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Publisher's Summary

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

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fascinating ideas and science

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Entertainment For Scientists

One of the most interesting and inspiring books I've ever read. As a scientist who is always looking for good presentations of recent research, this book provides an excellent narrative of the discoveries that have become a cornerstone of modern synthetic biology.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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science without awareness

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'.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Damien
  • BOSTON, MA, United States
  • 08-24-18

We shape the tools, then the tools shape us. -McLuhan, et.al.

I believe the authors are making a case that evolution is a symbiotic relationship between our thoughts (imagination and creativity) and with mother nature’s powerful selection process.

As a fellow scientist and theorist, I completely support a lot of the references and arguments for this theory. However, I was still wanting more potential & practical solutions on how to approach the dilemmas which may invariably come from wielding this powerful human process.

I do understand that many scientists try to reserve their ideology and opinions due to fear of retribution. Alternatively, I believe in this case, it would help to take a stance on proclaiming their beliefs, even if it would cause discomfort in some of the majority.

The authors did briefly touch upon the socio-political minefield that many researchers and scientists must navigate through this arduous discovery process to fully understand our existence and offer support on HOW to exist. Scientists are brave souls and should be commended for their willingness to challenge common beliefs & outdated dogmas.

I hope this book can support others who will dare to challenge conventional wisdom. It’s got solid peer-reviewed data and sites some of the most prominent leaders in the field; not pseudoscience!

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  • Grant
  • Colorado Springs
  • 08-06-18

Imperfect but provocative

A lot of potentially great ideas. A few errors somewhat undermine the authors' credibility, but overall it's fantastic.

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Very Worthwhile

Very interesting and altogether plausible scenarios are discussed as to what may become of the biological future.

What did you like best about this story?
It held my interest throughout

Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Rob was a fair narrator. He had a few mispronunciations. For genomics he would say the much lesser used "gen-AHM-ics" instead of the more professional"gen-OHM-ics".

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Evolving on real time

This book is fascinating and compelling, as it discusses the rationale of our complexity as human beings and intricate symbiosis with the outside environmental world as well as within our inside microbiome. Virome and our own genes. I have been looking for this type of information for years, and found out that all the evidence that we are evolving is in front of us ... We may just want to embrace it ....

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One of the best books I've ever heard

Where does Evolving Ourselves rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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

What was one of the most memorable moments of Evolving Ourselves?

Lots of moments were memorable, as it jumps from one interesting discovery to another one.

Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I can't compare it with another one. I don't pay attention to who is talking but what they say

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Genetics; going beyond the limits of your imagination

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Amazing

The most fascinating book! Our future succinctly explained. Genomics for the non scientists. Absolutely incredible!

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  • Iro
  • San Antonio, TX
  • 01-08-16

great perspectives

this author has great perspectives and followed them with current, relevant examples and research. great read!