It Ain't Necessarily So by Richard C. Lewontin
The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions

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Synopsis

Biology makes the headlines practically every few weeks as geneticists claim they have accounted for yet another human trait or ailment. However out of complex research have come exaggerations and misunderstandings about what biology, especially genetics can tell us. In this collection of essays from The New York Review of Books, Lewontin demystifies some of the most controversial issues in the life sciences today. On topics ranging from Darwin to Dolly the sheep, including genetic determinism, heredity and natural selection, evolutionary psychology and altruism, sex surveys, cloning and the Human Genome project, he offers both sharp criticisms of the "overweening pride" of scientists and lucid expositions of the exact state of scientific knowledge. In each case he casts an ever-vigilant and deflationary eye on the temptation to overstate the power of biology to explain everything we want to know about ourselves.
 

About Richard C. Lewontin

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Published February 1, 2000 by New York Review of Books. 330 pages
Genres: Science & Math. Non-fiction

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The New York Times

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cientists are infatuated with the idea of revolution,'' Richard Lewontin writes, and while he claims to be immune to the thrill of revolt, Lewontin displays a strong affection for the act of debunking in ''It Ain't Necessarily So,'' a collection of nine previously published essays.

Jul 09 2000 | Read Full Review of It Ain't Necessarily So : The...

Publishers Weekly

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Harvard biologist Lewontin is highly skeptical of the human genome project supporters' claims that complete knowledge of the human organism and effective gene therapies are just around the corner.

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The New York Review of Books

Though challenging for the layman, his book will reward persistent readers with a better understanding of the most controversial scientific issues of our day.— Christine Kenneally, The New York Times Book Review If you read only one book on genetics this year, make sure it is this one.— The Sun...

Aug 15 2001 | Read Full Review of It Ain't Necessarily So : The...

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