Top critical review
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Interesting topic, flawed delivery.
on November 1, 2007
Dawson Church, The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetics and the New Biology of Intention (Energy Psychology Press, 2007)
I really wanted to like Dawson Church's The Genie in Your Genes. Church has some very interesting ideas here, though he sometimes goes off the deep end with them (probably the book's biggest flaw, but then it's perhaps better to err on the side of overreaching with a book like this); his problem is the way in which he relates them.
The Genie in Your Genes is an attempt to take ancient modalities of health care and make them new, as a growing body of scientific research is validating things that Asian health care practitioners have known for thousands of years. This certainly isn't the first time such a thing has been tried (the books of Norman Cousins, especially Head First, are an excellent example of the subgenre), but Church backs up his assertions with papers and studies that previous authors working in the field didn't previously have. He also focuses more on the electromagnetic "aura", for lack of a better term, than any other author I've read on the subject, and links electromagnetism to the Chinese idea of qi (or chi, as most know it these days). Interesting stuff, and well worth looking into.
However, the information is not delivered in a compelling way at all. The book doesn't read like a textbook, really, but there are a number of times where it put me in such a mind. And as much as I hate to say it, who wants to read a textbook for pleasure (or information-gathering, for that matter)? It's almost like an information dump, with all thought given to the information and none to how to best convey it.
Still, this is not to say that this isn't a book worth reading, especially for those with chronic health problems that haven't been helped by traditional medicine. Church envisages a world where traditional medicine is a final recourse, rather than a first recourse, for the sick, and I'm certainly not going to argue that he's not onto something with this idea. I just wish he'd put it all better. ** ½