A sweeping, paradigm-shifting account of how evolution is no longer driven just by nature but also by human choices
Why are conditions like autism, asthma, obesity, and allergies exploding at unprecedented rates? Why are we living longer, getting smarter, having far fewer kids? If Darwin was alive today, how would he explain this new world?
Today’s humans have developed such profound capabilities for redesigning bacteria, plants, animals, and ourselves that random mutation and natural selection are no longer the primary determinants of which species survive and how they change over time. Evolution is now increasingly driven by two forces: Unnatural Selection (what lives and dies has to do with human desires and choices, not the natural ability to reproduce and thrive) and Nonrandom Mutation (our techniques have gotten so precise that we can drastically alter the genetics of any life form).
Evolving Ourselves is a chronicle of how life is evolving to meet our specs and choices, of how we can change our own biology, and of the unintended consequences for future generations. It proves that how we use our enormous power over life forms and our ability to engineer new environments will determine nothing less than the survival of humanity.
Steve Gullans, PhD, is a venture capitalist, scientist and entrepreneur. He co-founded Excel Venture Management to work with entrepreneurs developing technologies for medicine, energy, agriculture, and social networking. For 18 years, Dr. Gullans was a professor at Harvard Medical School applying cutting-edge technologies to understanding diseases such as cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. His discoveries led to the founding of several biotech companies. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has published more than 130 scientific papers in journals such as Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and The New England Journal of Medicine.
Juan is the bestselling author of As the Future Catches You: How Genomics and Other Forces will Affect Your Life, Work, Health, and Wealth as well as multiple academic and popular books, chapters, articles, and cases. He co-founded Excel Venture Management, has launched multiple companies in life sciences, sailed around the world on the Sorcerer II global ocean sampling expedition, and was founding director of Harvard Business School’s Life Science Project. Fortune profiled him as “Mr. Gene.” Seed, The Edge, Wired, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Science, NPR, and TED, have showcased his breakthrough ideas.