Genome, by Matt Ridley
It’s always great to be reminded how similar we all are.
Not just how similar we are to other humans, but to all of life. You share over 40% of your DNA with your garden-variety earthworm. And of course, you probably already know that we share 99% of our DNA with mice.
But what never ceases to fascinate me is the idea that evolution is not driven by natural selection of species, or even of individuals, but of individual genes. Your genes are constantly at war, even with one another, to establish dominance and be passed on to the next generation. The battle between X and Y chromosomes is a pretty neat chapter.
Matt Ridley does a great job building an easy to read narrative about our entire genome. He discusses the roles of genes (spoiler alert: THEY AREN’T THERE TO CAUSE DISEASES), how much they play into factors like personality and intelligence, and so on. Enticing material, engaging prose, and an excellent book.