Why do major paradigm shifts so regularly disrupt our understanding of human origins? In the century and a half since Darwin, our knowledge of our own evolution has advanced far beyond the most optimistic aspirations of the founders of evolutionary biology. But this scientific history also can be viewed as a long series of debunkings. Why are we humans compelled to so regularly rewrite the story of our origins? Author Kermit Pattison will discuss what our history of studying ourselves reveals about scientific progress in general—and the pursuit of human origins in particular. Pattison is the author of Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind (William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers, 2020). This talk will examine some of the major chapters in the study of human evolution, the rise and fall of popular theories, and how skeptics can become more informed, intelligent consumers of scientific information.
Kermit Pattison is the author of Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind (William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers). He has written for the New York Times, GQ, and the BBC. The New York Times Book Review praised Pattison as “every bit as good as the best science writers.” His first book earned praise from The New York Times Book Review (“riveting account”), The Spectator (“a dazzling journey into deep geological time…meticulously researched…visceral and penetrating”), The Christian Science Monitor (“a masterly structured tale”), and The Star Tribune (“brilliant book of reportage…a work of staggering depth that brings us into the search for the oldest human.”) Learn more at kermitpattison.com.