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Unnatural: The Heretical Idea of Making People
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Unnatural: The Heretical Idea of Making People

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  43 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Can we make a human being? The question has been asked for many centuries, and has produced recipes ranging from the clay golem of Jewish legend to the mass-produced test-tube babies in Brave New World. Unnatural delves beneath the surface of the cultural history of 'anthropoeia' - the artificial creation of people - to explore what it tells us about our views on life, hum ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Vintage (first published February 3rd 2011)
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Damon Young
Mar 14, 2014 Damon Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ball's basic outlook is both Socratic and Delphic. It is Socratic because it concerns the examined life. Each new advance in biotechnology can challenge our prejudices. For those who thought test tube babies would be soulless, infertile things, we have Louise Brown, and the millions of IVF babies born since her birth in 1978. Her humanity was not stolen by artificial conception. Life changes, and our ethical debates must keep up � we cannot rest on our moral laurels.

Ball's vision is also Delphic
Daniel Salvo
Aug 27, 2015 Daniel Salvo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uno de los mejores libros de divulgación que he leido. Traza un panorama histórico, desde los albores de la alquimia (400 AC) hasta nuestros días, de las creencias que nos han acompañado en torno a la creación de vida artificial. Sorprendente y revelador descubrir que muchos de nuestros temores "éticos" frente a la manipulación genetica, la fecundación asistida y la terapia genómica se originan en imágenes y mitos provenientes de ... la ciencia ficción.
Cassandra Kay Silva
I felt like there was way too much other book referencing in this book. I get that a lot of popular science books spend a great amount of time rehashing science history in their particular field, but this did not even really do that. It was more about the myths and culture surrounding the general idea of human making and how this affects our current views of bio ethical problems with things like cloning and genetic engineering and IVF. I kind of got sick of Frankenstein with this one.
Jul 17, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Blot et enkelt år efter at Philip Ball udgav sin bog ’The Music Instinct’, er der kommet en ny bog af den engelske journalist og forfatter, der i mange år har udmærket sig ved at kunne kombinere formidlingen af den nyeste naturvidenskab (i blandt andet fagbladet Nature) med en pragmatisk og midtsøgende humanisme. Philip Ball er ikke fundamentalist, og det er efterhånden en sjældenhed at finde videnskabsskribenter, som ikke blot mestrer ny naturvidenskabelig viden, men også sætter den i en breder ...more
An overview of the IDEA of making people from the ancient world to modern IVF treatments. Includes a rather extensive overview of all the fiction literature that examined this subject. Interesting but rather bland reading.
Jan 21, 2012 Adamas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i loved how this book went in to the history in the first half and then compared it with grate affect in the second to todays views.a must read as this review is certinly inadaquite.
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Philip Ball (born 1962) is an English science writer. He holds a degree in chemistry from Oxford and a doctorate in physics from Bristol University. He was an editor for the journal Nature for over 10 years. He now writes a regular column in Chemistry World. Ball's most-popular book is the 2004 Critical Mass: How One Things Leads to Another, winner of the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books. It e ...more
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