Here is a provocative work that challenges our common assumptions about nature and science. It is a book for all those who want to question and more deeply understand the biological revolution of the late twentieth century. Clearly written, well-illustrated, and without unnecessary technical jargon, Holdrege employs fascinating examples to show how living organisms develop and exist within the context of their environment. He asserts that genes alone cannot determine organisms because their effects are always qualified by the contexts within which the organisms live. With a unique and probing perspective on contemporary science, Holdrege shows how scientific theory and practice inevitably fuse to produce the systems that will ultimately create our future, and he questions our understanding of the organisms we manipulate through genetic engineering and the consequences of such manipulation. In an age of expanding biotechnology and an ever greater capacity to reshape life on Earth, this book offers a profound and complex vision of nature. Holdrege gives us a means for establishing a more conscious and responsible connection to the world around us.