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The Third Chimpanzee

The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal
Lu par : Rob Shapiro
Durée : 15 h et 33 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 notations)

Prix : 30,21 €

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Description

The Development of an Extraordinary Species....

We human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet - having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art - while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival. What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins?

In this fascinating, provocative, passionate, funny, endlessly entertaining work, renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning author and scientist Jared Diamond explores how the extraordinary human animal, in a remarkably short time, developed the capacity to rule the world...and the means to irrevocably destroy it.

©2006 Jared Diamond (P)2012 Random House Audio

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Notations

Global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Histoire

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

An exceptionnaly clever vision of humans

The past of humans is analysed through a very smart and well explained set of arguments, enriched with a lot of concurrent visions' critics. What's more, the analysis of the problems to come for our species and their causes is also extremely coherent : in fact I feel like Jared Diamond had already understood all the aspects of humanity's self destruction capacity in 1992. One thing is for sure : every person that has interest for humanity's history and pre-history should read this book. I recommand it unconditionnaly.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 04/09/2012

Up to the usual high standard

Jared Diamond is one of my favourite writers, and in 'Guns Germs and Steel' and then 'Collapse' he transformed my views of the history and future of civilisation, respectively.

This is an earlier book (1991), containing themes to be expanded in both of his later books, in addition to the main topic; how modern man emerged from being just another animal.

Because the book is 20 years old, you always worry that some more recent evidence may have arisen to strengthen or weaken his arguments, but if you can ignore this relatively minor qualm, and you enjoy popular science, then this is an absolutely fantastic listen.

19 sur 19 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 06/08/2012

Very Compelling

A very compelling listen.

The story sucked me in and I found myself listening much longer than I had meant to several times.

Fascinating topic that is well researched, backed up with logical thought, and presented in a fashion that is easy for an non expert to understand.

If you have any interest in evolution and the effects that it had on making who we are now, I would highly suggest this book to you.

14 sur 14 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jacobus
  • 30/04/2012

A book that will get you talking...

The Third Chimpanzee was first published in 1992 although the audio version dates 10 years after publication. It is important to take note of this fact as even prof. Jared Diamond might have changed his mind on some things he wrote in the book.

One thing I found very peculiar when I listened to the book, was his side-line comment that South Africa is one of the countries that runs the real risk of genocide. I only understood his pessimism after I realised that in 1992 things really looked bleak in South Africa.

The reason I highlight the above-mentioned point, is that there might be quite a few things that he says, especially predictions that he makes that are already dated and might feel very dark and pessimistic, while he really tries to advocate a positive approach to the future of homo sapiens on this planet.

Diamond begins with the story of the evolution of humans. He describes what makes us genetically different and where we fit into the evolutionary chain. He proposes an intriguing idea, namely, that the two chimpanzee species are genetically nearer to humans than to other apes. They should according to him be classified under the homo genus.

This can be seen as the starting point of a lot of issues that he raises with ethics as the thin line that motivates each of his subject matter discussions.

The book is structured as follows: 1) Part 1 ??? Just another big species of mammal. 2) Part 2 ??? A animal with a strange life cycle. 3) Part 3 ??? Uniquely human. 4) Part 4 ??? World Conquerors. 5) Part 5 ??? Reversing our Progress overnight.

I found especially Part 1-3 fascinating. Ideas like, ???the evolution of genes does not explain human progress??? and ???Neanderthals dying at the age of 30-35 and how homo sapiens??? life cycle adapted to ensure further aging??? are just mesmerising. Part 4 and 5 became more sober and even doomsday-like. Especially in part 5 we hear Diamond???s emotional language. He doesn???t beat around the bush about the way we do things today that might cause destruction.

This book contains a vast array of subject-matter starting with evolution and ending in the dangerous human. It is well-structured and mostly well thought through. Yet some ideas might have gathered some dust since the book was published in 1992. However this is the type of book that gets people to talk and reflect on the world around them. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Rob Shapiro???s reading of the book is fair and easy to follow.

I think Diamond???s book is worth the listen and raises important topics that need to be taken seriously by any listener of the audio book. This book will probably get you talking about what matters.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • 17/05/2013

Diamond's books are wonderful

I love Jared Diamond's writing. Every time I read one of his books, it resonates so clearly that I can't help but enjoy his thoughts tremendously. In The Third Chimpanzee, Diamond ranges widely in his thoughts of this odd third chimpanzee (us) and sometimes goes in rather unexpected places.

Some highlights include how testes correlate with number of partners in sex and how public/private sex is, and the arts are a social method of sexual selection.

The migration of some of human kind can be studied by the transformation of proto-Indo-European language, but he includes a fervent discussion of the loss of human languages as the few powerful languages consolidate their power and their populations on the world.

He includes wonderful comments on genocide in chimps and genocide in humans across time. How we have permission to kill "them," but we must attempt to refrain from killing "us."

Most disjointed was his theories of life on other worlds, which covers a part of a chapter.

What is most interesting is the echoes of his other writings you can hear in this book. Echoes in the sense that it doesn't matter if the book came before or after this 2006 publication. His themes have remained constant: Ecological collapse, success of an area and the people controlling that area based on resources, and domesticate-able plant and animal species.

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • MM
  • 02/11/2012

Jumping too quickly to conclusions

I was really interested in reading/listening to a book about how evolutionary biology explains current human behavior... I think this book does address the topic but I wished it organized the supporting data more clearly and was less glib about the conclusions reached.

It is clear the author is well versed in the topic. However his extrapolations seemed rather extreme at times - in one case going from an example of a friend he has to a statement regarding general mate selection preference for all humans...

It could be that his general conclusions are well supported in other studies he did not cite or cited elsewhere in the book, but the way the material is presented made the conclusions seem very capricious… As a result, reading the book feels very uncomfortable as I feel a lot of facts are missing...

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Justin
  • 01/06/2012

Exceptional piece from an intellectual omnivore.

This is but one of many fantastic books that reveal Jared Diamond's omnivorous intellect. Like the others, he has a message, and that message is conveyed through researched arguments and tempered by his own experiences. The message is: We stand at the edge of change, one way leading to disaster of a scale that could mean destruction of the human species, but there is hope.

Hope lies in recognising our special past and understanding how it has led us to where the human animal is now. By understanding this past, learning lessons from those who have come before us, we can understand where our choices will lead our species and the only planet we inhabit.

Topics include what makes us unique among animals and what, after careful investigation, reveals to be not unique. Language, sex, art, culture, agriculture, natural selection, sexual selection; the list is a smorgasbord of informative research.

Not a good book for those with closed minds, nor for those who are blinkered by dogma or literal translations of holy texts. However, for those of us who are willing to listen, willing to challenge old ideas, this book illustrates the many disciplines that, when woven together, show us hope for the future.

Shapiro's voice bring these topics to life, enhancing the character found in Jared's work, revealing the importance of the author's words and his heartfelt appeal to us all.

9 sur 10 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Clare
  • 02/05/2012

Fascinating & Thought Provoking

I remember picking up this book when it first came out years ago. I was instantly captivated. It really is a first run at some of his later works (Guns Germs and Steel is pretty much covered in the first couple of chapters, likewise you can see the ideas behind his book Collapse). Therefore if you have read GGS a lot of this book will be familiar to you, but this is not abridged and not narrated in a monotone!

This book does have an environmental leaning, which I believe upset another reviewer, but it also covers evolutionary biology, ornithology, geography, agriculture, ancient history, anthropology, music, art, literature, sexual anthropology, xenophobia, physiology, and the development of language (my favourite section). The many and varied topics in this book are dealt with in a very easy to understand manner. Some of his theories are a tad far fetched, but most are just so brilliant, and his insights explained so clearly it is easy to get caught up with his expositions.

I was surprised that I did not notice the lack of the maps and other graphics. Like the printed book I did find the first 2/3rds of the book is the best.

I did wish the narration could have been a bit more varied. However, the narration was clear.

6 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Neil Chisholm
  • 16/05/2013

Completely fascinating and absorbing

This was the second Jared Diamond I've read and the first in his series of three. It was written in the early 90's and while some things have changed, the overall message is very much the same and of course the history is the same history.

The conclusions he draws are pessimistic and a cause for worry in the 90's, and they still are, but I do think that more people are hearing the ecologists warnings and taking heed - I sure hope so for his forecast of doom for half our species worldwide is a hell of an inheritance to hand over.

Its a book that makes you stop and think and hopefully react too - it has me and I hope it does you too. Highly recommended and should be compulsory reading for leaders of nations and corporate decision makers!

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • eric
  • 12/03/2013

Great book

Would you listen to The Third Chimpanzee again? Why?

I have listened to it twice now. There are certain things I think that require a second review, also it gives you a chance to completely understand certain aspects of the book. I think it does a great job of explaining certain aspects of our evolution that is overlooked or not talked about in other books, or at least it makes the information understandable to someone like me, that is someone who is not in academia.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Third Chimpanzee?

I found the portion of the book discussing the differences between the neanderthals and the homo sapiens was the most interesting to me, as I knew hardly anything about it and it really stood out to me.

Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't believe I have, but he did a great job of making this type of book a great listen. I think that can make a world of difference.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I am not sure the question applies to this book, but as I wrote above he part about the neanderthals was, I suppose moving, as it speculates on whether or not we share any DNA with them, as well as goes into how little we know about their culture and if they had any.

Any additional comments?

I think it could use a bit of updating, but still a very solid book which anyone who wants to have an opinion on the subject should read. Highly recommended.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles
  • 08/03/2013

1992 really?

As a huge Jared Diamond fan I had probably unconsciously made my mind up about this book before I read a single page. It is an older book, and that was particularly irksome to me at several points when I thought to myself "I could have learned and known all this in 1992". If you have read other works by Jared Diamond there is some overlap. The beginnings of 'Guns germs and steel" as well as 'Collapse' are here. Those ideas each get about a chapter and a half toward the end. For some that may be repetitive, but there is plenty not covered in his other other books, such as the genetics of aging and mate selection. The narration is great, nothing to distract from the book itself. Bottom line if you like Jared Diamond you won't be disappointed.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lena
  • 19/03/2016

A Must-read for anyone interested in Evolution!

Awesome! Covers a very wide range of topics from language evolution to humans impact on nature. Always interesting to listen to.