The Seeds of Life

From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Sharks' Teeth to Frogs' Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From

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By Edward Dolnick

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$38.00

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$48.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around June 6, 2017. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Why cracking the code of human conception took centuries of wild theories, misogynist blunders, and ludicrous mistakes

Throughout most of human history, babies were surprises. People knew the basics: men and women had sex, and sometimes babies followed. But beyond that the origins of life were a colossal mystery. The Seeds of Life is the remarkable and rollicking story of how a series of blundering geniuses and brilliant amateurs struggled for two centuries to discover where, exactly, babies come from.

Taking a page from investigative thrillers, acclaimed science writer Edward Dolnick looks to these early scientists as if they were detectives hot on the trail of a bedeviling and urgent mystery. These strange searchers included an Italian surgeon using shark teeth to prove that female reproductive organs were not ‘failed’ male genitalia, and a Catholic priest who designed ingenious miniature pants to prove that frogs required semen to fertilize their eggs.

A witty and rousing history of science, The Seeds of Life presents our greatest scientists struggling-against their perceptions, their religious beliefs, and their deep-seated prejudices-to uncover how and where we come from.
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On Sale
Jun 6, 2017
Page Count
320 pages
Publisher
Basic Books
ISBN-13
9780465082957

Edward Dolnick

About the Author

Edward Dolnick is the author of The Forger’s Spell, Down the Great Unknown and the Edgar Award-winning The Rescue Artist. A former chief science writer at the Boston Globe, he has written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, and many other publications. There are over 130,000 copies of his books in print. He lives with his wife near Washington, D.C.

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