Download Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life by Martin Meredith PDF

By Martin Meredith

Africa doesn't quit its secrets and techniques simply. Buried there lie solutions in regards to the origins of humankind. After a century of research, scientists have reworked our figuring out concerning the beginnings of human existence. yet very important clues nonetheless stay hidden.
In Born in Africa, Martin Meredith follows the path of discoveries approximately human origins made by means of scientists over the past hundred years, recounting their excessive competition, own feuds, and fierce controversies in addition to their feats of ability and patience.
The effects were momentous. Scientists have pointed out greater than twenty species of extinct people. they've got firmly demonstrated Africa because the birthplace not just of humankind but in addition of recent people. they've got printed how early expertise, language skill, and creative endeavour all originated in Africa; and so they have proven how small teams of Africans unfolded from Africa in an exodus sixty thousand years in the past to populate the remainder of the realm. we have now all inherited an African past.

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The Kenyan eugenicists did [ 39 ] RACE AND EMPIRE not, however, use the most obvious methods, such as pedigrees, statistics and intelligence testing, which were applied by British eugenicists when assessing the intelligence of large social groups. When examining race, an area in which British eugenics had not prescribed a methodology, the Kenyan doctors most radically made histological counts of brain cells and physical measurements of brain capacity. This led to the adoption of a particularly pathologising theory about biological inferiority in the East African brain.

The Kenyan eugenics movement was more unusual in the absence of a programme for the improvement of the population. Negative eugenics was impractical because the supposed incapacity affected the entire African population; for the same reason, there was no mention of implementing a policy of positive eugenics that would encourage more intelligent Africans to have more children. It is entirely predictable that the eugenicists in Kenya should have been so preoccupied with race; it is perhaps more surprising that in a country so dominated by racial issues and racist attitudes, theories of scientific racism did not emerge earlier.

Kenyan eugenics provided a reassuring verification of the innate difference between coloniser and the colonised, but also inevitably echoed the sense of being biologically out of place that haunted Kenyan settler culture. The question of how unified a community the Kenyan settlers were has been the subject of some debate among historians. 89 In an important study of the white Kenyan political arena, Redley examined the factious and complex splintering that characterised settler politics, caused by the politicisation of economic interests.

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