ForeWord Reviews

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Genes and Human Nature

From Atoms to "Good and Evil"

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

Genes and Human Nature is an accessible work of popular science, and a cross-disciplinary showcase for Dr. Amin’s soon to be testable Gene Suppression-Activation Theory. The postulate, G-SAT for short, states that “Junk DNA IS the archive in which all the past and future history of life is preserved.”

Toggles of particular genes from dormancy to an active state are cited as the cause of sudden evolutionary leaps. For example, the Cambrian explosion of species differentiation and the appearance of human language in written form reflect radical shifts. The implication is that our species is preprogrammed for a specific course of experience. Furthermore, the program must serve the purpose of a superior entity. At the far edge of current scientific knowledge, Amin attributes persisting mysteries to the actions of a Deist Creator, a clock-setter God. To go a step further, he believes a deity can be sensed physically by every cell in the body.

“The G-SAT gives a scientific recipe for reconciliation between evolutionary facts and creationists’ beliefs.” That’s quite a chasm to bridge, of course. The author is willing to range as far afield as necessary, from cellular biology to cosmology. He is interested in human behavior and the affinities which don’t fit well within the principles of Natural Selection. Amin asks, “…what survival value is there in the characteristics of love of poetry and music, gossiping and voyeurism, vanity and envy, lust for power and selfishness? What survival value is there in the two instincts of private ownership and wanting more?”

A chapter comparing doctrines and practices of the major world religions examines atheism and personality cults on a similar basis, and the summaries convey the most important distinctions with outstanding clarity. A side trip through linguistic history in the chapter “Noah’s Flood” traces to the dramatic but rarely discussed Black Sea deluge of c. 5600 BC. A simmering cauldron of civilizations built around a freshwater lake was scattered to all compass points when the salty waters of the Mediterranean came rushing through a suddenly-crumbled barrier at the Straits of Bosporus.

Attention to the tastes of lay readers is reflected by tailored language choice and noticeably good editing. One point against is a nineteenth century attitude on gender roles. It is inconsistent with the intellectually rigorous, scientifically grounded level of discourse present here, which rejects most prejudice as superficial accidents of birth location.

Dr. Amin has divided his career as a urologist between Kuwait City and Cairo. His previous publications in English and Arabic include Feminism, the False Freedom! and Science versus Faith and Money and Human Nature. Genes and Human Nature indicates that geneticists will soon reach a point of no return, gaining the godlike ability to remix characteristics into any configuration, driving life on Earth into accelerated change once again. This line of thinking deserves further consideration by the quiet legions of armchair philosophers.