Unnatural Selection: How We Are Changing Life, Gene by Gene
Part one of Emily Monosson’s new book, Unnatural Selection, says it all: “Unnatural Selection in a Natural World.” The author means to point out that we, as a species, are continually moving toward modifying our natural selection process in order to incorporate the benefits of modern science and medicine. In this way, we are altering nature. Whether this process is benevolent or malevolent is another side of the argument that needs to be addressed. Still, Monosson has opened the door and views things with a considerable degree of optimism, believing that a new way of treating medical problems is also on the way. That is, we are rediscovering defenses which have, up to this point, been defeating the most brilliant tactics. Hence, she sees an avenue opening up by taking a step or two back to see the larger picture.
Her points are sharply focused on the problem. I positively loved the chapter on “Natural Selection in an Unnatural World.” She poses questions that clarify what the human race is up against in the struggles of navigating through nature.
Emily Monosson is an environmental toxicologist and a professor at the University of Massachusetts. She is the author of Evolution in a Toxic World, and the editor of Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory: Women Scientists Speak Out. This background makes her an expert on environmental issues that shape the human species. Ms. Monosson is becoming a powerful voice in this new and dynamic modern world.
Although we need to hear an expert voice and point of view on antibiotics, superbugs, prevention with universal vaccines in concert with medical treatment, and dealing with resistance and resurgence in an unnatural world, we also need a friend in the scholarly domain’s mission. She is blazing a trail to acknowledge our intimate connection to the Earth, and suggests how we can best focus our efforts to benefit mankind.
This new approach takes into account consequences others have not considered during their evaluation of evolution and our role in it. It is with fervent aggression that new voices are born and give a fresh breath to old ideas. I staunchly admire those brave souls who address what needs to be said.
Additionally, the publisher, Island Press, is working toward a stewardship to represent the advancement of environmental science, providing a stimulus for environmental scholars whose goal is to reach out with a strong message to journalists, scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and the general public. Consequently, environmental studies is creating an important niche for itself and the argument for the future of life on Earth.
This book is celebrated by prestigious scholars from various backgrounds within academia. The institutions include Berkeley, Stanford University, McGill University, and UCLA. The author upsets the apple cart by reexamining old issues in a new light. What she uncovers is nothing short of discomforting. It is an honest attempt to wake us up and realize the bigger and more complex picture nature shows us. Emily Monosson is a voice that is not going away.
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