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Why do we want—and why do we do—so many things that are bad for us? And how can we stop? In Mean Genes economist Terry Burnham and biologist Jay Phelan offer advice on how to conquer our own worst enemy—our survival-minded genes. Having evolved in a time of scarcity, when our ancestors struggled to survive in the wild, our genes are poorly adapted to the convenience of modern society. They compel us to overeat, spend our whole paycheck, and cheat on our spouses. But knowing how they work, Burnham and Phelan show that we can trick these "mean genes" into submission and cultivate behaviors that will help us lead better lives. A lively, humorous guide to our evolutionary heritage, Mean Genes illuminates how we can use an understanding of our biology to beat our instincts—before they beat us.
Published: Basic Books on
ISBN: 9780465046980
List price: $16.99
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This book was definitely more simplistic and conversational in its tone than I was originally expecting/maybe hoping for, but it was a fast read and had some interesting bits. The "Money" and "Fat" chapters were the most useful to me because those were really the only areas where I feel like I'm fighting against my "mean genes" constantly.

Quick read, would recommend. Probably a library pick up though, and not a purchase.more
Although this book’s subject is based on evolutionary biology and is written by a couple of Ph. D.s, it’s anything but dry and stuffy. This slim book is written with a chatty flair and is a quick and fascinating read. “Mean Genes reveals that our struggles for self-improvement are, in fact, battles against our own genes—genes that helped our distant ancestors flourish, but are selfish and out of place in the modern world.” Using countless quirky examples, the authors illustrate their point that we are genetically programmed to do things that are bad for us... over-eating, infidelity, gambling, etc. ... they are all influenced by our genes. They also offer some tips on how to successfully outsmart our own programming. This book was a lot of fun and filled with interesting trivia.more

Reviews

This book was definitely more simplistic and conversational in its tone than I was originally expecting/maybe hoping for, but it was a fast read and had some interesting bits. The "Money" and "Fat" chapters were the most useful to me because those were really the only areas where I feel like I'm fighting against my "mean genes" constantly.

Quick read, would recommend. Probably a library pick up though, and not a purchase.more
Although this book’s subject is based on evolutionary biology and is written by a couple of Ph. D.s, it’s anything but dry and stuffy. This slim book is written with a chatty flair and is a quick and fascinating read. “Mean Genes reveals that our struggles for self-improvement are, in fact, battles against our own genes—genes that helped our distant ancestors flourish, but are selfish and out of place in the modern world.” Using countless quirky examples, the authors illustrate their point that we are genetically programmed to do things that are bad for us... over-eating, infidelity, gambling, etc. ... they are all influenced by our genes. They also offer some tips on how to successfully outsmart our own programming. This book was a lot of fun and filled with interesting trivia.more
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