Human Engineering: Marvel or Menace?

By John Langone | Go to book overview

2
Origins of Life

In the beginning, according to religion and legend, the creation of life and its habitat was wrought by the hand of God or gods. The Bible's book of Genesis tells us Jehovah created heaven and earth and every living creature that crept, swam, and flew. He formed man from the slime of the earth, woman from one of his ribs. In the Babylonian tale of creation, Marduk, god of light and life, was the creator: "Blood I will form and cause bone to be; then I will set up Lullu, 'Man' shall be his name." The ancient Greeks believed that Athena sprang to life, fully armed, from the head of Zeus; a race of giants from the blood of Uranus. A Borneo legend tells us that a woman who dwelled in the sky, Kinorolungan, created man and woman -- out of a termite nest. The Hopi Indians, too, believed that a female, Kokyangwuti, the Spider Woman, fashioned life in the form of twins from earth mixed with her saliva.

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Human Engineering: Marvel or Menace?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Origins of Life 7
  • 3 - Genetics and the Spiral Staircase 21
  • 4 - Test-Tube Babies 47
  • 5 - Viruses and Cancer 70
  • 6 - Regeneration 82
  • 7 - Artificial Genes 97
  • 8 - The Problem of Recombinant Dna 102
  • 9 - Engineering the Mind 115
  • 10 - Conclusion 142
  • Index 151
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