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- DescriptionIncreasingly absorbed in recent years by advances in our understanding of the origin of life, evolutionary history, and the advent of humankind, eminent biologist Christian de Duve of late has also pondered deeply the future of life on this planet. He speaks to readers with or without a scientific background, offering new perspectives on the threat posed by humanity's immense biological success and on the resources human beings have for altering their current destructive path. Focusing on the process of natural selection, de Duve explores the irdinate and w dangerous rise of humankind. His explanation for this self-defeating success lies in the process of natural selection, which favours traits that are immediately useful, regardless of later consequences. Thus, the human geme determines such properties as tribal and group cohesion and collaboration and often fierce and irrational competition with and hostility toward other groups' attributes that were once useful but w often ruiusly dysfunctional. Christian de Duve suggests that these traits, imprinted into human nature by natural selection, may have been recognized by the writers of Genesis, thus inspiring the myth of original sin. Is there redemption for genetic original sin? In a brilliant and original conclusion, the author argues that, unique in the living world, humankind is endowed with the ability to deliberately oppose natural selection. Human beings have the capacity to devise measures that, while contrary to local or personal interests, can bring forth a safer world.
- Author BiographyChristian de Duve is professor emeritus at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, and at Rockefeller University, New York. He lives in Belgium.
- Author(s)Christian De Duve
- PublisherYale University Press
- Date of Publication02/03/2012
- SubjectPopular Science
- Series TitleAn Editions Odile Jacob Book
- Place of PublicationNew Haven
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintYale University Press
- Content Note20 black-&-white illustrations
- Weight340 g
- Width141 mm
- Height209 mm
- Spine18 mm
- Foreword byEdward O. Wilson
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