Armed with extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, acclaimed science writer Matt Ridley turns his attention to the nature-versus-nurture debate in a thoughtful book about the roots of human behavior.
Ridley recounts the hundred years' war between the partisans of nature and nurture to explain how this paradoxical creature, the human being, can be simultaneously free-willed and motivated by instinct and culture. With the decoding of the human genome, we now know that genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain, they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues, and even run memory. They are consequences as well as causes of the will.--Washington Post Book World
With an obsessive fascination that is as contagious as it is compelling, author Jacky Colliss Harvey (herself a redhead) begins her exploration of red hair in prehistory and traces the redhead gene as it made its way out of Africa with the early human diaspora to its emergence under Northern skies. She goes on to explore red hair in the ancient world; the prejudice manifested against red hair across medieval Europe; red hair during the Renaissance as both an indicator of Jewishness during the Inquisition and the height of fashion in Protestant England, under the reign of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I; the modern age of art and literature, and the first positive symbols of red hair in children's characters; modern medicine and science and the genetic and chemical decoding of red hair; and finally, red hair in contemporary culture, from advertising and exploitation to "gingerism"and the new movement against bullying.
"A gifted and thoughtful writer, Metzl brings us to the frontiers of biology and technology, and reveals a world full of promise and peril." -- Siddhartha Mukherjee MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene
Passionate, provocative, and highly illuminating, Hacking Darwin is the must read book about the future of our species for fans of Homo Deus and The Gene.
After 3.8 billion years humankind is about to start evolving by new rules...
From leading geopolitical expert and technology futurist Jamie Metzl comes a groundbreaking exploration of the many ways genetic-engineering is shaking the core foundations of our lives -- sex, war, love, and death.
At the dawn of the genetics revolution, our DNA is becoming as readable, writable, and hackable as our information technology. But as humanity starts retooling our own genetic code, the choices we make today will be the difference between realizing breathtaking advances in human well-being and descending into a dangerous and potentially deadly genetic arms race.
Enter the laboratories where scientists are turning science fiction into reality. Look towards a future where our deepest beliefs, morals, religions, and politics are challenged like never before and the very essence of what it means to be human is at play. When we can engineer our future children, massively extend our lifespans, build life from scratch, and recreate the plant and animal world, should we?
"Passionate, succinct, chilling, closely argued, sometimes hilarious, touchingly well-intentioned, and essential." --Margaret Atwood, The New York Review of Books
Nearly fifteen years ago, in The End of Nature, Bill McKibben demonstrated that humanity had begun to irrevocably alter and endanger our environment on a global scale. Now he turns his eye to an array of technologies that could change our relationship not with the rest of nature but with ourselves. He explores the frontiers of genetic engineering, robotics, and nanotechnology--all of which we are approaching with astonishing speed--and shows that each threatens to take us past a point of no return. We now stand, in Michael Pollan's words, "on a moral and existential threshold," poised between the human past and a post-human future. McKibben offers a celebration of what it means to be human, and a warning that we risk the loss of all meaning if we step across the threshold. Instantly acclaimed for its passion and insight, this wise and eloquent book argues that we cannot forever grow in reach and power--that we must at last learn how to say, "Enough."
The bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and The 37th Parallel tells the fascinating Jurassic Park--like story of the genetic restoration of an extinct species--the woolly mammoth. "Paced like a thriller...Woolly reanimates history and breathes new life into the narrative of nature" (NPR).With his "unparalleled" (Booklist, starred review) writing, Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating and true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of scientists work to make fantasy reality by splicing DNA from frozen woolly mammoth into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and potentially bring the extinct creatures to our modern world? Along with this team of brilliant scientists, a millionaire plans to build the world's first Pleistocene Park and populate a huge tract of the Siberian tundra with ancient herbivores as a hedge against an environmental ticking time bomb that is hidden deep within the permafrost. More than a story of genetics, this is a thriller illuminating the real-life race against global warming, of the incredible power of modern technology, of the brave fossil hunters who battle polar bears and extreme weather conditions, and the ethical quandary of cloning extinct animals. This "rollercoaster quest for the past and future" (Christian Science Monitor) asks us if we can right the wrongs of our ancestors who hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction and at what cost?
In Criticism, which begins with "A Review of the Reviews" by Gunther Stent, other scientists and scholars reveal their own experiences and views of Watson's story. There are reviews by Philip Morrison, F. X. S., Richard C. Lewontin, Mary Ellmann, Robert L. Sinsheimer, John Lear, Alex Comfort, Jacob Bronowski, Conrad H. Waddington, Robert K. Merton, Peter M. Medawar, and Andr Lwoff; as well as three letters to the editor of Science by Max F. Perutz, M. H. F. Wilkins, and James D. Watson.