What does science say about race? In this book a distinguished research geneticist presents abundant evidence showing that traditional notions about distinct racial differences have little scientific foundation. In short, racism is not just morally wrong; it has no basis in fact.
“Few are aware that the best ammunition against racism comes from modern evolutionary biology and genetics, and this gap in the public understanding of science needs to be closed. Daniel J. Fairbanks’s small but complete book provides clear explanations of the science behind human variation. I hope it is widely read.” —Eugenie C. Scott, chair of the Advisory Council, National Center for Science Education; author of Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction
“In a masterful synthesis of biological, anthropological, and evolutionary evidence, this book presents one of the most eloquent, insightful, and compelling arguments against the existence of biological ‘race.’ Fairbanks demonstrates that modern notions which seek to justify race and racism aren’t just flawed—they’re scientifically baseless. This book uncovers the true richness of human variation and the unfolding of the human story over the last 150,000 years. In a world that today seems to be slipping toward greater divisiveness and conflict, Everyone Is African unites us in our common ancestry and shared history, providing ways to grapple with the social inventions of race that challenge our society to its core. This book should be required reading . . . for everyone.” —Haagen D. Klaus, assistant professor of anthropology, George Mason University
“This is an important book that brings forward an argument that is as clear and cogent as it is timely. Fairbanks reminds us that Homo sapiens is a single species whose populations’ shared biological histories provide a unifying context for our varied and disparate social narratives. Stressing the differences among us is not only divisive, it’s scientifically unjustified.” —Stephen M. Rich, professor of microbiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters
Daniel J. Fairbanks
In this persuasive, elegantly written book, research geneticist Daniel J. Fairbanks argues that understanding evolution has never mattered more in human history. Fairbanks not only uses evidence from archaeology, geography, anatomy, biochemistry, radiometric dating, cell biology, chromosomes, and DNA to establish the inescapable conclusion that we evolved and are still evolving, he also explains in detail how health, food production, and human impact on the environment are dependent on our knowledge of evolution. Evolving is essential reading for gaining a fuller appreciation of who we are, our place in the great expanse of life, and the importance of our actions.
“With so many excellent books on evolution available, it’s hard to imagine another one with anything new in it. Fairbanks succeeds with a whole array of original examples that demonstrate not only the truth of evolution, but also its impact on human life and society.” —Victor J. Stenger, New York Times bestselling author of God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion
“This book provides a compact overview of the results of many lines of research, especially in genetics, which continue to deepen our knowledge of evolution. Anyone who wonders about the practical value and importance of understanding the processes of evolution will benefit from reading it.” —Eric Meikle, National Center for Science Education
“This is an important book. Fairbanks presents an overwhelming case for the correctness of evolutionary theory. It is engagingly written, with many personal glimpses, and the technical material is clearly presented and understandable. Evolving should be essential reading for anyone who wishes to be an informed citizen.” —Allan Franklin, Professor of Physics, University of Colorado, and coauthor of Ending the Mendel-Fisher Controversy
Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA
Daniel J. Fairbanks
Since the publication in 1859 of Darwin’s Origin of Species, debate over the theory of evolution has been continuous and often impassioned. In recent years, opponents of “Darwin’s dangerous idea” have mounted history’s most sophisticated and generously funded attack, claiming that evolution is “a theory in crisis.” Ironically, these claims are being made at a time when the explosion of information from genome projects has revealed the most compelling and overwhelming evidence of evolution ever discovered. Much of the latest evidence of human evolution comes not from our genes, but from so-called “junk DNA,” leftover relics of our evolutionary history that make up the vast majority of our DNA. Relics of Eden explores this powerful DNA-based evidence of human evolution. The “relics” are the millions of functionally useless but scientifically informative remnants of our evolutionary ancestry trapped in the DNA of every person on the planet. This concise, very readable presentation of recent genetic research is completely accessible to the nonspecialist and makes for enlightening and fascinating reading.
“The author has succeeded in writing one of the most insightful, easy-to-read, popular books on evolution. Highly recommended.” —Choice
“Brilliantly conceived, this excellent book shows how DNA sequences confirm the fact of human evolution. Wide-ranging though not superficial, detailed though not technical, filled with fresh examples and engaging vignettes, the book is respectful of dissenting opinions but leaves literal creationists with no place to hide.” —Daniel L. Hartl, Higgins Professor of Biology, Harvard University
“What an exciting surprise! Instead of the usual embryos and fossils, Fairbanks uses new molecular evidence. And he zeros in on a major controversy, the origin of humans and our relation to other primates. The arguments are presented with unusual clarity and they are overwhelmingly convincing.” —James F. Crow, Emeritus Professor of Genetics, University of Wisconsin
“Biology teachers rightly escort the creationist elephant out of the classroom and gently point it in the direction of the pulpit. As Daniel Fairbanks sensibly reminds us, there is a time and place for science and for religion, both of which enrich the human experience. Anyone who is troubled by the seeming dichotomy between the two modes of inquiry may gain perspective and comfort from this fine book, which should be supplemental reading in every biology classroom.” —Cecie Starr, Author of Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life
Ending the Mendel-Fisher Controversy
Allan Franklin, A.W.F. Edwards, Daniel J. Fairbanks, Daniel L. Hartl, and Teddy Seidenfeld
In 1865, Gregor Mendel presented “Experiments in Plant-Hybridization,” the results of his eight-year study of the principles of inheritance through experimentation with pea plants. Overlooked in its day, Mendel’s work would later become the foundation of modern genetics. Did his pioneering research follow the rigors of real scientific inquiry, or was Mendel’s data too good to be true-the product of doctored statistics?
In Ending the Mendel-Fisher Controversy, leading experts present their conclusions on the legendary controversy surrounding the challenge to Mendel’s findings by British statistician and biologist R. A. Fisher. In his 1936 paper “Has Mendel’s Work Been Rediscovered?” Fisher suggested that Mendel’s data could have been falsified in order to support his expectations.
This self-contained volume includes everything the reader will need to know about the subject. The authors argue for an end to the controversy—making this book the definitive last word on the subject.
“The texts are all well written and cogently argued. Every author has something interesting to say; each has a different point of view, and all add to the story. Anyone wishing an informed introduction to the issues involved will find it here.” —Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Genetics: The Continuity of Life
Daniel J. Fairbanks and W. Ralph Andersen
For quite some time textbooks have steered the teaching of genetics down a fairly narrow path – transmissions genetics first, followed by molecular genetics. In Genetics: The Continuity of Life, Fairbanks and Andersen modernize the study of genetics for students. With a clear, robust style, the authors approach genetics at its most fundamental molecular level, building on students’ previous exposure from other courses. Once the molecular concepts are in place, transmission genetics is more easily understood. The result is a textbook that reflects the way geneticists think about solving genetics problems in a completely integrative manner. Students relate to the organization and are able to grasp the larger concepts and their applications.