Darwin’s Hunch: Science, Race and the Search for Human Origins

“With its unsparing wealth of personal and historical detail, there’s nothing else like Darwin’s Hunch available.” – Ian Tattersall, Curator Emeritus, American Museum of Natural History

“Kuljian’s excellent book examines the search for human origins in SA and the context that tainted it…an author at the height of her skills.”- Rehana Rossouw, Business Day

It was Christa’s studies with palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould for her BA in the History of Science at Harvard (1984) that provided inspiration for Darwin’s Hunch. There is broad agreement in the scientific world today that all humans share common origins in Africa, but when Charles Darwin first suggested it in 1871, few European scientists took his theory seriously.  The book explores how scientists are often shaped by their social and political context, and tells the stories of scientists who were influenced greatly by colonial thinking in the search for human origins.  The book reviews the history of palaeoanthropology and genetics over the past century including recent genetic research confirming that all living humans have common origins in Africa.

Darwin’s Hunch was short listed for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for non-fiction in 2017.

“Powerful and revealing. Darwin’s Hunch is a fantastic read.” Xolela Mangcu, Professor of Sociology, University of Cape Town, and author of Biko: A Biography

“Kuljian’s writing is astute and insightful, bringing out new dimensions and details throughout.” – Saul Dubow, Queen Mary University of London, author of Scientific Racism in Modern South Africa


  • ISBN / EAN: 978-1-4314-2425-2
  • PUBLISHED DATE: November 2016
  • PUBLISHER: Jacana Media