Navigation Links
A call to infuse scientific knowledge into the human experience
Date:4/3/2008

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. In a provocative new book, distinguished geneticist and historian Elof Axel Carlson argues for a more scientific view of human nature, one that is based on our biologyour cellular organization, genetics, life cycle, and evolution.

[M]ost of humanity has an outmoded and inadequate perception of human life that is better suited for living in the first or second millennium, writes Carlson in the Preface to the book, which is entitled Neither Gods Nor Beasts: How Science is Changing Who We Think We Are and is published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Traditional views of human nature focus on the supernatural, defining us as creatures with souls and spirits that transcend our physical attributes. As Carlson points out, little scientific knowledge has been accumulated about the physical worldliving or nonlivinguntil very recently in human history.

Today, we are engulfed in new scientific knowledge that, I believe, is changing who we think we are, Carlson writes. Armed with this knowledge, he challenges individual readers to re-think how they perceive themselves. He also asks educators, the media, and public policy makers to enrich our human experience by integrating science more fully into our lives.

The book is divided into three sections. In Part 1, Humanity in a Prescientific Universe, Carlson summarizes historical views of human nature and explores what he calls our biological illiteracy. Part 2, Confronting and Recognizing Our Biology, describes the current science of how our brains work, how the genes encoded by our DNA as well as our environment dictate much of who we are, and how the cell functions as the fundamental unit of life. He points out, however, that this scientific interpretation of ourselves does not negate our capacity for imagination, spiritual and emotional yearnings, or aesthetic appreciation for art, music, and literature.

The question of How Should We Perceive Humanity in the Third Millennium is the focus for Part 3. Here, Carlson describes how we should integrate science more fully into our understanding of human nature and how, this in a practical way, this approach will enable us to celebrate our humanity and to lead more enriching and fulfilling lives on both the personal and global levels. According to Carlson, the biological contribution to our understanding of the human condition gives us the knowledge we need to engage in civilization without wrecking our environments or imperiling opportunities to use our talents.

Carlson has a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, and in the book, emphasizes the importance of how science is taught from grades K through 12 and during the first four years of college. Here, he advocates a closer relation of the world views of the liberal arts and the sciences so we can have better informed legislative representatives, better informed citizens, and a shift in priorities to give us a view of our humanity that is healthier, safer, more enlightened, and more thrilling to contemplate.

Neither Gods Nor Beasts will be of interest to professional scientists, philosophers, psychologists, and other academics, as well as lay persons who are interested in human nature, ethics, our perceptions of ourselves, and the distinction between science and the supernatural.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ingrid Benirschke
benirsch@cshl.edu
619-275-6021
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Saudi Arabias KAUST and IIT, Bombay to Collaborate on Scientific Research
2. Frontiers in Optics presents scientific advancements
3. Scientists launch deep-sea scientific drilling program to study volatile earthquake zone
4. HortTalks, a valuable scientific resource
5. New ETH Zurich article published in scientific journal Nature
6. Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology Annual Scientific Conference
7. PNNLs Richard Smith named to prestigious Scientific American 50 list of outstanding leaders
8. Evolution education is a must says coalition of scientific and teaching organizations
9. Scientific evidence supporting evolution continues to grow
10. Major scientific push to tackle agricultural productivity and food security in developing world
11. UTSA receives $822,000 from Kleberg Foundation to enhance scientific research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A call to infuse scientific knowledge into the human experience
(Date:6/2/2016)...   The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... capability in which consumers will be able to interact with ... via voice or text and receive relevant information about the ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can create ... relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... June 1, 2016 Favorable Government ... Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System ... released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market ... Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics ... 2021, on account of growing security concerns across various ...
(Date:5/20/2016)...  VoiceIt is excited to announce its new ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer ... take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration ... usability. Both ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM ... lives through the development of innovative products and services, ... the United States denied its petition to ... of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") are ... by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight ... solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product ... marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... --  Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design ... awarded as one of the World Economic Forum,s ... innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to ... in the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. ... including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the z-dimension ... are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. Z-dimension ... bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow cell ...
Breaking Biology Technology: