One of my chief joys is the completion of a book and the anticipation of opening a new one. Yesterday, I completed Chris Stringer’s Lone Survivors: How We Came to be the Only Humans on Earth. I timed completion of the Stringer book, to coincide with the arrival on my Kindle today of the just released Julia Child biography Dearie.
First, a word about the Stringer book….very interesting and very deep in some places. I cannot tell a lie, the study of genetics is far more interesting than the study of fossil bones. Stringer is a paleoanthropologist and his detail concerning skull fragments is very technical. However he is almost lyrical when he discusses our near relatives the Neanderthals. I learned several things I did not know.
1/ Neanderthals probably had red hair.
2/ Their facial bones were far more attractive than some of the retarded Flintstone and other cartoons would have you believe.
3/The humans who left Africa interbred with the Neanderthals and today their descendents (Europe, Asia, Americas) are about 2% Neanderthal.
4/ Modern Africans do not have Neanderthal genes.
5/ The physiological differences you see in Asian and European and native American ‘groups’ are the result of genetic drift. (An example would be the very black straight hair found in most people of Asian descent.)
I love biographies. Some might view my life as one of noisy desperation coupled with periods of boredom, at least in the years of marriage to my first husband. My life improved dramatically after I plucked up the courage to leave him. Would that I had done what my sister did and go to college and then to Europe to live and work as a single. But that was then and this is now, and living in the present moment, I am doing just fine.
Nevertheless, I am looking forward to reading about Julia Child’s early adventures. She traveled to Europe as a young woman and joined the Intelligence Service where I believe she met her husband. I will discover more about her early years in this new biography.
And for all you jocks: