Monday, March 06, 2017

What's in Your Genome? Chapter 1: Introducing Genomes

I'm working (slowly) on a book called What's in Your Genome?: 90% of your genome is junk! I thought I'd post the TOC for each chapter as I finish the first drafts. Here's chapter 1.

Chapter 1: Introducing Genomes
  • The genome war
  • What is DNA?
  • Chromatin
  • How big is your genome?
  • Active genes?
  • What do you need to know?


  1. Larry,

    If you ever run into a difficulty of publishing this book, please let me know. Unless you already have an agent who is looking for a publisher.

    1. One can never have too much help. If you know of any good agents I'd be happy to hear from you.

    2. I really like the way you are thinking about writing your book. The issue is definitely more than controversial, which means some publishers should look at it... You also have to think about who would read it. Would average Joe Blow read it? Unlikely... cater it to your enemies first and then the supporters...

    3. Are you working with an agent already Larry?
      Sorry, but this is a question I'm going to get first...

    4. Jass who are you and why are you so interested? I haven't picked an agent yet.

    5. Larry,
      I'm not your broad view supporter, but I think your book could be a valuable contribution to the society and I would like to have it published... What's wrong with that?

      I really think you have a point in the very interesting debate... Why would anybody prevent you from having your voice of opinion?

    6. Larry,

      I love the controversy!

      ID/EM Intelligent Design vs Evolutionary Materialism


      I will publish your book even if nobody else wants to...

      BTW: You may learn a lot about book publishing by reading the book about how to publish a book. It will not change your life but it will change your prospective about how to publish...I'm almost positive you will change your prospective...

    7. I'm sure Larry appreciates your advice, Jass, seeing as how he has never published a book before. (Glances over to the left side of the screen.)

    8. Larry has never published a book where he took the liability upon himself for the claims he maked or is going to make in his up coming book...Get it ?

      There is a difference in "co-writing" a textbook where at least some guidelines need to be followed or the textbook is going to be rejected, or even not published, and never used by any respectable college or university.

      By this, I'm not saying that Larry's co-authored text books are not valuable tools and since his own university doesn't use them at all, it means even more...well to me personally...

      Larry has taken a course of denying the most current scientific data (it could be inconclusive) and the science that is about to emerge by the time Larry's book is published... if ever... It is very courageous and Larry needs to be applauded for it...
      It is a perfect scenario for Larry do be vindicated...if he is right of course....
      Currently, Larry has the best support on the issue one can have in this age of selfishness: PZ Myers, Jerry Coyne, R. Dawkins, J. Harshman, J. Frenkeinsine, G. Malinov and so on... the reliable usual scientific sources that support Larry 100%. After all, it is not about who is right or wrong.
      It is about the one unifying goal...

    9. "his [Larry's] own university doesn't use them [his textbooks] at all"

      Crying shame.

      Larry's biochem textbook looks like a nice book. The biochem textbook being used at University of Toronto by Garret retails for $320.00 US. Even having 100 students each year buy a $320.00 text book is $32,000 revenue for the publisher and retailer and maybe a small cut for the author.

    10. I personally think that it could be a positive thing about Larry that his own university is not using the textbook co-written by him. When I was in the university, one asshole professor insisted we used his textbook or we would fail...

      While there might be other issues regarding Larry's textbooks not being used by UOT, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt... I may not agree with some of his views but I'm not going to insinuate something that most likely is not true... That's what any Christian should do and I'm just learning what that means...

  2. Please hurry up and let us know when it hits the shelves!

  3. I have a limited budget, and this is the first book in a while that I know I'm going to buy.

    1. It will go on sale for $250 when it first comes out. :-)

      You can send me the money right now to reserve a copy.

    2. After thinking about this for a while, I would strongly advise (more of a request) that you make a text only version available as a ebook at some affordable price. Perhaps a different book, an abridgment. A readable book on this topic would be a best seller, and might promote sales of the unabridged version.

    3. No, I don't know he is kidding. That's not an unusual price for a specialized book. Particularly if it's a college text.

    4. It will be a trade book. The standard price is a lot less than $50 for the hardcover version.

  4. Quite seriously, I know this is getting out ahead of things more than a little, and I don't know how publishing economics works, but I would like to see the book available in electronic format - Kindle and/or whatever else.

  5. Hi Larry,
    What is the intended audience?

    1. Here's what I've written in the proposal.

      "This book is intended for the average person who is interested in science. I’m pitching it at the same level as books by Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould and Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne. The difference is that I’m attempting to describe biochemistry and molecular biology while they focused on evolution. For some reason, these molecular topics are perceived to be more difficult because they include chemistry. This is part of the problem.

      The real target is science writers, science journalists, scientists, graduate students, and post-docs.

      Recent books on this topic have been dumbed down to such an extent that it became impossible to explain the controversies in the field. They took the position that recent paradigm-shifting work shows most of our genome is functional and old-fashioned scientists (like me) were wrong to assume it was junk.

      It's much easier to write a book full of lies and misconceptions and much harder to explain that the real answers are ambiguous of controversial.

      I'm trying to explain why the popular ideas about genomes, biochemistry, and evolution are wrong or misleading. I'm trying to explain why scientists in this field can disagree about whether we have a genome full of junk. This is the underlying theme in my book."

      It means the book is pitched at a much higher level that Nessa Carey's book ("Junk DNA" or John Parrington's book ("The Deeper Genome"). This is a problem for publishers but I think I can convince them that there's a market for my book.

    2. Instead of "The real target is . . ." write something like, "I am especially interested in reaching . . ." As written now, it suggests your previous paragraph about target audience is untrue, and you don't want that.

    3. This is just part of the proposal. In fact, I mean exactly what I said and I explain it in the proposal. I also explain that most authors THINK they're aiming at a general audience but this is a delusion. The people who browse the science section of your local bookstore are NOT average.

    4. Thanks for the reply. As a postdoctoral researcher in the field plant molecular biology I'm looking forward to reading this myself, as well as sharing it with my family in a hope to educate them a little bit also...