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Christian de Duve

Life Evolving

How life arose and where humans fit in to the scheme of things are two of the big questions of which we are always searching for answers. In 'Life Evolving', Christian de Duve traces the path of our evolution, from the origin of life from a prebiotic soup, through the birth of the eukaryotic cell and multicellular life, up to humans, and what makes us what we are. De Duve is an expert in cell biology, but 'Life Evolving' is philosophical rather than technical, and will suit the reader wanting a gentle discussion of some of the deep questions of life.

In the last few chapters de Duve looks at further questions which concern us, such as the nature of consciousness and how life is likely to change in the future. Note that he doesn't come along with ready-made answers to the questions which are posed - if you're looking for someone has definite views on such things and wants to impart them to the reader then this book probably isn't for you. In particular de Duve's views on religion are central to the book. He has rejected the dogmas he was taught in his youth, but he doesn't write as a rampant atheist. Rather he comes across as someone searching for answers in a confusing world.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews