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Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome Paperback – October 25, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1599190020 ISBN-10: 1599190028

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: ILN (October 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599190028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599190020
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Although written for laymen, the book contains solid academic content.
Algorithm
Granted quality counts more than quantity, but I thought I was buying a book and not just a wordy article.
Amazon Customer
My personal opinion is that Sanford gives a devastating critique of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.
Saint and Sinner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

180 of 214 people found the following review helpful By Saint and Sinner on December 22, 2006
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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151 of 185 people found the following review helpful By The Professor on March 20, 2006
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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97 of 124 people found the following review helpful By David L. Bump on August 12, 2006
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Comments on _Genetic Entropy: The Mystery of the Genome_ by Dr. J.C. Sanford.

Overall:

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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