Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves

Author(s): James Le Fanu


'Know thyself.' It is one of the most basic human principles, and one of the most difficult. For how well can we ever truly know ourselves? In this lively, provocative exploration of our scientific legacy, James Le Fanu combines a fascinating exploration of the limits of science with a celebration of the mystery of what it means to be human. A century and a half after Charles Darwin's assertion that we are no more than the consequence of an evolutionary process, are we any closer to understanding the wonder, complexity and drama of the human condition? For the past 150 years, we have lived in Darwin's shadow, encouraged to suppose there is nothing about our world or ourselves that cannot be scientifically explained. Recently, however, two of the most ambitious scientific projects ever conceived have unexpectedly revealed the opposite. The Human Genome Project has mapped the entire human genome. And yet it cannot explain the leap from the monotonous sequence of genes along the double helix to the infinite beauty and diversity of the living world. Phenomenal advances in brain imaging now allow neuroscientists to observe the brain 'in action'.

Product Information

From the reviews of The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine (Little , Brown, 1999) 'Erudite, absorbing! Le Fanu writes with clarity and authority and has the knack of making even the most complex developments exciting and enjoyable' SIR ROY PORTER, Observer 'This excellent book has challenged many of my views' DAVID OWEN, Spectator 'Endlessly fascinating' Financial Times 'As lucid as it is comprehensive! fascinating' THOMAS STUTTAFORD, Literary Review

James Le Fanu is a medical doctor and regular columnist for the Sunday and Daily Telegraph. He graduated from Cambridge University and the Royal London Hospital in 1974. He has published research articles in the 'British Medical Journal', 'Lancet' and the 'Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine'.

General Fields

  • : 9780007120277
  • : HarperCollins Canada, Limited
  • : Harper Press
  • : 0.624
  • : February 2009
  • : 240mm X 159mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : James Le Fanu
  • : Hardback
  • : very good
  • : 320
  • : 85 b/w plates, With index