- Paperback: 317 pages
- Publisher: HarpPeren; 1 edition (October 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380792435
- ISBN-13: 978-0380792436
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,808,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Remaking Eden 1st Edition
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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About the Author
Lee M. Silver is professor of molecular biology and public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton Uni-versity, and author of Challenging Nature. He holds a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard University, and he lives with his family in New Jersey and New York.
Top customer reviews
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The book is excellent, for the author gives brilliant arguments both supporting genetic technologies and countering many that don't. In addition, the author discusses possibilities in reproductive technologies that may be unknown to a reader, like myself, who is not an expert in embryology. For example, he discusses the occurrence (although rare) of natural-born chimeric human beings, who arose from the fusion of two embryos that resulted from the fertilization of two eggs that had been ovulated simultaneously by their mother. Another example discussed is the possibility of a fertilized egg winding up in the peritoneal cavity (in the abdomen essentially). This example was discussed in the context of whether indeed a man could carry a pregnancy.
Some of the other interesting arguments and discussions in the book include: 1. When addressing the assertion that it is unfair for only the wealthy to take advantage of genetic technologies for enhancing their progeny, the author agrees that it is, but he then states correctly that a society that accepts the right of wealthy parents to provide their children with a top-notch private education cannot use "unfairness" as a reason for denying the use of genetic technologies. 2. His discussion of the status of the embryo as human life, which he argues, brilliantly, is not. "If a human life can begin in the absence of conception" he says, "then it is scientifically invalid to say that conception must mark the beginning of each human life. It is as simple as that". 3. The discussion of the history of in vitro fertilization, the ethical issues surrounding it, and the technologies needed to bring it about. The author regards IVF as a pivotal point in history, in which humans took charge of their reproductive destiny. 4. The discussion of cloning, elaborating naturally on the cloning of Dolly the sheep. He states that the cloning of Dolly "broke the technological barrier" and that there is "no reason to expect that the technology couldn't be transferred to human cells." Recent experiments in the last few months however have cast doubt on the ability to do cloning of primates, and so human cloning could therefore be problematic. The author though counters very successfully the arguments against the practice of human cloning.
The author has a refreshing optimism throughout the book, and he remains confident in the human ability to both understand the world and change it with proven and safe technologies. In light of the completion of the mapping of the human genome, his optimism is certainly justified. The technologies discussed in this book, coupled with the information obtained from the complete human genome, promise an incredibly interesting future for biology. Both the author and the individuals behind the human genome project are excellent examples of the ingenuity and mental discipline of the human species.