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, Health, Medicine, History, Medical, Genetics

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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Jim Gleason
    As is my practice to stretch my mind with science like that book, I confess it was 'above my pay grade' but so fascinating to explore current and historical thinking about how life came to be tracing back to that first single cell millions of years (or was it 'billions'?) ago that first divided starting the evolution that results in us today. I enjoy reading this author's very seemingly understandable science but after reading I doubt I could giv...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Tim Dugan
    Some good information It’s a good companion book for Dan Brown’s OriginBut after a while it gets boring
  • Hemhek Song
  • Darnell
    The first half is clear and concise, but covers science stories you've probably heard before. The second half gets into synthetic biology and keeps the writing style. Solid book.
  • Leo
    Lots of interesting content, but a bit of a chore to read.
  • Victor
    Really enjoyed this book
  • Patricia
    There are excellent reviews on this book already. Many agree that this is one of the best introductory overviews of the history of the evolution of life on earth and the promise of new bioengineering technologies. I read many books on similar topics and this is the one I would recommend for a reader without a science background but with an interest in these topics . Rutherford is a clear and engaging writer with a strong molecular and cell biolog...
  • Victoria Waddle
    Here’s a book title that I was surprised to find is not hyperbole. Science really is creating new life forms. Rutherford doesn’t mean cloning life forms we know. He means altering the structure and components of DNA and coming up with odd hybrids of life—such as a goat that excretes spider web silk in its milk.The sorts of stories Rutherford tells are the ones that science fiction has often warned against, the monsters that come from the im...