What Others are Saying

shoutShare your thoughts with us!

From Press

(click here to hide)
[Death from a Distance] comprehensively unifies what it means to be human and gives readers the skills to analyze how our humanness continues to shape our world. Scholars, students, and general readers will all come away from this book with new insight on the human experience
- Clarion Foreword Reviews,
An Independent Reviewer
Bingham and Souza make some pretty controversial assertions - assertions, though, that are backed by their meticulous approach to evolutionary history...
The implications of their theory are great, they believe, because it helps to explain the course of human history and ways we as a species can achieve peace...
- The Stony Brook Press,
Feburary 12th, 2010. Volume 31, Issue 8 (pdf)
It's the question that Charles Darwin himself could not answer: What makes human interaction so unique? In their new book, Death From a Distance and the Birth of a Humane Universe, Stony Brook University colleagues, collaborators, and researchers Paul M. Bingham and Joanne Souza argue that humans are unique among all animals for a single, simple reason: our ability to manage conflicts of interest. This exclusive capacity is at the core of this far-reaching theory of everything human.
- The Brook,
Winter 2010, Volume 9, No. 1 (pdf)

From Professional Academics

(click here to hide)
This wide-ranging and provocative book is overflowing with ideas and insights into what it means to be human as well as how and why we came to be the way we are. Not a typical book on human evolution; it is, to use the authors' phrase, "a theory of everything."
– Prof. John Fleagle, MacArthur Fellow, Distinguished Professor,
Department of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University
This book is an astonishingly wide-ranging and provocative overview of evolution, human origins and social organization. Breathtaking in its scope, and ranging from the earliest prehistoric period, through the course of the evolution of life on Earth, Death from a Distance presents a startlingly original thesis grounded in contemporary evolutionary theory. It will challenge countless well-entrenched theories about who we are as a species, where we came from and where we are going. Their arguments about the evolution of human sexual mores, language, the role of projectile weaponry in human evolution, and their predictions about the future course of human society are sure to ignite controversy. Yet, the aplomb with which Bingham and Souza present their arguments will give readers a clear appreciation why their undergraduate course is one of the most popular at Stony Brook University.
– Prof. John J. Shea,
Department. of Anthropology, Stony Brook University
It is not often that readers are offered a new theory of human existence encompassing our origins, our unique properties as biological creatures, the agricultural revolution, and the rise of modern states, but this book promises just that. The authors argue that the first humans of two million years ago evolved the capacity to throw stones accurately and thus kill conspecifics from a distance. This capacity for "law enforcement" allowed unrelated individuals to cooperate in ever larger aggregates, thus forever altering the social environment and paving the way for democratization on a global scale. Such bold claims require strong support. The authors are diligent in building their foundation, even if some of their premises can be challenged. This book is surely provocative. Reading it carefully is well worth the effort.
- Prof. G. Philip Rightmire, Research Associate,
Department of Anthropology, Harvard University
Distinguished Professor, Binghamton University
With "elite throwing" as a unifying theme, Bingham and Souza launch an epic journey through two million years of human evolutionary history. Following lucid explanations of scientific method and the evolutionary process, the authors present a theory explaining the emergence of unique human behaviors, meticulously documenting the evidence. The book is so engagingly written that readers with all backgrounds will be drawn to critically examining the new perspectives on current and past human behaviors.
- Mary W. Marzke, Professor emerita,
School of Human Evolution and Social Change,
Arizona State University
...I should point out that the manuscript is magnificent! I am amazed that someone classified as having interests only inside cells can be as wise [] about ecology and evolution. I also think your language skills are terrific...
- George C. Williams, 1999 Crafoord Laureate,
Evolutionary Biology