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A new biology

The next century may belong to biology, but in the hands of a generation of ultra-Darwinists, it is suffering from a crude reductionism

By Steven Rose   February 2000

Genes and environment are the raw material out of which we construct ourselves

The first half of the 20th century belonged to the physicists, whose apotheosis came in Hir-oshima and Nagasaki. But in recent decades we have seen the rise of the biologists, with their strident claims to have uncovered the molecular, genetic and evolutionary roots of almost every aspect of the human condition. Our millennial prophets are eager to tell us that our fate lies in our genes, albeit transmitted via the “mental modules” that Darwinian evolution has bestowed upon us. Biology is destiny. Yet in parallel, a new…

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