Reading List on Common Ancestry

Hey guys. I’m looking to put together a reading list on common ancestry. The evidence for it and how that conclusion was reached. So if you have anything, papers, blog posts, book chapters, anything you can recommend that’d be awesome. Special focus on the common ancestry of primates and human-apes. Thanks I’m advance!

Note to @Moderators: when people begin posting, please don’t let people post thing and turn it into a debate. That can be done on other threads. Just want to put a good reading list together.

Also, a lot of this recommendations I will have already read. Just want to put a list together for a class and I don’t want to miss anything.


A good starting point would be the sole article on this blog, discussing our close relation with chimpanzees. It explains how transposons can be used as genetic markers to show this relationship. There is also a lovely diagram at the end of the post showing the output of a comparative analysis of human and chimpanzee chromosome 3, mapping the distribution of these transposons. See how they almost exactly match. Enjoy.

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If you don’t mind a book, “Your Inner Fish” by Neil Shubin is a great place to start.


Don’t forget this past thread:


Common ancestry of what, exactly? Humans and chimps? Whales and cows? Archaeans and bacteria? Everything?

Yep! Didn’t forget it. Just want this one with a little more narrow of a focus.

Everything but especially primates and the great apes

The “selfish gene” is a metaphor, not a theory.

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Here’s a recent paper with massive data:

This, I think, is the first use of DNA sequence for primate phylogeny: Hayasaka K., Gojobori T., Horai S. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of primate mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Biology and Evolution 1988; 5:626-644.

Here’s DNA hybridization applied to the problem: Sibley C.G., Comstock J.A., Ahlquist J.E. DNA hybridization evidence of hominoid phylogeny: A reanalysis of the data. Journal of Molecular Evolution 1990; 30:202-236.

Possibly the earliest molecular result, from immunological distances, which could truly be considered a revolution in thinking about human evolution: Sarich V.M., Wilson A.C. Immunological time scale for hominid evolution. Science 1967; 158:1200-1203.

The chimp genome paper: The Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium. Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome. Nature 2005; 437:69-87.

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