Although our brains have ballooned over the past million years or so, we still struggle to understand ourselves. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the study of our origins. That we evolved is considered by the scientific community to be established beyond reasonable doubt, yet at the same time there remain enormous gaps in our knowledge of how it happened. Some of the most fundamental details of our development – why our ancestors became bipedal, or why their brains tripled in size – remain unexplained. In different ways, all three of the books under consideration here wrestle with this problem. Taken together, they give a good overview of what we really know about our primate past and what we don’t. The gaps in our knowledge make life uncomfortable for those who are struggling to defend evolutionary theory against the dogma of creationism.
more from Stephen Cave at the FT here.