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eBook Beyond Evolution: The Genetically Altered Future of Plants, Animals, the Earth... and Humans ePub

by Michael W. Fox

eBook Beyond Evolution: The Genetically Altered Future of Plants, Animals, the Earth... and Humans ePub
Author: Michael W. Fox
Language: English
ISBN: 0965005569
ISBN13: 978-0965005562
Publisher: The Lyons Press; 1st thus edition (1999)
Pages: 260
Category: Business Culture
Subcategory: Perfomance
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 273
Formats: mbr lrf doc azw
ePub file: 1709 kb
Fb2 file: 1812 kb

While many have signed off on GE crops, other scientists are worried - some even warning that the potential danger to life on earth is considerably greater than that posed by nuclear weapons

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Genetically altered species have already crossed out into wild populations, and new mutants are being developed and released at a breathtaking pace. A "transgenic" organism contains DNA from non-related species: such as human genes inserted in mice, pigs, or cows; flounder genes in strawberries; spider genes in beans; and on, and on, and on, and o.

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Beyond Evolution : The Genetically Altered Future of Plants, Animals, the Earth. Fox does an excellent job of tracking all of the unanswered questions that still plague the issue of genetically engineered lifeforms. Fox loses me, though, when he steers away from science and into a sort of mysticism about each species "anima". I also disagree with his assertion that a vegetarian lifestyle is all that is needed to do away with cancer and heart disease.

The Production of Genetically Modified Animals and Humans: An Inescapable Moral Challenge to Scientists and Laypeople Alike . Balls, Michael (1998-01). Related Items in Google Scholar. Весь DSpace Сообщества и коллекции Авторы Названия By Creation Date Эта коллекция Авторы Названия By Creation Date.

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Fox, Michael W. Beyond evolution Close. 1 2 3 4 5. Want to Read. Books to Read from Darby. the genetically altered future of plants, animals, the earth-humans. by Fox, Michael W. Published 1999 by Lyons Press in New York, .

Fox MW (1999) Beyond evolution: the genetically altered future of plants, animals, the earth, and humans. The Lyons Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar. Greek R, Greek JS (2000) Sacred cows and golden geese: the human cost of experiments on animals. Continuum, New YorkGoogle Scholar. Habermas J (1979) Communication and the evolution of society. Beacon Press, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar. Habermas J (1984) Theory of communicative action, vol 1.

By: Michael W Fox. 256 pages, no illustrations.

and Humans: NHBS - Michael W Fox, Lyons Press. By: Michael W Fox. Publisher: Lyons Press.

Beyond Evolution: The Genetically Altered Future of Plants, Animals, the Earth, and Humans by. .Spirit Matters by Michael Lerner. Making Better Environmental Decisions: An Alternative to Risk Assessment by Mary O'Brien

Beyond Evolution: The Genetically Altered Future of Plants, Animals, the Earth, and Humans by Michael W. Fox. Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking Off the Dead Hand of History by Walter Mosley. Owning the Future: Staking Claims on the Knowledge Frontier by Seth Shulman. Making Better Environmental Decisions: An Alternative to Risk Assessment by Mary O'Brien. Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks.

The success of Scottish scientists in cloning a sheep has stirred widespread fears about genetic engineering: Will biologists be cloning made-to-order humans next? Fox seeks not to allay but to refocus these anxieties, directing our concern away from a hypothetical future toward a troubling current reality: a mammoth bioengineering industry already recklessly manipulating the genetic codes of numerous plant and animal species without regard for the ethical or ecological implications of their acts. Breaking ranks with scientists who view biotechnology with ebullient confidence, Fox poses the hard questions: What are the hidden dangers of transplanting genes from one species to another? What suffering do animals experience when subjected to genetic engineering--and can such suffering be justified? What happens to the natural dynamics of evolution when genetically altered species are released into the environment?
Falya
Any book that deals with scientific issues and its relation to morality and ethics will be controversial, and this book is no exception. It is an attempt to address the ethical issues in genetic engineering, but it does not do so in a way that is really convincing. Those against genetic engineering in any form will probably like the book, and those for genetic engineering will no doubt not like it. But for those who are genuinely attempting to answer the enormous legal and ethical complexities of genetic engineering, this book fails. The author does not substantiate his arguments with experimental data or references to such data, one example being the claim that 60% of processed foods now contain genetically engineered ingredients. What are some examples of these products? Where does the author get his estimates? The author also makes sneering and sarcastic remarks regarding the profession of genetic engineering, referring to them as a 'scientific priesthood', or as 'genetic sorcerers'.
The author blames the Enlightenment period for fostering an attitude of recklessness and disrespect for animal life, the philosophers Descartes and Bacon being blamed primarily for fostering attitudes that encourage animal cruelty and disrespect for animal life in general. But Descartes and Bacon are not the only representatives of the Enlightenment period, and moreover the period encouraged optimism and respect for all life, contrary to the author's claims. The attitudes of legal reasoning of that period have continued to this day in animal rights movements, something the author, as a vetenarian, no doubt supports. The critical thinking and openness to new ideas were encouraged by the thinkers of the Enlightenment, and such thinking will allow those in the present day to use genetic engineering in a socially responsible manner.
In addition, the author should remember that humans are indeed part of nature; they evolved right along with other life forms. As such, it is a valid argument to say that genetic engineering of life forms is part of the evolutionary process. The time scales involved are much faster than for 'ordinary' evolution without human intervention. This of course does not make genetic engineering a 'legitimate' activity, but it does refute objections to it on the lines that it is 'unnatural' or 'inorganic'. One cannot object to genetic engineering solely on the basis that genetic changes through its use take place much faster than evolution without human intervention.
The author is clearly against the big-business aspects of genetic engineering, referring to it as 'genetic imperialism'. He is reluctant to call those who develop genetically engineered crops 'farmers', but instead calls them 'peons' who are bankrolled by the evil behemoth of agribusiness. But why should not the the organic food market, which is a multi-billion dollar business, be characterized in the same way? Clearly from reading the book, the author is a proponent of organic agriculture, a sector that stands to lose its position in the market if genetically engineered food is accepted by the majority of the public. Both the organic foods industry and the genetically-modified food industry have both been very aggressive in their advertising, each claiming to offer food products that are more 'wholesome' for the consumer. Only rigorous testing and an understanding of human nutritional needs can determine in fact whether genetically modified foods are superior to foods that are not. No amount of advertising, nor unsubstantiated claims by the author that the adoption of organic methods is optimal for food production and human health, will change the actual facts about organic or genetically modified foodstuffs. In addition, it does not matter whether the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is in fact undermining the proposed National Organic Standards. Government departments have made blunders before, the mere fact that they are doing so again does not by itself imply that genetically modified foods are dangerous, or incompatible with organic agriculture, as the author contends. It merely means that the USDA is engaging in favoritism.
The author is also way out of line in his claims that the practice and philosophy of organic agriculture is commendable because of its satisfaction of some key bioethical principles, one of these being that organic farming seeks to minimize harm to natural ecosystems. He does not provide any evidence that genetic engineering is more malicious or lacks regard for the environment. Secondly, he claims that organic farming enhances biodiversity, a claim that is totally unsubstantiated and in fact counterintuitive. Genetic engineering allows, through transgenic strategies, a wider variety of organisms and at a shorter time scale.
The author also claims that those who advocate the changing of distinct and unique species for purely human ends have no reverence for life. Again, the author should not make this claim without first-hand knowledge of the people involved in genetic engineering. There are no doubt genetic engineers along with organic farmers who fit this description, along with many in both camps who do not.

Also, the author claims that there is no scientific evidence the genetically engineered crops are the answer to world hunger and then asserts that there is 'clear evidence' that organic agriculture does. This evidence though is not expounded upon in this book.
In addition, genetically modified foods are not 'infected', and biotechnology is not 'genetic pollution', as the author charges. Such vituperation has no place in scientific debate, and serves only to raise the level of truculence on both sides of the issue.
The most interesting part of the book is that the author inadvertently introduces the reader to some of the more fascinating research that is currently conducted in genetic engineering, such as genetically modified insects.
One of course should admire the high degree of compassion the author shows towards animal life. It should be taken as an axiom that all forms of life deserve respect and should be treated with kindness...and this goes for genetically engineered lifeforms, whenever and wherever they are produced.
Raelin
If you are curious about the fuss surrounding Genetically Engineered (GE) foods, this book can get you up to speed. BEYOND EVOLUTION briefly recounts the history of recombinant DNA and transgenic research and goes on to carefully evaluate the current state of the art and implications for the future. While many agribiotechnologists have signed off on GE crops, other scientists are worried - some even warning that the potential danger to life on earth is considerably greater than that posed by nuclear weapons. By developing microbes which can deliver genetic material into cell nuclei, and then releasing the newly created organism into the environment, we are throwing open the doors to new forms of mutation, new diseases, new insect pests, and extinctions. Genetically altered species have already crossed out into wild populations, and new mutants are being developed and released at a breathtaking pace. At the same time, transgenic research is stirring a genetic soup concocted of a wild diversity of creatures to manufacture pharmeceuticals. (A "transgenic" organism contains DNA from non-related species: such as human genes inserted in mice, pigs, or cows; flounder genes in strawberries; spider genes in beans; and on, and on, and on, and on.) The problem with such pharmeceutical uses - which researchers are trying to overcome - is that organisms tend to resist material from other species. Our immune systems reject foreign biochemicals. Overcoming the resistance, however, looks like another Pandora's box. Resisting foreign invaders is essential to staying healthy. On top of the rejection problem, and perhaps worse, is the potential for cross-over diseases like Mad Cow syndrome (Creutzfeld-Jakob disease) which is just one of the zoonotic illnesses that such genetic mucking around might enhance. (Note that HIV seems to be a hominid disease to which wild creatures have adapted - the reason imprisoned chimps in labs refuse to get AIDS - but to which humans are susceptible. AIDS is only one painful example of the danger of zoonotic infection. Humans who have had pig-part transplants exhibit infection with porcine retrovirus - again, the practice is only permitted in the U.S. Retroviruses, you might recall, are involved in fun diseases like Ebola.) Meaningful testing of GE material would be slow and expensive - our understanding of genetic function is very incomplete. Proving saftey of a slight modification of even one plant or animal gene and its subsequent effect on a human consumer would require painstaking inquiry - not to mention the effect on the whole natural world. The U.S. government's solution has been to decide that it is simply unnecessary. Author Fox, who visited his subject a decade earlier in SUPERPIGS AND WONDERCORN, is well versed in his topic, more balanced in his views than this reviewer, and very adept at explaining a sometimes complicated and often bewildering subject. His discussion of the the ethical and technical issues involved in humanity's meddling with evolution are clear and as simple as his very complex subject will permit. A very, very frightening book.
Ubranzac
Only one customer review other than mine? Oh well, I guess genetics isn't a very popular subject. But it should be. As the other reviewer stated, this book is indeed a "wake-up call." The amount of genetic manipulation being done on plants and animals, the numbers of unnatural transgenic organisms being cavalierly loosed into the environment is positively frightening, and it is something about which all of us should be aware and informed. Granted, the author does lapse into philosophy and religiousness, but I happen to agree with his world-view and so forgive him these lapses. Especially in consideration of the amount of information he imparts in a very objective manner. Genetic engineering can be for the greater good, as he states, but the paucity of bioethics and primary interest in profit has turned it into a boogyman, a monster. I deeply thank the author for this book, which has greatly raised my awareness of just how much damage we humans are inflicting on our environment. Everyone should read this book, should be aware of the invisible threats present in every bite of food and every breath of air. This year I only planted broccoli,lettuce, and tomatoes; next year, it will be everything else.
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