One of the most dangerous ideas in history


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The Emperor of all Maladies is a great book on cancer written by Siddhartha Mukherjee. His new book called The Gene is out. Today’s needull is a short book review of the same.

Yet Mukherjee is right to nudge us away from any simplistic notion that our genes determine our physical and mental identity. The scientific jury is still out on the various versions of epigenesis, but Mukherjee has done much good by concluding his history of genetics with provocations to think critically about some ways we commonly oppose heredity and the environment. Sound bites rarely represent sound science. Genes are not us. It would be as foolish to deny what our genes do as it would be to assert the sufficiency of our genes in making us who we are.

The complete review

Steven Shapin — The Guardian

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