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Adam's Curse: A Future without Men Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 31, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not a dry recitation of the facts, by any means. It contains his personal story of unraveling some of these puzzles himself, told in an a lively and amusing manner, sure to hold the reader's interest. There are history lessons, such as the one about the lamentable foul-ups of the microscopists trying to count the chromosomes. And Sykes tale of observing his own Y chromosome, carrying out the manipulations with his own hands, is described in some detail. There are stories about his coworkers, including the giant William Hamilton, who probably is second only to Darwin in developing the theory of evolution. But mostly it is the story of the application of modern genetics to the varied populations of the world, the story of their migrations and conquests, and the struggle of the Y chromosome to survive.
Sykes' distinct approach is to apply some relatively simple molecular probes to Y chromosomes obtained from many individuals in a variety of populations on a fairly big scale, rather than the other important task, carried on by a myriad of scientists, of trying to understand all the biological minutiae of a single prototypical human.Read more ›
This is a wonderful chapter, well written and compelling ... especially for me! It's also quite correct. Unfortunately Prof. Sykes won't share his DNA results with other researchers, genealogists, and the general Clan Donald membership, so a new study was set up by the Clan Donald, and I am privy to their actual numbers. They are rock solid proof.
Seeing the actual numbers .... the Clan Donald study has published the most likely actual DNA marker numbers for Somerled ... leads farther back. Sykes's next chapter after MacDonald is about Genghis Khan, who hailed from central Asia. Interestingly, and this is where secrecy can be counterproductive, someone noticed that Somerled numbers, as well as lots of Icelanders' ones, showed a close affinity for men in a certain central Asian tribe. Time will tell whether the Vikings themselves came from central Asia. Stay tuned.
I found most of the book, not just my own chapter, quite entertaining, except for the part that makes up the title. It is simply baloney. As others have reviewed, Sykes has a good popular style and gets across a goodly dose of the science of DNA to the non-genealogist layman. It's just the disastrously stupid idea that human men will disappear ... it's odd he does not note that the exact same argument applies to all mammals .... and they've been around a LONG time ... that ruins this book. I need not say much more, as others have pilloried Sykes sufficiently for his transgressions.
Is Sykes' main point in "Adam's Curse": 1) that the Y chromosome is dying out and thank goodness it is, because if not it would eventually destroy us all? 2) that the Y chromosome is dying out and actually that's a bad thing which we'd better do something to stop? 3) that the Y chromosome is neither better nor worse than the X chromosome, each one fighting to replicate itself down the generations (alternative book title suggestion: "Chromosomes Gone Wild: The Battle of the Sexes Goes Cellular!")? 4) that the Y chromosome is truly and veritably a "curse," guiding the Vikings, the Genghis Khans of the world, and men in general to rape, pillage, and burn their way through history? 5) that the species -- and the planet, for that matter -- would be better off if men were completely eliminated and women reproduced with each other? 6) that male-female sexual reproduction is inherently a bad thing? 7) that we we are all just puppets of our chromosomes and DNA, which are using us to their own ends? 8) that all these issues are to be looked at objectively and dispassionately as a scientist? 9) alternatively, that these issues should be considered subjectively and emotionally by a human being with a particular set of beliefs regarding civilization? Ouch, my head hurts!
Whatever the answers to the questions posed above, in my opinion "Adam's Curse" is well worth reading as a fascinating and important, if strange and disturbing, book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Any one interested in human genetics will find this book interesting!Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book has something to intrigue geneticists, genealogists, science fiction fans, feminists and others looking to explore the edges of our human reality particularly as related... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Phillip Skaga
I read a translated version of this book (Russian) many years ago in college. My academic advisor suggested it. I remember that the book completely changed my views on many things. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Bryan Sykes, one of the pioneers of genetic testing, explains our X and Y chromosomes in a way that makes the layman understand.Published 23 months ago by Theresa Snoddy