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Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering

by Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott

Availablepaperback$30.00s 978-0-8131-9256-7
Availableweb pdf$30.00s 978-0-8131-2947-1
Availablecloth$70.00x 978-0-8131-2484-1
Availableepub$30.00s 978-0-8131-3875-6
Culture of the Land
272 pages  Pubdate: 09/29/2010  6 x 9 x 1.0  15

The Human Genome Project announced in 2003 that it had successfully mapped the human DNA. Scientists, politicians, theologians, and pundits speculated what would follow. Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering distinguishes between hype and reality, examining the delicate relationship between science and nature. Authors Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott evaluate the current state of genetic science and examine its potential applications, as well as possible dangers. The authors illustrate how the popular view of genetics does not include an understanding of how genes work together within organisms, contending that these simplistic views lead to unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, disappointment. Written for lay readers, it is an accessible introduction to the complex world of genetic engineering.

Craig Holdrege, director of the Nature Institute, is the author of Genetics and the Manipulation of Life: The Forgotten Factor of Context and The Giraffe’s Long Neck: From Evolutionary Fable to Whole Organism.

Steve Talbott, senior researcher at the Nature Institute, is the author of Devices of the Soul: Battling for Our Selves in an Age of Machines.

“A fascinating read through which we are encouraged, as individuals and a society, to pursue a holistic rather than reductionist understanding of the natural world, both at the micro- and macro-levels.”--Earth Justice

"Once upon a time there was a German Romantic poet and an accomplished scientist named Goethe who believed that our aesthetic intuitions of nature, coming from the nature of the natural beings that we are, could provide our sciences with cognitive resources and guidance. Under the heading of a "delicate empiricism" the authors ultimately offer a well-written and engaging attempt at reconstructing just such a context-sensitive approach to biology that can be relevant to our contemporary needs."--Nature Biotechnology

"Suffice it to say that t --his book not only met my high expectations, but also—in its launching out into some unexpected directions—offered much more that I had anticipated."--Englewood Review of Books

"Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott evaluate the current state of genetic science and examine its potential applications . . .explore new developments in genetics...also answer vital questions that get to the essence of genetic interaction with human biology" --TechRevu

"Holdrege and Talbott’s analysis of genetic engineering is the smartest, most original, and most compelling I have seen anywhere, in journalism or academia."--Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

"This book is truly interdisciplinary in intent and reach. Scholars drawn from life sciences, humanities and social sciences will certainly find it extremely useful in research practices."--Agriculture and Human Values

"[Holdrege and Talbott] evaluate the current state of genetic science and examine its potential applications, particularly in agriculture and medicine, as well as the possible dangers.... This book is truly interdisciplinary in intent and reach. Scholars drawn from life sciences, humanities, and social sciences will certainly find it extremely useful in research practices."--Agricultural Human Values