use genetics to answer questions about the kinship of nations, the rights of animals, the racial identity of Kennewick Man, the hereditary Jewish priesthood, and the existence of God. Marks has a lot of fun with all this, and so will his readers."—Matt Cartmill, author of A View to Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature through History