The Engineer in the Garden: Genes and Genetics: From the Idea of Heredity to the Creation of Life

Colin Tudge, Author
Colin Tudge, Author Hill & Wang $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8090-4259-3
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Open Ebook - 398 pages - 978-1-4464-6698-8
Hardcover - 398 pages - 978-0-224-03826-3
Hardcover - 398 pages - 978-0-7126-6168-3
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British science journalist Tudge has produced an exciting, intellectually adventurous survey of modern genetics, beginning with the neo-Darwinian fusion of Darwin's gradualist evolutionary ideas and Mendel's plant-breeding experiments, and extending to the latest advances in sociobiology, gene therapy, bioengineering, genetic screening, efforts to preserve biodiversity and the Human Genome Project to map the entire human DNA sequence. Mulling over why sexual reproduction arose, Tudge finds strong evidence for the ``Red Queen hypothesis,'' according to which sex fosters genetic variability, thereby helping creatures defeat parasites and viruses. He neatly demolishes theories linking race to difference in intelligence. The author believes that with the invention of farming, natural selection no longer favored passive hunter-gatherers but promoted exploitative, industrious individuals, whose characteristics dominate modern society. Also included are his prescriptions for increasing the chances for survival of our species. (Mar.)
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