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Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome F First Paperback Edition Used Edition

27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1599190020
ISBN-10: 1599190028
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: ILN; F First Paperback Edition Used edition (October 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599190028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599190020
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,082,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. John Sanford has been a Cornell University Professor for more than 30 years. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in the area of plant breeding and plant genetics. While a professor at Cornell, John trained graduate students and conducted genetic research at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY.

At Cornell, John bred new crop varieties using conventional breeding and then became heavily involved in the newly-emerging field of plant genetic engineering. John has published over 100 scientific publications and has been granted several dozen patents. His most significant scientific contributions during the first half of his career involved three inventions: the biolistic ("gene gun") process, pathogen-derived resistance, and genetic immunization. A large fraction of the transgenic crops (in terms of numbers and acreage) grown in the world today were genetically engineered using the gene gun technology developed by John and his collaborators. John also started two biotech enterprises derived from his research, Biolistics, Inc., and Sanford Scientific, Inc.

John still holds a position at Cornell (Courtesy Associate Professor), but has largely retired from Cornell and has started a small non-profit organization, Feed My Sheep Foundation (FMS). Through FMS, John has conducted research in the areas of theoretical genetics and bioinformatics for the last 14 years. With a qualified team of researchers, John produced a state-of-the-art numerical simulation program called Mendel's Account. Mendel's Account is the first comprehensive, biologically realistic numerical simulation of the mutation/selection process. This program tracks mutations as they accumulate in digital populations in a biologically realistic manner. It is an essential tool for understanding the limits of the Darwinian process. Mendel's Accountant can be freely downloaded at John is also working with Ratio Christi (, where he is involved in Christian apologetics. John is also President of Logos Research Associates (see John's scientific publications are listed at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

188 of 224 people found the following review helpful By Saint and Sinner on December 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a great popular-level work that analyzes the merits of the neo-Darwinian synthesis (i.e. the theory that random mutation + natural selection working through long periods of time created...oops, I used the `C' word...ahem!...resulted in...the existence of higher forms of life) and shows it to be an illusory solution to the existence of life. Rather than discussing whether or not a completely naturalistic form of evolution happened using such things as the fossil record or experimental laboratory results, Sanford analyzes the merits of the combination of chance and necessity acting on the genome of biological organisms in abstract (i.e. using statistical mathematics). Now, before you jump ship and assume that he is arguing that "the chances of such and such evolving into such and such is one chance in ten to the blah, blah, blah (really big number) power", like a few creationists have, you're wrong. Rather, he looks at the basic assumptions of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory (NDET from now on) and compares them to what actually happens in nature. In other words, he contrasts how the ND assumption and the actual workings of nature differ greatly in their results. I will elucidate in my description of some of the chapters below.

Before I get to the review of the chapters, I would like to comment on something. It has been noted that Sanford is a young-earth creationist, and for some reason, that is like the plague to certain people. However, any honest reader of this book will also note that anyone (i.e. Christian and non-Christian) could have written the first nine (out of ten) chapters. Only in the tenth chapter does he make an argument for the historicity of Scripture. Even if it wasn't that way, Dr.
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155 of 191 people found the following review helpful By The Professor on March 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Genetic Entropy was written by Cornel University Professor of Genetics, John Sanford. In his 25 years as a research scientist at Cornell he was granted 25 patents, the most well known one for the gene gun, better known as the ballistic process. It is as a result of this development that I first learned of his important work (I have used this technology in my molecular biology research). I agree with much in this book partly because I have come to the same conclusion as Dr Sanford, only by a very different route. This work for me only further solidified the case for evolution, only evolution the wrong way, downward instead of upward, i.e. the genome is degenerating. Even if half of Dr Sanford's well documented arguments turn out to be incorrect, he has still made his case in this well written, yet packed full of insight, easy to read, book. He makes his case in 10 chapters, any one of which stands alone as clear evidence for genome degeneration. One point that impressed me was the fact that most mutations are not neutral, as commonly believed, but near neutral. As a result, they are not selected out by natural selection. Consequently, they accumulate in the genomes of all life forms so that, as a set, they reduce fitness for the entire species, eventually producing genetic meltdown. This may be one reason for animal extinction. The harmful mutations are not the problem because those that are dominant are usually soon selected out by natural selection. This, as is well documented in this book and elsewhere, is the main role of selection, to help maintain the stability of the genome by reducing the effects of deleterious mutations. Neo-Darwinist today believe that the major means of producing new genetic information is mutations and selection.Read more ›
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99 of 127 people found the following review helpful By David L. Bump on August 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Comments on _Genetic Entropy: The Mystery of the Genome_ by Dr. J.C. Sanford.


On its own merits, this is a good book about the insurmountable problems that the study of observed genetics throws in the face of theoretical (evolutionary) genetics. The writing style is a bit unpolished, but still enjoyable and without any unpleasant excesses or errors. It is aimed at a general audience, but it is based on advanced technical information. The message (in general) is not especially new, but the citations (with exceptions of historical interest and importance) are mostly from the 1990s or the 21st century. What sets this book apart is that its author is a geneticist with excellent credentials ("semi-retired" after a stellar career at Cornell, dozens of published papers, over 25 patents, significant contributions) who used to be an evolutionist. He sticks to analyzing scientific studies of genetics. There are hardly any references to papers by creationists, and only a couple references to the Bible, etc. To read the work of someone with this perspective and scientific focus, concluding that naturalistic evolution is contrary to observations of the way life operates, is worth much more than the price of the book.

Key impressions:

* An ex-evolutionist with advanced training, publications, and patents in genetics who agrees that "The emperor has no clothes!"

* Don't let the cover illustration scare you off -- this is not a UFO book. It is solid science.

* It does get a bit technical in places, but not for long, and the main points are illustrated by simple analogies. Sometimes the switch from technical terms to simple analogy seems a bit abrupt.
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