General Question

girlfriday's avatar

What is a good book for a lay person to learn about genetics?

Asked by girlfriday (201points) June 18th, 2007
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

sferik's avatar

I enjoyed the The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

kfingerman's avatar

Second the Dawkins, who's phenomenal (if a bit controversial of late due to his "The God Delusion"). I'd recommend "River out of Eden"

nerfmissile's avatar

What aspect of genetics? Analytical? Classical? Transgenics? Cloning? Genetic counseling? Medical assay for disease or pathology? Genetic programming and artificial intelligence? Evolutionary theory?

Amazon is a good tool and, if you can catch a bright public librarian on a good day, she might be a great resource for helping you hunt down a book that addresses the topics and subtopics of this HUGE field that you’re interested in.

E.O. Wilson’s Consilience (1997) is a trip. It’s a pan across the fields of evolutionary biology, neuroscience and genetics and introduces such topics as “epigenetics” and “epiculture”. The chapter on the mind is particularly useful for establishing how and why individuals relate to culture. It’s a challenging read written by a brilliant teacher who believes in making students reach. The last few chapters also have interesting and somewhat scary prognostications for the future of human genetics.

VMOS's avatar

Some of the dawkins stuff is good, the selfish gene particularly, bear in mind that Dawkins is regarded as just a teensy bit opinionated

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