This work demystifies some of the most controversial issues in the life sciences today. It looks at topics ranging from Darwin to Dolly the sheep, including biological determinism, heredity and natural selection, evolutionary psychology and cloning. Biology now dominates scientific enquiry and the headlines, as geneticists claim to have accounted for yet another human trait or ailment. However, exaggerations and misunderstandings about what biology can tell us are common. This collection of essays offers observations on the exact state of scientific knowledge. Lewontin casts an eye on the temptation to overstate the power of biology to explain everything we want to know about ourselves.
Richard Lewontin is a leading geneticist and the author of Biology as ldeology: The Doctrine of DNA and The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change and co-author of The Dialectical Biologist (with Richard Levins) and Not in Our Genes (with Steven Rose and Leon Kamin). He is Professor of Population Sciences and the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Biology at Harvard University.