Creation by Adam Rutherford


What is life? Humans have been asking this question for thou­sands of years. But as technology has advanced and our understanding of biology has deepened, the answer has evolved. For decades, scientists have been exploring the limits of nature by modifying and manipulating DNA, cells and whole organisms to create new ones that could never have existed on their own. In Creation, science writer Adam Rutherford explains how we are now radically e...

Details Creation

Release DateJun 13th, 2013
GenreNonfiction, Science, Biology, Evolution, Popular Science, Audiobook

Reviews Creation

  • Max
    Rutherford explores the state of synthetic biology. While still in its early stages, much has been accomplished. The author is convinced this will be for the good of mankind. Others are far less sure. However, before he gets to the artificial creation of life, he uses the first half of the book to discuss related topics. He begins as so many science books for the lay audience do, with history from the discovery of the cell to natural selection to...
  • Paul E. Morph
    This book is written in a very layman-friendly, conversational style that makes wrapping your head around the topics discussed almost effortless. It offers a broad overview of the topic but isn't afraid to stop every now and then to provide more detail. It's a fascinating subject and an engrossing read. I whipped through it in just four days, which is pretty fast for me when it comes to nonfiction; particularly science-based nonfiction.I highly r...
  • Charlene
    This was an incredible book from start to finish. Rutherford has a gift for taking complex science and packaging it into something any curious person could understand. I have thought this about other writers, but Rutherford is truly one of the best writers I have read. Reading books that update our theory of evolution is nothing short of an addiction for me. Nick Lane's work is probably my favorite work. But he doesn't write for the masses. So hi...
  • Gendou
    A marvelous look into the cutting edge of genetics research, and the new field of synthetic biology. Adam Rutherford presents this often-misunderstood material simply enough for anyone to understand. I actually found this to be a problem.When, for example, the author writes "winding stairway" to describe the shape of DNA, I found myself yelling, "Just say double-helix. Say it. Come on, double helix. It's not that hard. Just say it. Say it already...
  • Nikki
    This book has kind of a fun design: the two sections are separated by flipping the book upside down. It’s a gimmick, but it’s kind of a cool design anyway. The topics are pretty interlinked, but you can read one half of the book without the other, or read them in either order; whatever you like. One half covers how life came to be, and one half covers the attempts to create life (or should that be recreate?), via genetic engineering, etc.It...
  • Brian Clegg
    It is not often that a book jumps out at you as being fresh, original and excellent within minutes of starting to read it – but this was definitely the case with Adam Rutherford’s Creation. It is about both the biological origins of life and how we are artificially changing the nature of life with synthetic biology.I have read plenty of books on basic biology, but Rutherford triumphs uniquely by giving us a clear exploration of the nature of ...
  • Adam
    Who should read this book? Not everyone. If you already know a lot about this field, it's really just an excursion of light-hearted revision, as it was for me. On the other hand, if you're a non biologist, I think it's worth your time. For the former, I give it two stars; for the latter, I give it four - hence the average of three.What you'll get out of this book: 1. A brief history of biology. You will learn about how life is arranged into organ...
  • Jim
    A very interesting book, although not quite what I expected. As you can see from the ToC below, he spends half the book dealing with the origins of life. I've read more in depth analyses, but his isn't bad & is certainly good for general audiences. Unfortunately, he cops out on Chapter 4 & doesn't even attempt to answer "What is Life?" His attitude is like that of many scientists in the field that say we don't really need to know. I can see their...
  • Bob Nichols
    This book is about life’s story, from its earliest beginnings to now, the era of genetic engineering. My interest in the book is more on the former and, particularly, three issues: Life’s origins, definition, and goal-seeking.Rutherford believes that life’s origins began roughly four billion years ago. This is when the transition from chemistry to biochemistry and to life occurred. Rutherford sides with the ocean vent theory of life’s ori...
  • Atifa
    “The lineage of your cells has survived every disaster, catastrophe, meteorite, every extinction, ice age and ravenous predator, every event in this solar system for almost four billion years”Dr Adam Rutherford is a geneticist so Creation is very biology-focused which I absolutely adore (being a bit of a biologist myself) It is split into two sections and actually comes as two separate books in one. You read one half, then flip the book over ...
  • Gary Beauregard Bottomley
    Most books on this incredibly interesting topic are too difficult to follow fully or too facile to add to my knowledge base. The author nicely hits the sweet spot between the two extremes.Most of the recently issued popular science books I listened to on audible, I end up thinking I've already listened to the topic better presented in another book, not this time. The author is very good at laying out the narrative and taking my knowledge base one...
  • John Gribbin
    I was slightly taken aback by the title of Adam Rutherford’s book. He is a respected, and respectable, science writer with the journal Nature; surely he couldn’t be espousing Young Earth Creationism? But no. The title of Chapter One, “Begotten, Not Created”, is much more reassuring, and much truer to the theme of the book. In fact, there are two themes. In the first part of the book, he discusses the origin of life on Earth, while in the ...
  • D.L. Morrese
    What is life? It's an old question and one humans are just beginning to be able to answer. It's all a matter of extremely complex chemistry, but as we learn how it works, we are also learning how it can be shaped to cure or prevent diseases, feed our growing population, slow our degradation of our environment, and more. Interesting times lie ahead as life becomes subject to intelligent design.Great advancements are rapidly being made in biochemis...
  • Stephen Dawson
    An interesting and accessible book in two halves, the first looking at our current knowledge and some of the theories about where life on earth originated. I think this was the better half, perhaps just because that is the part of the tale that is easier to turn into a coherent story to tell the reader.The author steers clear of a definite view on ultimate origins, which is sensible given our current lack of knowledge, but nevertheless focuses on...
  • Kirk
    I enjoyed this book. The first half of the book is an overview of research into the origin of life, of which our understanding has progressed immensely in recent years. The second half of the book is an ode to synthetic biology: the use of biological systems as engineering tools to design new forms of life as tools to benefit humanity. Thus, "Creation" describes life bookended by two creators: nature and man. I felt like the two halves were writt...
  • Venus Smurf
    Before I post my thoughts on this book, I probably ought to point out that I'm an English major. Science usually makes my brain hurt. I picked this up only because genetics is one of the few areas of science that actually interests me, even if I don't always understand it. In spite of that, I still thought I'd get only a few pages in and then give up, either out of lack of comprehension or lack of interest. That never happened. I didn't want to p...
  • Eric Wurm
    If you are looking for an introductory primer on origin of life sciences and synthetic biology, this book is one of the best choices. It covers the full gamut of topics including the discovery of the DNA molecule configuration, abiogenesis, human genome project, J. Craig Venter's invention of the first synthetic bacterial genome, Jack Zhostak's work on protocells, and even recent work such as Jason Chin's reprogramming of the codon system to inco...
  • Nick Davies
    Objectively a five out of five, subjectively closer to a three, I would nevertheless recommend this to readers with a basic understanding of biology who are interested in learning more about cell biology, genetics and the future of biotechnology.My main reasons for only moderately enjoying this were that, as a life sciences graduate and professional myself, much of this was too simplistic for me and merely reiterated what I already knew at some l...
  • Mark
    Good information on where we are at with bioengineering and a nice summary of our current understanding of genetic reproduction and its origins.
  • Howard
    A masterpiece, first published in 2013 and thus probably quite outdated, especially The Future of Life half of the book which explores the rapidly developing fields of synthetic biology and synthetic genetics. I just wish that Rutherford could give us an annual update on the latest experiments and applications in these fields as they are quite mind-boggling in their scope and potential for real-life application. Absolutely fascinating.The first h...
  • Tulpesh Patel
    The continuum from chemistry to life is now being stretched into technology. Adam Rutherford’s ‘two-books-in-one’, Creation, explores how life might have started and just what the future of life might be, with the advent of synthetic biology and increasingly cheaper, easier and democratic genetic engineering technologies putting us on the cusp of a revolutionary new age.In The Origin of Life, with care, just the right amount of detail and c...
  • Aaron Thibeault
    *A full executive summary of this book is available at the blueprint of all that lives, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) may be said to be the key to understanding life itself. It is incredible to think, then, that the structure of DNA was only discovered some 60 years ago (thanks especially to the work of James Watson and Francis Crick). Since that time, many significant advances in genetics have been made...
  • Grrlscientist
    Have you ever been so captivated by a book that when it ended, you were jolted back into reality—and that reality was a weak imitation of the rich and exciting world captured on the page? That happens to many people when they read fiction, but has it ever happened to you when reading a work of non-fiction? If this prospect appeals to you, then you simply must read Adam Rutherford’s new book, Creation: The Origin of Life & The Future of Life ...
  • Buck
    It started off a little dull. Then it got dense with information, much of which was over my head. I heard the audiobook; I wonder if the print version has illustrations, diagrams, and charts. I think that would make it more digestible. The afterword is fantastic. If you don't want to wade through this book, at least read the afterword. It suggested to me numerous plots for science fiction novels, not that I write science fiction novels, such as s...
  • Fabio Brady
    I loved the concept of the book. It is two books in one; "The Origin of Life" and "The Future of Life". In order to read the other half, you have to flip the book upside down.The "Origin" side is about life from non-life. The other, "Future", part is about synthetic biology and genetic modification - the topics of the two halves are connected.I don't study biology so many of the conclusions and research going on was new and eye-opening to me. I d...
  • Adam Sherman
    Great book on the history of life and organisms and how synthetic biology came about. Deals very will with the complex science and history regarding how life came to be from non-organic materials. Touches on many different theories of life and responses to humans playing God. Highly recommend!
  • Victor
    Really enjoyed this book
  • SpaceBear
    Rutherfood looks at the origins of life (with particular attention to cells and DNA), while also looking at how science is breaking the bounds of evolution with bio-technological advances.
  • Hemhek Song