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Why Us?: How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves

Why Us?: How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves
  

Esteemed medical scientist and journalist James Le Fanu sets out in this lively, fascinating and provocative book to tackle the major questions of man's unique place in the universe.

Quick Reference

ISBN 9780007120277
Published 10 April 2009 by HarperCollins
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Le Fanu, James

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780007120277
ISBN-10 0007120273
Stock Out of stock
Status Out of print
Publisher HarperCollins
Imprint HarperPress
Publication Date 10 April 2009
International Publication Date 2 February 2009
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Le Fanu, James
Category Popular Science
Interest Age Young Adults
Reading Age Young Adults
NBS Text Popular Science
ONIX Text General/trade
Number of Pages 320
Dimensions Width: 159mm
Height: 240mm
Weight 624g
Dewey Code 599.9
Catalogue Code 58457

Description of this Book

Esteemed medical scientist and journalist James Le Fanu sets out in this lively, fascinating and provocative book to tackle the major questions of man's unique place in the universe. 'Why Us?' examines the unexpected outcome of the two great scientific projects of the past twenty years, which have sought to resolve the last great unknowns and explain our place in the universe. The first, the Human Genome Project completed in 2001, promised to crack the secrets of genetic inheritance by demonstrating how we, like all living things, reproduce our kind with such fidelity from one generation to the next. The second is the phenomenal advance in brain imaging, which has allowed neuroscientists to observe the brain 'in action' and thus explain the properties of reason, imagination and memory. Ten years on, however, it is clear that this is not how things have turned out. It is simply not possible to get from the monotonous gene sequence of the Double Helix to the infinite beauty and diversity of the living world, nor from the electrical activity of the brain to the endless possibilities of the human mind.Not only do we remain a mystery to ourselves, but we continue to be the central mystery of the universe to which we belong. In his brilliantly argued counterattack on Dawkins-style materialist views, James Le Fanu sets out the limitations of science. There is, indeed, far 'more than we can know'.

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Awards & Reviews

NZ Review From the reviews of The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine (Little , Brown, 1999) 'Erudite, absorbing! Le Fanu writes with clarity and authority and has the knack of making even the most complex developments exciting and enjoyable' SIR ROY PORTER, Observer 'This excellent book has challenged many of my views' DAVID OWEN, Spectator 'Endlessly fascinating' Financial Times 'As lucid as it is comprehensive! fascinating' THOMAS STUTTAFORD, Literary Review

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Author's Bio

James Le Fanu is a medical doctor and regular columnist for the Sunday and Daily Telegraph. He graduated from Cambridge University and the Royal London Hospital in 1974. He has published research articles in the 'British Medical Journal', 'Lancet' and the 'Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine'.

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