My train book this week is Greg Graffin and Steve Olson's Anarchy Evolution, and it's turning out to be a very different beast than I expected. I've been a Bad Religion fan ever since a co-worker told me he thought I'd really dig a band called Christian Death. I mis-remembered his recommendation and picked up a copy of Bad Religion's Suffer instead. It turned out to be a very fortunate accident. I wasn't used to punk albums being so thought-provoking and catchy. For whatever reason, I never got around to checking out Christian Death.
This book is mostly about Dr. Graffin's explanation of why the modern synthetic model of evolution is inadequate to explain what we see in species today and in the fossil record. Instead, he proposes the idea that the role of genes has become overblown in explaining how traits are inherited and distributed within populations. His writing is clear and his ideas are intriguing enough keep me turning the page.
Turns out he can write, too. Graffin leans heavily on personal experiences in laying out his case. Many of the stories concern his musical career, but it's the personal stories of his home life as a child and of scientific fieldwork that I find the most interesting and sometimes touching. I'm enjoying this book immensely,even if it hasn't turned out to be exactly what I imagined it would be.
I've also recently finished reading a book I can't tell you much about at this time. What I can tell you is that it's good, and even if it never sees the light of (published) day, I expect some parts of it will live on in the future in other works. It's exciting to be in on a project like this, even as an observer. It's exciting to get a little peek behind the curtain of where creative people produce honest-to-goodness creative work. Inspiring, too, which isn't doing my productivity at the office any good, but I'm not at all sure that's a bad thing.