Lifelines : Life Beyond the Gene

3.24 (41 ratings by Goodreads)
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A distinct voice in the nature/nurture debate, Rose's series of essays are a response to the biological reductionism of Richard Dawkins's book, The Selfish Gene (OUP, 1990), which insists that all aspects of human life are in our genes, and everything arises as a consequence of natural selection. Rose argues that life depends on the elaborate web of interactions that occur within cells, organisms, and ecosystems, and in which DNA has but one part to more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 134.6 x 213.9 x 21.8mm | 444.53g
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • Oxford, England, United States
  • English
  • 0195150392
  • 9780195150391

Review quote

"Steven Rose, starting from his experience in the molecular biology of learning, has writen a guide book for coming to accept how things really are. He creates a new approach by what amounts to a Copernican coordinate transformation, that places the center not in a particle or a gene but in an organism. Thereby he complements the twin pillars of genetic and environmental determinism with a third pillar: the capacity of organisms to organize and direct their own trajectories. He establishes this principle at the start of his book and builds on it stepwise with brilliant commentary and lucid illustrations. Unlike complexity theory, this is not rhetoric. It is solid science come to maturity, that can profitably be absorbed alike by physicists, biologists, sociologists, and the general reader."--Walter Freeman, Professor of the Graduate School, University of California at Berkeley "Here are answers for those uncomfortable with the ultra-Darwinism and extreme reductionism that characterizes much of modern biological thought. Rose is one of a small but growing group of biologists who argues instead that we can only understand genes, cells, and organisms by looking at their current and historical locations and contexts. He provides a welcome antidote to the gene's-eye view of the world."--Anne Fausto Sterling, author of Myths of Gender: Biological Theories About Women and Men "Clearly reasoned, full of information, and highly readable, Lifelines offers a much needed antidote to the reductionist and biodeterminist tracts that have given currency to selfish genes' and similarly inappropriate metaphors."--Ruth Hubbard, Professor Emerita of Biology, Harvard University "Anyone interested in knowing the truth about the relation between genes, cells, environment and chance processes in living systems ought to read this book."--R.C. Lewontin, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University "Steven Rose's lucid, thoughtful and systematic analysis remeinds us yet again that our forms and functions are shaped continuoulsy by highly complex gene-environment interactions. Genetics simply confirms opportunities and constraints--as do environments. This book is a must read for all who have been dazzled by Dolly."--James L McGaugh, Director, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California, Irvineshow more

About Steven P R Rose

Steven Rose is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biology, Open University. He won the 1993 British Science Book Prize for The Making of Memory, and is also the author of The Conscious Brain and Not in Our more

Rating details

41 ratings
3.24 out of 5 stars
5 15% (6)
4 29% (12)
3 37% (15)
2 5% (2)
1 15% (6)
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