Dear Mr. Darwin: letters on the evolution of life and human nature.

Dear Mr. Darwin: letters on the evolution of life and human nature. Gabriel Dover.

London: Orion Publishing, 2000. Octavo, paperback, line drawings.

WAS $25. 'Dear Mr Darwin - You might find it presumptuous of me, if not a little macabre, that I should take up my pen and write to you more than a hundred years after your death...Despite the gulf that separates us in time and means, I know that this letter will arouse your scientific interests, for it touches on some of the central issues with which you wrestled all your life.' Thus begins an imagined correspondence between the geneticist Gabriel Dover and Charles Darwin on the surprising findings of modern genetics and their influence on the evolution of biological novelties, from genes to organisms. Stimulated by Darwin's relatively uninformed but obviously intelligent questions, Dover takes the father of natural selection on an exhilarating roller-coaster ride through the 'new genetics'. Set against a backdrop of cultural references ranging from the late poet Ted Hughes, through the music of Captain Beefheart, to the current ethnic crisis in the Balkans, this trenchant and humorous correspondence presents a startlingly original view of development and evolution that puts the individual organisms centre-stage.

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