This is a double book review. Actually, I listened to the audiobook format for both of these books.
After reading The Selfish Gene, I was interested in reading something more recent on genetics. The Primal Blueprint brought up the topic of epigenetics, which the science of changing gene expression by mechanisms other than DNA. Epigenetics explores how the environment can alter our gene expression. I’ve seen many references to the Biology of Belief, so I decided to get a copy. However, the wait time for that book is months long at my library, so I got the author’s two subsequent books.
The Wisdom of Your Cells: How Your Beliefs Control Your Biology by Bruce H. Lipton
Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a Way to Get There from Here) by Bruce H. Lipton Ph.D. and Steve Bhaerman
I loved both books. Dr. Lipton does the voice work on the first audiobook and splits the voice work with his co-author on the second. Both are passionate about the topic. I came into the book with no knowledge of epigenetics and now I feel I have a good understanding of the author’s thesis. We are not slaves to our genes. Environment plays a huge role and how we perceive our environment can impact gene expression. Change the environment or our perception of the environment and the cells can alter their genetic expression.
I do not have a strong science background and I know that there are people smarter than me that agree with and disagree with the author. Some critics take aim at the belief angle of these books. Maybe they are right. I know that the new age spirituality folks have embraced Dr. Lipton and that does raise my skeptic flag. However, I know belief is a powerful variable when it comes to human health. The fact belief is not measurable does not make it immaterial. Dr. Lipton does an outstanding job of bridging the gap between cellular biology and our perceptions.
Wisdom of Your Cells is a good place to start to understand epigenetics. Spontaneous Evolution expanded upon the topic and added a philosophical element to society as a collection of cells. Really cool analogies.
I highly recommend both books and hope to read the Biology of Belief once my turn is up at the library.