The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Nicholas Wade - semi-formally, semi-formerly with the NYT - has written a book. You may have heard about it, Troublesome Inheritance. Derb has a roundup of reviews. Here's mine own initial impression.

I leafed through the work at the bookstore and I bought it. This was in part for solidarity - to show his publisher, and the bookstore, what sort of book I generally like to read.

As for the book itself: I was disappointed. If it had come out in 2001 I'd have loved it. But the Denisovans don't even appear in its index; and where Neanderthals are discussed, they are forerunners whom our ancestors exterminated. This despite that that's not true; despite that the Neanderthal contribution to our DNA would have helped his thesis.

So, no. I cannot recommend you read Wade's book. In fact - and I'm going against Derb here - I'm not sure that I'd even recommend you support it. It's real science, yes. But it is also full of wrong science. This makes it that much more difficult for Wil Roebroeks and Svante Pääbo, among others, to write books on similar themes.

UPDATE: 10,000 Year Explosion Guy offers his thoughts. That was the book which needed the modern upgrade, which upgrade Wade didn't provide.

posted by Zimri on 17:35 | link | 0 comments

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