Becoming Human: How Evolution Made Us

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Becoming Human: How Evolution Made Us




Becoming Human: How Evolution Made Us is an Irreverent, fast-moving introduction to basic evolutionary theories and human origins. The focus is not just on our prehistory. Becoming Human highlights how evolution affects the way we are today, and helps us to anticipate what might happen to us in the future. The work explores the history of evolutionary theory, for Charles Darwin's voyage on the HMS Beagle to new discoveries in genetics and paleoanthropology.

The book especially explores the traces of evolution in our bodies today, the development of evolutionary theory, how evolution was affected by the way we reproduce, and the development of our unusual brains. Whether you're interested in the reason that our babies cry so loudly when chimpanzees don't or curious about how natural selection might have favoured cooperation as well as competition, Becoming Human is an excellent first stop on the path to learning more.

The book is easy-to-read but challenging, an ideal introduction to our species' origin. The book was originally created to accompany the course 'Becoming Human,' a free online course from Open2Study (a project of Open Universities Australia). The author, anthropologist Greg Downey, has prepared a collection of his scripts, together with web links, academic references and other resources for more information. Although the book is ideal for those who are doing the online course, Becoming Human, it's also a great way to understand better how evolution produced humans.


Greg Downey


Enculture Press, Australia


Cut Rita Zahara


Creative Commons





Greg Downey , “Becoming Human: How Evolution Made Us,” Open Educational Resource (OER) - USK Library, accessed July 24, 2024,

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