NOT FROM THE APES by Bjorn Kurten

NOT FROM THE APES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Kurten, a Scandinavian social scientist currently out of Cambridge (Mass.), postulates that man's biological development has been ""unique"" for at least 35 million years, i.e., separate from that of monkeys and apes; and that moreover man did not descend from anthropoids (as commonly supposed) but that the reverse is true. A classical Darwinian natural selectionist, Kurten pegs his theories entirely on Dartian fossil evidence discovered by Professor Raymond Dart in Johannesburg in 1924 (the Dartian being the oldest and most primitive early man known today), reviewing in a non-technical manner the current literature and data, particularly comparative humanoid-ape teeth structure. In addition, Kurten uses Dartian remains and artifacts (discovered by Leaky) to dispute anthropologist Carleton Coon's well-known theory about the late development of the Negroid race -- ""there is no reason to believe (it) younger than the other races."" But what is most interesting about Not From the Apes is the last quarter of the book in which Kurten speculates about the future of the natural selection process on man: he ridicules the so-called ""bad gene"" theory, suggests that chemicals and drugs might have a profound effect on the selection equation, and finally concludes that biological research is on the brink of breaking the genetic code which will permit direct control of human evolution, a possibility Kurten views as the key to ""real freedom."" Authoritative popular science with just enough controversy and flair to keep you upright.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1971
Publisher: Pantheon