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"Mark Blumberg is a freak of literature--one of the very few scientist-writers (think Stephen Jay Gould or Oliver Sacks) who can sweep us along as they try to figure out how the exceptions in the species can prove the rule of who we all are. In Freaks of Nature, the specimens are certainly riveting, but it's also Blumberg's lucid, lyrical, profound insights into what it means to be human that will stay with the reader."--Richard Panek, author of Seeing and Believing: How the Telescope Opened Our Eyes and Minds to the Heavens and The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud, and the Search for Hidden Universes
"Freaks of Nature examines various kinds of disfigurement that occur in both human beings and animals, includes diagrams and photographs, and questions our assumptions about the abnormally developed...Blumberg urges us to consider how our ideas of what is natural can and should expand to include the anomalies among us."--The Chronicle Review
"When people come to the Mutter Museum 'to see the freaks,' I cringe inwardly, smile outwardly and generally say nothing at all. I have found over the years that the inhabitants of this remarkable place say far more than I ever could. Whatever the reason for visiting the museum--fascination, repulsion, even derision--people tend to leave more informed and perhaps even more aware than when they arrive. And that is exactly how I felt after reading this book."--Anna N. Dhody, Curator of the Mutter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, in The Scientist
"Timely and wide-ranging, Freaks of Nature shows that although we've passed some exciting landmarks on our journey, we're still some distance from that circled destination and the route is still unclear."--New Scientist
"If you're interested in the science behind the macabre, this book will thrill you. It's also a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about a cutting-edge area of evolutionary theory."--io9.com
"One of the Best Books of 2008"--Neurotopia
"With well-picked examples, Blumberg constructs his at first peculiar, but ultimately profound, argument...Startlingly convincing." --Elizabeth Quill, Science News
"Blumberg is a developmental psychobiologist, and thus advocates for a more supple understanding of the interplay between development, behavior, and evolution than has usually been accepted. He eloquently defends the view that 'development is the story of adaptation within one lifetime,' and that thinking seriously about anomalies helps us see 'how much adaptability there is in the developing organism.' --Jason B. Jones, Boldtype
"By presenting a parade of animal freaks, mutants, developmental anomalies, and weird species, Blumberg imparts lessons that, although familiar to biologists, will be valuable to non-specialists. He emphasizes that the complex process of development can be unraveled by understanding how such anomalies are produced...Blumberg illustrates his points with clear and intriguing examples...Blumberg's ambitions transcend storytelling: he aims to show that developmental biology has made real contributions to evolutionary theory." --Jerry A. Coyne, Nature
"Blumberg takes us on a tour of real-life teratology, and how understanding abnormalities is casting new light on the relationship between the genetic and non-genetic forces that shape us all." --Stephen Cass, Discover
"A stimulating read." --Financial Times
"Blumberg's explanations of the factors that go into [these] deformations are gripping." --Robert Colvile, Telegraph.co.uk
"Engrossing and interesting." --John Wilkins, Evolving Thoughts
This reads like one of those 19 th century books that is not up to date with the modern mind. My interest was about current discoveries and research into factors such as global... Read morePublished on July 4, 2013 by R. Clay
The Evolution processes is conduções by natural selecionados but also relíeis on trial and error... Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by Jefferson G. N. Santos
I picked it up at a remainder sale. Now I know why it was remaindered.
Freaks of Nature tries to be something great, like Mutants by Armand Marie Leroi, and just utterly... Read more
The book is highly entertaining and informative, but suffers from the author's constant need to generate controversy and to create a false split between a gene-centric view and an... Read morePublished on August 2, 2011 by Amazon Customer
This is an entertaining and much-needed tale about how the adult form is the product of (genes AND) environment. However, he goes a bit far and sometimes ignores genes altogether. Read morePublished on March 26, 2010 by S. Gallagher
I've read Freaks several times. The first time, I was curious about what Mark Blumberg, the author of Body Heat and Basic Instinct, had to say about the relations between abnormal... Read morePublished on January 6, 2010 by Karen Adolph
Want to change, enhance or cement your view on evolution? Get this book. You will never think about or discuss this topic in the same fashion again. Read morePublished on August 8, 2009 by LifeIsGrand