A sweeping, paradigm-shifting account of how evolution is no longer driven just by nature but also by human choices.
Why are conditions like autism, asthma, obesity, and allergies exploding at unprecedented rates? Why are we living longer, getting smarter, having far fewer kids? If Darwin were alive today, how would he explain this new world?
Today's humans have developed such profound capabilities for redesigning bacteria, plants, animals, and ourselves that random mutation and natural selection are no longer the primary determinants of which species survive and how they change over time. Evolution is now increasingly driven by two forces: unnatural selection (what lives and dies has to do with human desires and choices, not the natural ability to reproduce and thrive) and nonrandom mutation (our techniques have gotten so precise that we can drastically alter the genetics of any life form).
Evolving Ourselves is a chronicle of how life is evolving to meet our specs and choices, of how we can change our own biology, and of the unintended consequences for future generations. It proves that how we use our enormous power over life forms and our ability to engineer new environments will determine nothing less than the survival of humanity.
©2015 Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans (P)2015 Penguin Audio
this was a well written and engaging book that kept me thinking. it covers and brings together many topics that encompass the past future and present state of human species, technology, natural and unnatural selection. and what this has meant for the evolutionary path of humanity.
The content is so interesting and it was written in such a way that you don't want to stop listening to it. I was completely sorry it was over. Most of what I found there was new for me. I am just anxiously waiting to find a new book from Juan Enriquez
Lots of moments were memorable, as it jumps from one interesting discovery to another one.
I can't compare it with another one. I don't pay attention to who is talking but what they say
Genetics; going beyond the limits of your imagination
This is a well researched and well written text. I was left incredibly disappointed with the lack of engagement with the sociopolitical implications of human genetic manipulation.
There's no discussion of how the use of CRISPR systems could go wrong, or how it could impact human society beyond the smallest lip service. There's an entire sub section of the text devoted to human subspeciation but the authors refuse to acknowledge what that would do to our societies and our mortality. They simply take as a given that stratification will occur, and they assume that the overarching theme of their text, "humans have been manipulating the genome for centuries, we should continue that trend" is sufficient to answer the complex ethical questions that surround this issue.
For a history of science and current research text, Evolving Ourselves is above average, when it comes with really engaging with the ideas it sets out to tackle it doesn't just miss the mark, it actively dodges it. This maneuvering almost rises to the level of intellectual blindness or dishonesty.
If someone wants to know what's going on in the world of genetic manipulation, this is a good text. If you want more, one should look elsewhere. I for one would suggest Knofppler's book, 'GMO sapiens'.
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