Schwartz, Jeffrey H. 1948-
SCHWARTZ, Jeffrey H. 1948-
PERSONAL: Born March 6, 1948, in Richmond, VA; son of Jack (a physician) and Lillian (an artist) Schwartz; married Lynn Emanuel (a poet), October 4, 1975. Education: Columbia College, B.A., 1969; Columbia University, M.Phil., 1973, Ph.D., 1974. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Playing bluegrass banjo, cooking, jogging/exercise, birding.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, WWPH 3H01, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Agent—c/o Laurens R. Schwartz, 5 East 22nd St., Suite 15D, New York, NY 10010. E-mail— [email protected]
CAREER: Anthropologist, evolutionary biologist, historian, and philosopher of science. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, professor of anthropology, history, and philosophy of science. American Museum of Natural History, department of anthropology, research associate; Carnegie Museum of Natural History, department of vertebrate paleontology, research associate.
MEMBER: International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Physical Anthropologists, American Association of Mammalogists (life member), Society for the Study of Evolution, Society of Systematic Biologists, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Sigma Xi.
AWARDS, HONORS: Honory Medal, Collége de France, 1989; Best Single Reference Work in the Sciences award (with Ian Tattersall), Professional/Scholarly Division of American Association of Publishers, 2002, for The Human Fossil Record, volume 1; Chancellor's Distinguished Senior Research Award, University of Pittsburgh, 2003; global academic partnership grant (with others), University of Pittsburgh, 2003, 2004.
(With Ian Tattersall) Craniodental Morphology and the Systematics of the Malagasy Lemurs (Primates, Prosimii), American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY), 1974.
(With Leonard Krishtalka) The Lower Antemolar Teeth of Litolestes Ignotus, a Late Paleocene Erinaceid (Mammalia, Insectivora), Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Pittsburgh, PA), 1976.
(With Ian Tattersall) The Phylogenetic Relationships of Adapidae (Primates, Lemuriformes), American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY), 1979.
(With Ian Tattersall) A Revision of the EuropeanEocene Primate Genus Protoadapis and Some Allied Forms, American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY), 1983.
The Red Ape: Orang-utans and Human Origins, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1987.
(Editor) Orang-utan Biology, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1988.
What the Bones Tell Us, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1993.
(With others) A Diverse Hominoid Fauna from theLate Middle Pleistocene Breccia Cave of Tham Khuyen, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY), 1994.
Skeleton Keys: An Introduction to Human SkeletalMorphology, Development, and Analysis, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence ofSpecies, John Wiley & Sons, (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Ian Tattersall; and photographer) Extinct Humans, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 2000.
(With Ian Tattersall) The Human Fossil Record, Wiley-Liss (New York, NY), Volume 1: Terminology and Craniodental Morphology of Genus Homo (Europe), 2001, Volume 2: Craniodental Morphology of Genus Homo (Africa and Asia), 2003.
Contributor to scientific journals.
WORK IN PROGRESS: (With Ian Tattersall) The Human Fossil Record, Volume 3: Craniodental Morphology of Early Humanids, Wiley-Liss; a revised edition of The Red Ape: Orang-utans and Human Origins; numerous articles.
SIDELIGHTS: Anthropologist Jeffrey H. Schwartz has written many scientific volumes, but has also authored books that can be appreciated by the lay reader, such as The Red Ape: Orang-utans and Human Origins. Library Journal reviewer Laurie Tynan noted that in this volume the author uses the mirror scene in the Marx Brothers film Duck Soup "to explain why biochemists find it so hard to track evolutionary changes in nucleotides."
Following an overview of the field, Schwartz argues that humans are most closely related to the red ape of the title, the Asian orangutan (genus Pongo), and not to African apes such as the chimpanzee and gorilla, which scientists such as Charles Darwin believed to be man's closest ancestors. Science Books & Films critic John D. Newman felt that the second chapter, titled "In Pursuit of Human Ancestry," "provides a concise, historical overview of paleoanthropology in the twentieth century."
Orang-utan Biology is devoted to the only Asian great ape. The book contains twenty-five contributions by thirty-six scholars, some of whom agree with Schwartz and most of whom do not. Topics include taxonomy, ecology, behavior, reproductive biology, neuroanatomy, ontogeny, and craniofacial, dental, and postcranial anatomy. American Anthropologist reviewer Henry McHenry wrote that "when one challenges orthodoxy, some very positive results can occur, and this book is one of them. With the suggestion that orangs are our closest relatives, their biology becomes all the more interesting to Homo sapiens. And old questions have to be looked at anew with more rigorous methodology."
In reviewing What the Bones Tell Us, for Science, Kenneth A. R. Kennedy wrote that "although he gives an account of some of his forensic cases, Schwartz has much more to say about his field research at the site of ancient Carthage, where he investigated the evidence for child sacrifice, his search for the vestiges of Swanscombe Man along the banks of the Thames, and the biblical archeology at Tell Hesi in Israel." Kennedy said that the volume "demonstrates how the skills of the forensic anthropologist carry over to the study of ancient populations when these are represented by a preserved skeletal series in a mortuary deposit."
Irving Root, reviewing the book for the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that Schwartz uses "a popular science style and avoids the highly technical jargon of the specialties of anthropology and paleontology." Root called the work "an easily readable, informative, enjoyable, thought-provoking commentary, interspersed with warm, refreshing tales."
Bones are also the subject of Skeleton Keys: An Introduction to Human Skeletal Morphology, Development, and Analysis. Judy Myers Suchey noted in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology that Schwartz's goal in this work "is to avoid the cookbook approach and to put the topics of sexing, aging, nonmetric variation, and anthropometry into a broader context."
Schwartz studies the history of evolutionary thought in Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species. He also goes further, providing his own theories as to how new life-forms evolve and regarding the role of the homeobox or "hot" genes that control the development of an organism. Library Journal's Marit MacArthur called the study "a scholarly, intriguing, and significant work, well documented with notes, although they lack the convenience of numbering."
Schwartz and Ian Tattersall collaborated in writing Extinct Humans, for which Schwartz took many of the volume's black-and-white photographs. The authors maintain that modern paleoanthropologists are overly influenced by the findings of such evolutionists as Charles Darwin, ornithologist Ernst Mayr, and geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky in adopting the theory that only one hominid—that family of primates that includes man—species existed at any one time, and that all hominids evolved into human beings.
Leslea J. Hlusko noted in the Quarterly Review of Biology that the co-authors "complete the straw man by claiming that paleontologists force the hominid fossil record into this paradigm, categorizing fossils by age rather than morphology." The authors' view is that we fell from a "bush" containing more taxa than are acknowledged and study their perception of the fossil record "from the perspective of diversity." They contend that there may have been as many as fifteen species of humans, some of which coexisted at the same time, but that all became extinct, with the exception of Homo sapiens.
Richard Dawkins reviewed Extinct Humans in the New York Times Book Review, commenting that "whether they belonged to fifteen species or one, individual males mated with individual females and had individual children." Dawkins noted that some populations did not breed, however, because of factors that might have included geographic or cultural barriers. "There was a continuum of variation among local populations scattered around Africa, and later around the world," the critic explained. "Names like 'race,' 'subspecies,' 'species,' and 'genus' signify, in increasing degrees, the genetic separation that tends to arise when populations do not interbreed for awhile." Dawkins wrote that "it follows, from evolution that if all the hominids who ever lived were available to us in a gigantic fossil museum, all attempts to segregate them into nonoverlapping species or genera would be futile. . . . Arguments over whether there have been fifteen species of extinct hominids or some other number are not worth the fuss." Dawkins concluded by saying that he "learned a lot about fossils from this book, and shall continually go back to it with profit. But a radical reinterpretation it is not."
Human Biology contributor Donald C. Johanson called Extinct Humans a "wonderfully illustrated and ambitious book. . . . Tattersall and Schwartz provide convincing reasons why we may never know the true number of fossil hominid species and will perhaps always underestimate that number. The major conclusion of this book, that the tree of human evolution sprouted many branches in the past and several hominid species were contemporaries, is now mainstream thinking in paleoanthropology. What is really an oddity is the fact that we are the sole hominid species living on planet Earth today."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Anthropologist, March, 1990, Henry McHenry, review of Orang-utan Biology, pp. 228-229.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology, July, 1994, Barbara Brown, review of What the Bones Tell Us, p. 427; March, 1997, Judy Myers Suchey, review of Skeleton Keys: An Introduction to Human Skeletal Morphology, Development, and Analysis, pp. 429-431.
American Scientist, September, 1999, Tim Tokaryk, review of Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species, pp. 469-470.
Booklist, April 1, 1987, review of The Red Ape:Orang-utans and Human Origins; June 1, 2000, Gilbert Taylor, review of Extinct Humans, p. 1822.
Choice, May, 1987, D. Bardack, review of The RedApe, p. 1429; May, 1989, E. Delson, review of Orang-utan Biology, p. 1547; November, 2000, E. Delson, review of Extinct Humans, p. 574.
Human Biology, October, 2002, Donald C. Johanson, review of Extinct Humans, p. 732.
Isis, September, 2000, Michael Ruse, review of Sudden Origins, p. 608.
Journal of the American Medical Association, November 17, 1993, Irving Root, review of What the Bones Tell Us, p. 2383.
Library Journal, April 1, 1987, Laurie Tynan, review of The Red Ape, p. 156; June 1, 1999, Marit MacArthur, review of Sudden Origins, p. 164; June 1, 2000, H. James Birx, review of Extinct Humans, p. 188.
Nature, May 21, 1987, Andrew Hill, review of TheRed Ape, p. 197; June 24, 1999, Eörs Szathmáry, review of Sudden Origins, p. 745.
New York Times Book Review, August 6, 2000, Richard Dawkins, review of Extinct Humans, p. 18.
Publishers Weekly, January 9, 1987, review of TheRed Ape; November 23, 1992, review of What the Bones Tell Us, p. 45; March 29, 1999, review of Sudden Origins, p. 81; June 5, 2000, review of Extinct Humans, p. 83
Quarterly Review of Biology, June, 1990, John G. H. Cant, review of Orang-utan Biology, pp. 230-231; June, 1994, Norman J. Sauer, review of What the Bones Tell Us, p. 257; October, 2002, Donald C. Johnson, review of Extinct Humans, p. 732; December, 2002, Leslea J. Hlusko, review of Extinct Humans, p. 446, Callum F. Ross, review of The Human Fossil Record, Volume 1: Terminology and Craniodental Morphology of Genus Homo (Europe), p. 447.
Science, May 19, 1989, Randall L. Susman, review of Orang-utan Biology, p. 859; May 21, 1993, Kenneth A. R. Kennedy, review of What the Bones Tell Us, p. 1178.
Science Books & Films, May-June, 1987, John D. Newman, review of The Red Ape, p. 296.
Smithsonian, August, 1987, review of The Red Ape.
Whole Earth Review, winter, 1994, Digger, review of What the Bones Tell Us, p. 115.