Magazine article The Spectator

Hugh Lawson-Tancred

Magazine article The Spectator

Hugh Lawson-Tancred

Article excerpt

The completion of the sequencing of the human DNA last year remains a brilliant beacon of hope in our murky world. Kevin Davies's The Sequence (Weidenfeld, L20) is a compelling review of the politics and psychology of the epic struggle between the commercialist Craig Venter and a phalanx of public institutions including our own revered Sanger Centre, the incalculable promise of the benefits to be derived in the coming decades and the deep and perplexing issues of how the emerging knowledge is to be reconciled with the competing claims of the market, society, science and God. Geoffrey Miller's The Mating Mind (Random House, L20) addresses a central conundrum for Darwin - why should nonproactive, momentumless evolution have gone to the indulgent extravagance of producing the peacock's tail, the bowerbird's nest and the human frontal cortex? He argues eloquently and, to me, persuasively that sexual rivalry produces a spiralling arms race of capabilities which, in propitious circumstances, can bootstrap its way up through a vertiginously ascending virtuous circle, from the late hominids, for example, to the Greeks in little more than a million years. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.