This week we’re looking at one of the most precise science books I’ve encountered this year. This week, we’re looking at Unique by David Linden.
Given the topics Linden discusses here – among them sex, gender, sexuality, race, experience, even memory and sense – it is incredibly easy, maybe even tempting, for many authors of science books to wax at least somewhat political even while discussing the science of a given topic. Indeed, many do.
Linden does not, and that is one of the greatest strengths of this book.
Instead, Linden focuses *exactly* on where the science of the issue currently is, and says it with a fair degree of specificity. Such as instead of saying “many”, he’ll say “30%” – even if the exact number may be 27.84% or 32.16%, “30%” is close enough for those of us just trying for a general understanding of the topic at hand, and far more precise than many authors will give. Further, if the science is changing or inconclusive on a given topic, Linden notes this as well, at times even clearly noting where he himself has reviewed the research at hand.
Ultimately, the book does a truly remarkable job of explaining what we currently know about the science of human variance and how all of these combinations form to make an individual… well, an individual. Truly a remarkable read, and one that many would do well to read. 🙂 Very much recommended.
As always, the Goodreads/ BookBub review:
Utterly Fascinating. With this book, David Linden looks to the genetic – and thus, biological – factors of human individuality, from sex to race to neurology to senses and everything in between. The science is well documented – roughly 30% of the version of the book I read is bibliography – and recent – some citations were from 2019, when presumably the book was being written. It is also well balanced politically, stating with a fair degree of exactitude what the science currently says on any number of issues without going into the political debates surrounding those issues – including sex, gender, sexuality, and race specifically. Overall truly a fascinating deep dive that is incredibly readable while also being so exact, and thus one of the better science books I’ve encountered this year. Very much recommended.