9780863152399 / 0863152392

A Question of Genes: Understanding Life in Context


Publisher:Floris Books, 1996



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About the book:

In this readable book, Holdrege provides a lovely exposition of living organisms not as objects, but as process and of heredity as a blending of 'potential and plasticity' with 'imitation and specificity'. With a wealth of interesting examples he shows how genes (DNA) alone cannot 'determine' traits, much less organisms, because their effects are always qualified by the contexts within which the organisms live. He thus offers an antidote to the current mechanistic thinking about genes as causes of health, disease and behaviour. But the special contribution of this book is that it details, simply and again with fascinating examples, how scientists' ways of conceptualizing organisms and manipulating them and their parts are the heart of the formulations they offer about how organisms and their molecules function. The reader can thus observe how scientific observation and their interpretations fuse in the creation of systems of scientific explanation.

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