Fossil Hominids: Further Reading

Because of the public interest in human evolution there is a wide choice of good books available, many of them written by leading scientists in the field.

Carl Zimmer has written a good, recent and brief introduction to human evolution, published as either Where did we come from? or Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins depending on where you live.

Much more detailed is Johanson and Edgar's From Lucy to Language (1996, 2006), which also has many superb full-sized photos of human fossils. Ian Tattersall's The Fossil Trail (1995) has an excellent discussion of how our knowledge of human evolution has developed.

Johanson and Edey's Lucy (1981), Leakey and Lewin's Origins Reconsidered (1992), and Walker and Shipman's Wisdom of the Bones are good books about the discovery and analysis of important fossils. Good sources about the Neandertals are The Neandertals by Trinkaus and Shipman (1992), and, for those wanting lots of detail, Ian Tattersall's The Last Neanderthal (1999).

For historical background, Morell's Ancestral Passions (1995) is a fascinating biography of the Leakey family.

Short articles which give a good account of human evolution are Weaver (1985) (which has good comparative photographs), Brace (1983) and Berra (1990).

Sources which address creationist arguments about human evolution are Strahler (1987), and the Winter 1986-87 issue of Creation/Evolution, a journal of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and, of course, this website.

Good anthropology textbooks include Klein (2009), Feder and Park (2006), and Campbell (1988). For extremely detailed and technical descriptions of many important fossils, see Wood (1991) or Tobias (1991).

The best creationist book on human fossils is probably Lubenow (1992,2004). Lubenow has studied the scientific literature extensively, and limits his arguments to fossils accepted by evolutionists. His work is of a higher standard than any other creationist literature I have read on the subject. Gish (1985) is a very influential creationist book with a large chapter on human evolution; an updated version has also been released (Gish 1995). Another creationist book is Bowden (1981), although it concentrates heavily on older fossils. Cuozzo (1998) has also written a creationist book concentrating on the Neandertals.

Also, visit the Paleoanthropology Links page for lists of evolutionist and creationist web pages which discuss human origins, and the Paleoanthropology Fiction page for a list of fictional works about human evolution.


Berra T. (1990): The evolution of life and the rise of humans. In Evolution and the myth of creationism. (pp. 70-119). Stanford,California: Stanford University Press.

Bowden M. (1981): Ape-men: fact or fallacy? Ed. 2. Bromley,Kent: Sovereign.

Brace C.L. (1983): Humans in time and space. In L.R. Godfrey (Ed.), Scientists confront creationism. (pp. 245-82). Toronto: George J. McLeod.

Campbell B.G. (1988): Humankind emerging. Ed. 5. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Cuozzo J.W. (1998): Buried alive: the startling truth about Neanderthal man. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books.

Feder K.L. and Park M.A.: Human antiquity: an introduction to physical anthropology and archaeology, McGraw-Hill, 5th ed., 2006. (an introductory university-level anthropology textbook)

Gish D.T. (1985): Evolution: the challenge of the fossil record. El Cajon, CA: Creation-Life Publishers.

Johanson D.C. and Edey M.A. (1981): Lucy: the beginnings of humankind. New York: Simon and Schuster. (a short history of paleoanthropology, and the discovery and analysis of Australopithecus afarensis)

Johanson D.C. and Edgar B. (1996): From Lucy to language. New York: Simon and Schuster. (up-to-date, with a superb photo gallery)

Klein R.G. (2009): The human career: human biological and cultural origins. University of Chicago Press, 3rd ed. (an excellent textbook on human evolution)

Leakey R.E. and Lewin R. (1992): Origins reconsidered: in search of what makes us human. New York: Doubleday.

Lubenow M.L. (1992,2004): Bones of contention: a creationist assessment of human fossils. Grand Rapids,MI: Baker Books. (the best creationist book on human fossils)

Morell V. (1995): Ancestral passions: the Leakey family and the quest for humankind's beginnings. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Strahler A.N. (1987): Science and earth history: the evolution/creation controversy. Buffalo: Prometheus Books. (an encyclopedic resource on creationist arguments)

Tattersall I. (1995): The fossil trail: how we know what we think we know about human evolution. Oxford,NY: Oxford University Press.

Tattersall I. (1999): The Last Neanderthal: the rise, success, and mysterious extinction of our closest human relatives. Basic Books.

Tobias P.V. (1991): Olduvai Gorge, volume 4: the skulls, endocasts and teeth of Homo habilis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Trinkaus E. and Shipman P. (1992): The Neandertals: changing the image of mankind. New York: Alfred E. Knopf. (an excellent history of thought about Neandertals)

Walker A.C. and Shipman P. (1996): The wisdom of the bones. New York: Alfred E. Knopf. (a popular history of Homo erectus and the discovery and analysis of the Turkana Boy skeleton)

Weaver K.F. (1985): The search for our ancestors. National Geographic, 168(November):560-623.

Wood B.A.: Koobi Fora research project, volume 4: hominid cranial remains, Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1991. (a detailed study of fossils from the East Rudolf area)

This page is part of the Fossil Hominids FAQ at the Archive.

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