Friday, June 29, 2012

The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean

Genre:  Non-Fiction

Published by:  Little, Brown and Company

Pages:  Soft Cover

Rating:  9 JAGS 

How does our DNA influence culture, art, and a person’s libido? The Violinist’s Thumb and other lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as written by our Genetic Code by Sam Kean is the perfect introduction into genetics. He explains the race to map the Human Genome with wit and humor while at the same time, break-down the history to why and how science exploration in unraveling our genetic code is gaining momentum.

I will admit I was daunted by reading about a topic I wasn’t really that familiar with. Other than TV crime drama and cable, DNA defined for me was something you didn’t want to leave at a crime scene, or a memory about that lamb they cloned in Europe. The Violinist’s Thumb opened up a whole new world of interest in the topic of DNA, RNA and what mapping our genetic code could do to our future. Sam Kean explained it perfectly with intelligence, humor and honest truth. My only quarm with this book was that it was only 389 pages long.

This is a definite purchase new for anyone interested in learning how our DNA has shaped our evolution through time and civilization, and the scientists racing to prove it. See it! Grab it! Buy it!


  1. Update comprehension of culture-genetics relationship:
    it's culture that forms genetics, not vice versa!!!

    Update Comprehension Of Culture-Genetics

    Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People by Harry Ostrer

    A genetic history of a cultural phenotype is the progeny of its cultural history.

    Genetics is the progeny of culture. Culture, the reaction to and exploitation of circumstances, shapes the genetic expressions and profile. Genes are organisms, life’s primal organisms.

    See Darwin, Pavlov and cause and cure of addictions…

    Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)

    1. Dan, thank you for the comment. Where’s I am not a geneticist, or remotely intelligent enough to explain more on the subject I read, I interpreted the genetic makeup of certain people in different environments, played a pivotal role in our evolution in culture as well as a species. Thank you for the added information.