Academia.edu (Link Fixed)

So! I now have an account on Academia.edu, which is AWESOME! It was a graduation present and I am very happy!

I have two papers up, both of which came from this website, the best one and one id love opinions on is this one:

There will be no changes to this website, any articles and posts will be made here, blog posts and such etc. if its worthy, it will also go on the Academia account, but EVERYTHING will still be here on this website.

Be sure to check out all our interviews, book reviews and articles!

If you want to get involved email me at worldofpaleoanthropology@gmail.com and we can see what we can get going!

Have a great evening!


First Steps: How Upright Walking Made us Human-A Review

Well, its time for another book review! There are just so many great books out there that have been published in the last year, let alone decade and beyond. Recently I created a “Top 5 Books” list, that you can view here. But today we are going to be talking about one book in particular, and a mighty fine book at that.

This book, like many books on Human Evolution goes over the basics of Human Origins, explaining our ever so complicated braided stream of a family of hominids all the way to modern day runners. The thing that this book does so differently than other books on Human Origins, is that it is almost exclusively viewed by one point of view. And that is that of Upright Walking.

Bipedalism is something that we only find in Modern Humans, we are not the only humans or humanoid species to do it, not by far, but we are the last mammal to do so. This, to us at least, makes us feel special, we think it makes us unique and different from all other beasts of the land.

And maybe it does. There are many theories on how Bipedalism first came about, whether we started in the trees, or eventually adapted to move in and out of them, its a complicated story. But Jerry does a great job of exploring multiple hypothesis without showing bias towards one or another. For the most part, there are some ideas out there that are just too other worldly to consider.

Jerry DeSilva goes to great lengths to help the reader understand that we, are a product of our biology, which has evolved over millions of years to make us bipedal. While he does not know the answer that, or at least not yet, he definitely is on the right track, and is brining all of us along the journey with him.

“First Steps” by Jeremy DeSilva is a very digestible, intellectual and well sourced book on how upright walking made us human. You will learn a lot from this book, about things you may or may not have been expecting. But as with his other recent title released, “A Most Interesting Problem, What Darwin’s Decent of Man Got Right and Wrong about Human Evolution” we begin to see where Professor Desilva’s mind is, and it is a glorious place to be.

Do yourself a favor, if you want to learn about why we walk upright, what makes us different from other animals, or plainly what makes us Human, grab your copy here.

Check out our interview with Prof. DeSilva here!

Race, Gender and Sex

There is a consistent and persistent misunderstanding of many things in todays day and age. And that’s ok because there are a lot of things going on in this big, wide and wonderful world of ours.

Some of these misconceptions can be, and are very harmful. Such as negative biases towards what many people call “race” and the differences, and or similarities of sex and gender.

Today we will be discussing the very crucial to know, interrelated subjects of Race, Sex, and Gender. Join myself, Seth Chagi and Molly Selba, a doctorate student and HS Anatomy teacher, and Prof. Agustin Fuentes from Princeton Univ.

We cover this topic from a wide range of angles, and try to bring it to a level that anyone, can understand. In this day and age there is no room for ignorance, hate and bigotry, so we must enlighten, educate and spread the hope of the new age.

We hope you enjoy!

Louis Leakey and a Fun Story

I got emailed this wonderful little tale the other day and thought I’d share it with all of you so we can all enjoy it together!

First, my name is Wilson Crook, although I go by “Dub”, which is short for my initials (“WW”). I am an archeologist with a passion for paleoanthropology instilled by my late Father. I have published 195 peer-reviewed papers and four books to date.

My first story is the interesting connection between the Leakey and the Crook families. My Father was the discoverer and excavator of the Lewisville site near Dallas. At the time of its discovery, its anomalous radiocarbon dates made it one of the oldest sites in North America. As such, Louis Leakey became interested and he and Dad struck up a correspondence which culminated in Louis visited our home when I was a small boy. I remember him coming into the house and being introduced to him and then Dad took him to the Lewisville site to show him the geology of the occurrence.

Later, I struck up a letter exchange with Richard Leakey in the 1970s regarding his discovery of the famous 1470 skull and we had a spirited debate on the age of Indonesian Homo erectusfossils. I knew basic Indonesian geology based on the presence of my company in that country and Richard was adamant that they could not be any older than 1.0 Mya whereas I argued for 1.7-1.8 Mya. Later discoveries and newer dating have proved me correct but I never told Richard that.

As a Leakey Foundation Fellow, I was invited to attend the 2009 presentation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York between Don Johanson and Richard Leakey. By sheer luck, I got to spend the evening sitting next to Richard’s daughter, Louise, and we became good friends which we have maintained ever since. On a visit to the Leakey Foundation’s headquarters several years ago, Sharal Camisa the Executive Director, knowing the story said I must pose with their prize artifact, Louis Leakey’s old field coveralls which he always wore. I attach a photo of me holding same.

My second story is while visiting my best friend, Bennie Lategan in South Africa, he took me to see a number of his properties in the Eastern Cape Province. On one known as Dalmanutha, I walked across a small pan which was littered with lithic artifacts. Immediately I noticed blades and blade cores as well as Levallois flakes and crude projectile points. Our visit stopped as I spent the rest of the week working on the site. The artifacts are an absolute look-alike to the Kathu Pan Fauresmith Industry as described by Jayne Wilkins at Cape Town. I have since excavated that site as well as two others on his Father’s properties as well as a pure Acheulean age site complete with classic tear-drop shaped hand axes. The Dalmanutha Fauresmith Industry sites have some of the world’s oldest projectile points which have been dated to be roughly 500-600 years old. Sites of this culture have come from the northern part of South Africa as well as the southwestern part but nothing in between. Thus these sites in the Eastern Cape Province help to “fill in the gap”. The moral of the story is to always walk with your eyes on the ground because you never know what you may find!

Dub Crook

Top 5 Modern Books on Anthropology

One thing that we get asked alot here, and myself in particular, is what are good books to read? So many people are used to science books being like text books, and hard to understand. The following books have all been written to be read by anyone, from armchair anthropologist to PhD researchers.

These books are not listed in any particular order, but constitute my top five modern day anthropology books.

I HIGHLY recommend purchasing each one, and will provide a hyper link to where you can get it.

Please use this as a resource to help you on your journey.

  1. Almost Human: The Astonishing Tale of Homo naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story by Lee Berger and John Hawks
  2. First Steps: How Upright Walking Made Us Human by Jeremy DeSilva
  3. The Sediments of Time: My Lifelong Search for the Past by Meave Leakey
  4. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  5. The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional by Agustin Fuentes

Picking these five was difficult as there are so many other great books out there such as ones by Brian Hare and Svante Paabo, Chris Stringer, and so many others.

This may be the first of “Seths Top Five” ill give everyone time to read through those five, and you’ll have to let me know when you want more, but for now, here are my top five anthropology books for anyone at any level who wishes to learn about about what Paleoanthropology and Anthropology is.

Interview #17: Jeremy DeSilva

Hello fans and readers of World of Paleoanthropology! 

Today I am thrilled to introduce you to our next guest! 

Professor Desilva, from Dartmouth University is an expert in Bipedal Locomotion. I.E Walking on two legs. While we today know this mostly to be a human trait, it actually extends far into the distant past, all the way to the dinosaurs even! 

While we are hardly related to dinosaurs, through his two recent books, “A Most Interesting Problem, What Darwin’s Descent of Man got Right and Wrong about Human Evolution?” Which he worked on will 11 other collaborators and experts in the field can be found and purchased here. His book which comes out on April 6th here in the United States titled “First Steps, How Upright Walking Made Us Human” shows us where bipedality comes from, and what role it had in our own evolution. 

Explore deep time, and these exciting questions, hear some great tales about some of our favorites return guests such as Lee Berger, and have a good time with us!


Be sure to check out our website and all of our other interviews at http://www.worldofpaleoanthropology.org and if youre interested in appearing on the show, or have comments requests etc. email me at worldofpaleoanthropology@gmail.com or find me on Twitter @WrldPaleoAnth

Enjoy!

A Most Interesting Problem, a Review

This last month I had the pleasant experience of reading “A Most Interesting Problem, What Darwin Got Right and Wrong About Human Evolution” edited by Jeremy DeSilva and written by a variety of top professors on the subjects, this book gives an insightful, modern, and up to date views, hypotheses and thesis on Human Evolution, variation, sexual selection and so much more.

Published by Princeton Press 150 years after Darwin published “The Decent of Man” this book is an amazing and must read for any anthropologist or biologist.

This book goes into great detail on the basic foundations of Human evolution and explores the topics, both controversial and easily understood in a dynamic and easy way to read and understand.

From Agustin Fuentes (Check out our interview with him here.) to Ann Gibbons we hear from a wide variety of top scientists of their fields talking about things form skin color, to the human fossil record.

This book is one of, if not the most up to date book on the subject and is a must read for anyone interested in the subject. You will love this read!

We learn what Darwin got right 150 years ago, and we learn about a-lot of the things that he was misunderstanding or plainly wrong about. Such as race and biological skin colors and differences.

With glorious reviews from kings and queens in the scientific field such as Nina Jablonski and Daniel Lieberman, I too, for what it counts, add my review to their glowing ones.

If you are looking for the most up to date ideas about human biology, where these ideas come from, Darwinism and natural selection, than this is for you!

You cannot go wrong by getting and reading this book, we highly recommend it!

Coming up on the 25th of March we are hosting Jerry as our next guest to talk about this book, “A Most Interesting Problem” and his role in its creation, as well as his own book “First Steps: How Upright Walking Made us Human” which comes out April 6th 2021 which we are reading and getting ready to review as we speak, can be bought here.

You can grab this amazing book here, ebook or hardcover. Whats also awesome and goes with this, is a lecture put on by The Leakey Foundation which goes over many of the chapters with some of the authors on their contributions to the book. Its great! Dont miss it.

And there you go! So grab this book today! I give it 5 stars! Captivating and oh so very informative!

Stay tuned to our next interview with Jeremy DeSilva around the 25th of March, and then be sure to grab his own book on April 6th! We will review that one ASAP!

As for now, have a great time and Never Stop Exploring!

Be sure to check out our YouTube Channel and dont miss any of our other interviews and fun chats!

A Small Contribution?

Hello there, fellow science enthusiasts, scientists, and any and all interested parties, I have a proposition for you.

As of now, you know that here are World of Paleoanthropology we try to do alot of things, and we think we do them pretty well. We do book reviews, blog posts, vlogs, and interviews with up and coming, famous, and well known to just breaking into the field, anthropologists, archaeologists and science communicators and teachers.

The thing that our community enjoys the most, is getting to see what these people do from the inside, and not from the out. When I do an interview I lead the person in conversation, and we have a wonderful chat. I just lead, and they unload the conversation.

It’s a great way to learn more about a person, what they think, and what they know.

You can view them all here:

As of now, I am using the poor webcam built into my MacBook, and my AirPods for the microphone. I also have to host the website, and I would like to start a podcast as well. All of this costs money.

Money that a poor college student such as myself cannot spare. But that will not stop me! I will continue doing everything that I do, and more, for as long as I can, as best I can regardless of my budget!

BUT! If you were to make a contribution of any size to sethchagi@icloud.com via PayPal it would go a long way in improving our videos, website, and so much more.

Even a dollar helps, so please take a moment to consider, and review all that we do here and our impact, and think, is it worth a few bucks?

If so, please consider giving today.

Thank you.

Seth Chagi

Interview #16 Stephanie Baker

Join us as we chat with Stephanie Baker, head of the Drimolen site where Paranthropus Robustus seem to have made a home, recovering almost a full cranium!

Be sure to check out the rest of our site, and watch all of our other interviews! We have met with some great people!

If youre interested in appearing on the show shoot us an email at worldofpaleoanthropology@Gmail.com

Interview #15: Agustin Fuentes

Wow our fifteenth interview! Its amazing how far we have come and seeing the amazing people on our show, and reading their written interviews!

Here is to a bright future!

Today we are releasing publicly (It was released early on our Patreon) our interview with Professor Agustin Fuentes of Princeton University!

We are very excited for this chat and we know that you will love it!

Please enjoy:

If you would like to have the chance to appear on the show, please email us at worldofpaleoanthropology@gmail.com. It can be about anything related to the field that you are qualified to speak about.

If you want to support what we do, like run this website, host all these interviews, book reviews etc. and want to see us expand and make better quality content, AND GAIN EARLY ACCESS to content, check out our Patreon,

I hope you enjoy it, and have a wonderful time everyone!