May 1964

The Origin of Races.

Author Affiliations

By Carleton S. Coon, PhD. Price, not given. Pp 724, with 84 illustrations, 32 plates. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 33 W 60th St, New York 10023, 1962.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(5):786. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280110166041

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One of the enigmas of our age is the antiquity of man. It has been generally believed that Homo sapiens first appeared 30,000 years ago and that the living races of man became differentiated from this common ancestor. Dr. Coon evaluates this perplexing problem in a comprehensive and scholarly manner. He draws upon such resources as physiology, ecology, social anthropology, geography, paleontology, and archeology in arriving at his startling conclusion that the earliest evidence of hominids could be traced back to five lines of descent. This assumption would mean that the races were older than the species: "... five basic racial groups appeared a long time before Homo Sapiens and as early as the time of Homo Erectus."

There is much evidence to indicate that the evolution of man occurred separately yet in a parallel manner in the last 700 millenia. In this remarkable synthesis Coon classifies the living peoples of

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