I’ve been reading a few books about evolution and genetics/DNA, and updating my family tree. Two books are important regarding my learning about evolution:
The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, is a free book for my Kindle from Amazon. I’ve been pushing through this read very slowly in the evenings, it’s about a 550 pages and they are thick with arguments and evidence for natural selection as the main cause of speciation.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, I just started listening to whenever I am alone in the car, which is not that often or usually for very long, but I have been able to get about one third through the book that explains some in depth thinking about the evolution of humans from what the author calls the “cognitive revolution”, really what he considers as the first major step towards human expansion, and includes (1) a proof showing humans have been causing extinctions of other species over and over again maybe causing the extinction of half the large species on earth since their appearance – a major issue especially as we consider the impact of the climate change that humans are responsible for creating, (2) the impact of fire on evolution, and (3) the effect that the “cognitive revolution” had on language, particularly “gossip” and how that is important to human evolution.
One book is important regarding my learning about DNA and how it has influenced research, and how it tells us the true story about our ancestry including that all European descendants would be able to trace their DNA back to Charlemagne and the first Holy Roman Emperor: A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes by Adam Rutherford.
I have been clearing many hints (green leafs on picture to left) on Ancestry before my subscription runs out at the end of August. Can’t see to justify $300 per year for this service though it really helps research my Scandinavian ancestors, uncles and cousins going back centuries with the earliest in my tree being born in the late 16th century. Without the service, it will be very hard to straighten out some of the confusing connections on that Scandinavian side of my ancestry. I did use their DNA service and found it essentially useless compared to 23andMe – when I was hoping it would provide me with better connections directly to my family tree, but it does not seem to work well or I just haven’t yet figured it out. I could buy monthly – and when I am in the mood to be updating my family tree, I can make that investment, but I’m not making the investment for an entire year or evening a half year as I have this last time.