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Genome : The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters

Matt Ridley

Buy this book at Amazon.com or try Amazon.co.uk in England, Amazon.ca in Canada, Amazon.de in Germany, Amazon.fr in France, Amazon.it in Italy, Amazon.es in Spain. ASIN=0060932902, Category: Science, Language: E, cover: PB, pages: 344, year: 2000. Zu Facebook hinzufügen Zu Twitter hinzufügen Zu Delicious hinzufügen Zu Google +1 hinzufügen Zu Google hinzufügen Zu Mister Wong hinzufügen

Review © (2004) by interesting-books-selector.com

A quote from p92:

    "Marxism fell when the Berlin wall was built, though it took until the wall came down before some people realised that subservience to an all-powerfull state could not be made enjoyable however much propaganda accompanied it."
and three more related [abbreviated] quotes:
    "It explains why unemployment and welfare dependency are so good at making people ill. No alpha-male monkey was ever such an intransigent and implacable controller of subordinates' lives as the social services of the state are of people dependent on welfare." (p156/157)

    "... The economy is such a [interconnected] system [that have no control centers]. The illusion that economies run better if somebody is put in charge of them - and decides what gets manufactured where and when - has done devasting harm to the wealth and health of peoples all over the world, not just in the Soviet Union, but in the west as well."

    "The fuel on which science runs is ignorance." (p271, Chromosome 20 - Politics)

Ridley explains for example, why bacteria genetically speaking are more advanced living organisms than the more complex creatures, because they do not need the RNA mechanisms in order to proliferate.

Although Ridley educates in anarchism "My genome is my property and not the state's." (p269), he believes health care in Great Britain is, quote "basically free" (p268). Fine, if that believe helps you to overcome the contradictions imposed by the states' monopoly to apply violence on their subjects even in democratic states. (Democracy is nothing less than tyranny of majority.)

That the genome is everybody's individual posession is nevertheless matetrialistic thinking, since all personal property is but an illusion (which doesn't mean someone has the right to take from one person to give to another, because that's spoliation [see Frederic Bastiat]), since what's the possession of my genome worth, without considering my spirit? I know natural scientists have no choice but to subtract spiritual matters because these evade any sensual examination. Goethe knew that already since his Mephisto mocked:

    "So hast du die Teile in deiner Hand, fehlt leider nur das geistige Band."
But why should you read Goethe who knew that Charles Darwin's natural selection and mutation theory was wrong eventhough Goethe died (1832) long before Darwin published his "On the origin of species" in 1859? It might be consolating to know that Darwin himself admitted that humans are not transformed mud, as Steiner expressed so brilliantly:
    "The science sections of newspapers disclose to the educated and uneducated alike the laws according to which the perfect animals develop out of the imperfect, ...very seldom add that in Darwin's main treatise there is to be found the statement: "I hold that all organic beings that have ever lived on this earth have descended from one primordial form into which the creator breathed the breath of life." (Origin of Species, Vol. II, chapter XV.)"
    -- quote Rudolf Steiner in REINCARNATION AND KARMA - Concepts Compelled by the Modern Scientific Point of view, 1903.

Also I found it quite astonishing that - quote from p84:

    "when you grow up and accumulate experiences, the influence of your genes increases. What? Surely, it falls off? No: ... As you grow up, you gradually express your own intelligence and leave behind the influences stamped on you by others. ... This proves two vital things: that genetic influences are not frozen at conception and that environmental influences are not inexorably cumulative. Heritability does not mean immutability."
If I understand Matt Ridley correctly, then, if we are like rats, which genetically very similar (by counting the number of common genes - a pure materialistic viewpoint) to humans, your instinct is genetically inherited (how is another question) from our father and dominates our behaviour from age 40 on, whereas the intellect is inherited from our mother.¹ ("If we are like mice, we may be walking around around with our mothers' thinking and our fathers' mood", p215) Education more or less suppresses our instinct in younger age and then gradually dimishes and instinct takes over and determines our actions. (Here I guess Ridley talks about public education which is, to borrow the words of Bertrand Russell autobiography, abominable!)

Both, Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" and "Genome" were recommended to me by an admirable person. He said, only one such book is written every 50 years.

More ...

¹) Without making any claim to a statistical resemble between men and mice, Rudolf Steiner said in a talk about the "Bhagavad Gita" in 1913:

    What a man inherits as common, generic qualities is handed on to the descendants by the woman, whereas what forms him into a unique, individual being, tearing him out of the generic succession, is the part he receives from his father.
-- quote The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita (GA 146) (I have not yet read the German original published as Die okkulten Grundlagen der Bhagavad Gita, but I believe the translation could be improved.
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