How has evolutionary science shaped what it means to be human? Who is privileged to speak on the subject of human identity, using what forms of knowledge? These questions are debated throughout the modern world. For readers relatively unfamiliar with Chinese history, this book will be an opportunity to explore common concerns in a different context. This introductory chapter first discusses Chinese conceptions about evolutionary science and its influence on Chinese socialism, and then describes two popular characters in twentieth-century paleoanthropology—Peking Man and Wild Man—which will guide the book's exploration of Chinese history.
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