Seeds of Life

Seeds of Life

From Aristotle to Da Vinci, From Shark's Teeth to Frog's Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [2017]
ISBN: 9780465082957
0465082955
Branch Call Number: 612.6 DOLNICK
Characteristics: ix, 309 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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