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Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth
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Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  605 ratings  ·  87 reviews
“We are the primary drivers of change. We will directly and indirectly determine what lives, what dies, where, and when. We are in a different phase of evolution; the future of life is now in our hands.”Why are rates of conditions like autism, asthma, obesity, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer, getting smarter, and having far fe ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Current (first published March 3rd 2015)
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Sep 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is possibly the single worst pop science book ever written. It is in fact one of the worst books I've ever read, and I'm including self-published tripe with multiple spelling errors. It is the book equivalent of those Facebook science memes. You know the ones, spurious "science facts" propagated by people who supposedly love science but have absolutely no idea what it is. Everything about this book is bad. From the writing, which is peppered with liberal doses of the most cringe-worthy joke ...more
José Angel Hernández
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed
I am still in between speechless and a stunning achievement...
Morgan Blackledge
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Evolving Ourselves:

I have to say. I really liked this book. It's smart and visionary and irreverent and just plain fun. A great summer read.

BTW: It's featured on the summer reading 2015 list. If you're not familiar with, do yourself a favor and go check it out.

It's like new wave for old smart people :-)

Evolving Ourselves is authors Juan Enriquez (of TED talk fame) and Steve Gullans (also a TED talk guy) book length argument that the Neo Darwinian model of evolution via natural
D.L. Morrese
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-nonfiction
Is humanity now driving the evolutionary bus? Are we bypassing the slow, scenic route and speeding it down the expressway? Do we know where we're going? (Have I just overextended a metaphor?)

Seldom do I find a nonfiction book that I can't put down. This is one. It is a fascinating account of the complex interplay of things beyond genes that affect how species evolve. I highly recommend it.

Not that I don't have a gripe. It's probably petty, but "unnatural selection"? Really? Unnatural? It's not
Noura Noman
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Complicated Made Simpler

An extremely educational book by two authors who have so much to say - covering a broad spectrum of complicated issues - and opt to summarize them in the simplest language possible. I am grateful for this book (as I was grateful for As the Future Catches You.)
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book and the many jumping off points it provided for future research.
Anne Jones
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I had to pick one person to have a conversation with at a party, it would be Juan Enriquez! This book talks about all the things I ponder all day, everyday. It's a must-read. ...more
Teo 2050


Enriquez J & Gullans S (2015) (10:50) Evolving Ourselves - How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth

What Would Darwin Write Today?

1. Symptoms of Real-Time Evolution
• Is Autism a Harbinger of Our Changing Brains?
• The DarWa Theory Revisited . . . and a Glimpse at a New Theory
• Twenty Generations to Domesticate Humans
• Violence and the Lack Thereof
• Allergies: Another Harbinger of Our Evolving Bodies?
• Our Unnatural “All-Natural” World
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I'd like to thank the author for a copy of the book and the chance to review it through the GoodReads First Reads program.

Wow! I loved this book!

“Evolving Ourselves” is the perfect marriage of history and science with little punches of humor mixed in here and there. While it dealt with important/complex issues of biology, genetics, and evolution, you don’t need a Ph.D or MD. to understand the information. It was written so everyone can understand and benefit from it. It was very informative and
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a fascinating book about the speed-up of evolution in a largely human-controlled (for now) world. I disagree with the point of view of the authors that modern technology, including genetic engineering, is mainly a good thing, and that science is leading us in largely positive directions. I may own and use all the modern conveniences, but I'm a neo-Luddite at heart, and very concerned about human-caused climate change, the extinction of other species, etc. In fact, I think science and tec ...more
Kelly Reed
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think this is possibly the best book I've ever read! When reading fiction and you finish a book that you really enjoy, whose characters you are really invested in; it is a bittersweet feeling. You're happy that you've reached the final milestone and tackled the whole book, but wait...I don't want it to end! I want to keep reading more about these characters! This is the first non-fiction book I've read that made me feel that way! Oh no, it can't possibly be over already?!
This book instills fe
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The potential in the book is frightening.Humans are capable of doing things that are not necessarily for the better of mankind , ok maybe not in my life,but still frightening.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting read. The book is well researched. It gave me some new insight.
Staci Suhy
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free as part of a first reads promotion
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
after the first 40 pages, this book went from 2 stars to 5. very interesting info and thoughtful analyses.
Scott Schank
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very thought provoking book. Whereas most books look BACK at Human Evolution (by natural selection), this book looks FORWARD at Human Evolution (by UN-natural selection).
Joseph Hamilton
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is an extensive consideration of humanity’s active role in shaping the course of our evolution, particularly when considering relatively recent advances in genomics and synthetic biology. I highly recommend as the authors effectively portray the potential of our impact, although the examples do sometimes verge on science fiction (which they note).

One point is that, although there is a brief section on this, the authors describe science as fact quite often and base conclusions on previ
Whistle-stop tour of bio-engineering as of 2015 plus quite a lot of enthusiastic projecting into the future. It's not particularly carefully structured, jumping here and there like a bag of frogs, and each of the topics is treated slightly superficially, but I like the author's unapologetic positive slant on new discoveries and optimistic assessments of potential areas of enquiry, and general willingness to consider that the acquisition of new knowledge and the application of new technologies mi ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was not exactly what I was expecting or hoping for. The first part of the book was interesting, as it looked at the ways that modern advances are shaping human evolution, which was what I was curious to learn more about. However, most of the book focused more on the future of humans and all the cutting edge ways we are learning to guide and control human development. The ideas were thought provoking, but I found much of it to be really "out there", bordering on science fiction. I also ...more
Sanjay Banerjee
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The books is almost a guide to the next phase of life on earth.

Authors conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution for all species, both intentionally and unintentionally.

What if life forms are limited only by our imagination? Are designer babies and pets, de-extinction, entirely new species fair game?
As humans, plants and animals become increasingly disease-resistant and live longer, what would be the leading causes of death? Even as man-machine interfaces allow u
Mathijs  Aasman
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
An overview of how man has shaped the natural environment, and the feedback which results from that. Semi-interesting. Must admit I consumed it as a fast audiobook (3.7x normal speed), so my comprehension was less than ideal. Faustian in its outlook. Sections on genetic differences between humans prefaced by humanitarian universalist advisories, as expected for most books.

Reading this book does have the effect of orienting one's sights towards the long future I found, particularly the talk of s
H.S. Rivney
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genetic engineering is here, and Juan Enriquez, the author, a TED Talks presenter and among many other distinctions serves on the board of The Harvard Medical School Genetics Advisory Council. Fortune magazine has profiled him as "Mr. Gene."

If you have any curiosity about the human genome and how we are changing more rapidly than any other species, naturally and unnaturally, you want to pick up this work and see what the potential of humanity holds in store.

This is not an introductory read but
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, medical
Enriquez explores the pace of evolution and gene mutations. Modern advancements in genetic engineering have shaped pivotal changes in evolution. The authors discuss the evolution changes in homo-sapiens in respect to other hominids. The Neo Darwinian model of evolution via natural selection no longer applies to humans. Unnatural selection and nonrandom mutation are building as major forces in the evolution of humankind.

The first part of the book focuses on modern advances evolution. The second
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating overview of the science behind humanity's evolution - past and future. Over just a couple dozen decades, our species has engineered for itself a very different existence than the one in which we grew up - mostly to our very great benefit. But our engineering has also exposed us to challenges that our upbringing - and our genes - did not prepare us for. We have the power to “evolve ourselves” to meet these challenges, but will we use that power wisely? The authors say our survival d ...more
Elif Ozcan
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
It is very badly written. There is no logical connection between the chapters and the subject is constantly changing. I felt as if somebody has been talking to himself without listening other people or without letting others to express themselves. I am not going to discuss the scientific content of this book in detail, but readers should be cautious about accepting the stories in this book as facts.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting overview thoughts on the idea that we have already evolved ourselves and other species in ways that are appear unalterable. The book is full of promise--things that can be done that will make lives better--as well as a few warnings. There's not as much "new" here as a good collections of ideas about how we are evolving to adapt to a changing world and how we are changing the world intentionally and not. ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read, this book poses far more questions than it answers. If you have not considered what things like synthetic biology, new DNA base pairs, and gene editing techniques like CRISPR mean for the future of humanity, then you will be blind sided by technological advancements so extreme are grand children will be a variety of different species.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book can be summarized with a few bullet points on intentional vs. unintentional changes to the human body, lacking the meaty details or thoughtful analysis to make the journey worth it. I had high hopes for this - a few more minutes of the author’s time on thinking though the implications of these changes could have made this worth the read.
Vinod Krishnan
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
an incredibly insightful read about our biology, challenging stuff that Darwin believed to be true, and posing critical questions as we push the boundaries of innovation with gene editing and how we're going to proceed ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gives an great overview of current (relatively) approaches to modify our biology. I liked the authors point that we are switching from natural selection toward unnatural selection (man-made) this can he observed with dogs very well ...
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Juan Enríquez Cabot is a Mexican-American academic, businessman, speaker and best selling author.

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“if Darwin were alive today, he would likely revise a significant part of his great works, because the basic logic of evolution has shifted away from capital-n Nature toward two new core drivers: Unnatural selection* Nonrandom mutation*” 1 likes
“No matter who you are, who your parents are, you have innate genome flaws, and we do not yet know enough about the vast majority of these potential flaws, and their true risks, to make really intelligent choices.” 1 likes
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