It’s All in the Genes! Really?
Dr. Gerard M. Verschuuren
Dr. Gerard M. Verschuuren is a human geneticist who also holds a doctorate in the philosophy of science. Now semi-retired, he focuses on speaking and writing and has gained a following for his thoughtful views and opinions regarding “the interface of science and religion, creation and evolution, faith and reason.”
In his latest book, Dr. Verschuuren passionately argues that “DNA is not all there is” to human life. “If human beings were really nothing more than DNA,” he writes, “then it must have been the DNA of two scientists–the ones who discovered DNA, Watson and Crick–that discovered DNA. Think about that statement for a moment–DNA being discovered by DNA. If Watson and Crick were really nothing but DNA, then Watson’s and Crick’s DNA must have discovered itself. That would be real magic. That would be like the magic of a projector projecting itself or a copy machine copying itself.”
On that latter point, perhaps we are not all that far now from 3D printers being able to print copies of themselves. Nonetheless, Dr. Verschuuren makes some excellent arguments on behalf of numerous questions that we humans have pondered and debated for perhaps most of the existence of our species. For example, where does morality come from? Where do religion and rationality come from? And what are the roots and limits of human “free will”?
This well-written book provides an overview of recent genetic research and why there is a certain amount of truth to “It’s all in the genes.” Dr. Verschuuren, however, also makes compelling cases, on several fronts, for why he now believes “there is more than genes in life.”
– Si Dunn
(Note: One quick improvement could be made to this book. The rear cover text in the review copy I received has several unneeded hyphenations that should be fixed at the CreateSpace publishing site. People do judge books by their cover, including the rear cover text.)