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Why Us?

Why Us?

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Written by James Le FanuAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by James  Le Fanu

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: April 6, 2010
  • Price: $16.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-4000-3054-5 (1-4000-3054-4)
Also available as an eBook.
EXCERPT

When cosmologists can reliably infer what happened in the first few minutes of the birth of the universe and geologists can measure the movements of vast continents to the nearest centimeter, then the inscrutability of those genetic instructions that should distinguish a human from a fly, or the failure to account for something as elementary as how we recall a telephone number, throws into sharp relief the unfathomability of ourselves. It is as if we, and, indeed, all living things, are in some way different, profounder, and more complex than the physical world to which we belong . . . This is not just a matter of science not yet knowing all the facts; rather, there is the sense that something of immense importance is “missing” that might transform the bare bones of genes into the wondrous diversity of the living world and the monotonous electrical firing of the neurons of the brain into the vast spectrum of sensations and ideas of the human mind.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpted from Why Us? by James Le Fanu Copyright © 2009 by James Le Fanu from back cover. Excerpted by permission of Vintage, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.