Your DNA is Weirder than You Think

My review of She Has Her Mother’s LaughCarl Zimmer‘s wonderful new book on heredity, just appeared in the latest number of The Atlantic. The book casts a long shadow, covering history, science, medicine, and agriculture, all woven together by Zimmer’s energetic yet reflective reportage.


My essay plucked just one theme out of many in the book— Genotopia readers will recognize my interest in destabilizing the textbook gene as the self-evident foundation of all life. Zimmer does this beautifully, describing not just one heredity but many, interwoven, flowing in many directions at once. It helps put heredity on a more equal footing with environment and experience; something that seems to me both politically important and profoundly true.

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh earns the Genotopia Anti-Deterministic Seal of Approval!