Book Review: Freaks of Nature - What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution by Mark S. Blumberg | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

REAL SCIENCE. REAL NEWS.

Help us keep you informed.

Support Science News.


Reviews & Previews

Book Review: Freaks of Nature - What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution by Mark S. Blumberg

Review by Elizabeth Quill

By
9:42pm, January 16, 2009

Onlookers gape at freaks. Despite a person’s best efforts, it is hard to turn away from conjoined twins, one-eyed infants and legless anythings. But Blumberg, a professor of psychology and editor in chief of Behavioral Neuroscience, argues that scientists haven’t given nature’s oddities enough attention.

While Blumberg writes in a tone respectful of Charles Darwin’s accomplishments, he faults both Darwin and Darwin’s 20th century followers for dismissing monstrosities as “abrupt accidents” and “evolutionary dead ends.” Rather than sideshow curiosities, Blumberg writes, these evolutionary anomalies are proof that development is just as important as genetics, and small developmental tweaks can lead to very different bod

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content