Chapter 1

genetic imperfection

It should not be necessary for readers new to genetics to have an understanding of how genes work, but a good place to start would be Larry Gonick and Mark Wheelis’s The Cartoon Guide to Genetics (Harper Collins, 1991).

unselfish genes

An interesting online discussion of “gay genes” and how they have been portrayed in mainstream media can be found at

Of all the excellent books written by Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin on population genetics, I recommend Human Diversity (Scientific American Library, 1991—a general discussion of human variation) and It Ain’t Necessarily So (Granta Books, 2001—a critique of the Human Genome Project).

The title of this section is a play on ...

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