Science in Society Archive
Genetic Explanation Sense and Nonsense

Genetic Explanation Sense and Nonsense

Edited by Sheldon Krimsky and Jeremy Gruber, Harvard University Press, 2013, 384pp. hardback, $45.00

A team of genetic experts argue that treating genes as the holy grail of our physical being is a patently unscientific endeavour. The concept of the gene has been steadily revised since Watson and Crick discovered the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. No longer viewed by scientists as the cell’s fixed set of master molecules, genes and DNA are seen as a dynamic script that is ad-libbed at each stage of development. Emphasizing new understandings of genetic plasticity and epigenetic inheritance, the authors put into a broad developmental context the role genes are known to play in disease, behaviour, evolution, and cognition.

Chapter 16 “Nurturing Nature, How parental care changes genes” by Mae-Wan Ho is available here

More about the book at

Article first published 06/03/13

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