Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Review: The Genesis of Germs

When I first saw The Genesis of Germs by Alan L. Gillen, I knew I wanted to read it.  This is totally my kind of book.  Microbiology, from a creationist.  Does it get better than this?  (Okay, most of you are tuning out now...  Yes, I am a geek.)

When I got the book, I was even more excited.  Gillen does exactly what I've tried (and failed) to do with science for my kids.  He pulls in biographies of some of the greats in the field of microbiology, shows how all these little critters could have fit into God's original plan, and shows how they behave in a fallen world.  In an engaging, conversational tone that rarely gets too academic.  Yet it is packed with information, and would make an awesome microbiology text.

I have been trying to beef up my kids' junior high and high school science courses, turning them into honors courses.  One way is by adding some additional reading.  This book is now officially on that list.  It will go with Advanced Biology for Connor (as he's already completed his first Biology course), but will probably go on the honors reading list for Intro to Biology for the rest of my kids, as the topics of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protista go so well there.  Or I may use it as a spine for a Microbiology course, as he has already completed a year of biology.

So now I'm making this sound difficult and challenging... but really, it is not.  Let's take a chapter and talk about what the book is really like.  Chapter 6 is about viruses.  And it is fascinating.  The chapter is broken down into bunches of little sections, most only a few paragraphs long.  So you can read just a little bit at a time very easily.  There are a number of charts, illustrations, and black and white photos.

The chapter goes through a lot of information on the characteristics of viruses.  It traces the history of virology.  And it goes through a lot of detail on various types of viruses.  And it talks about genetic changes in viruses.

Profiled in this chapter is Walter Reed (the person, not the hospital) and his work in conquering Yellow Fever.  The bios are probably my favorite part.  Or maybe it is just the topic.  Or the in-depth discussions of various diseases.  Or...

I will be looking for other books by Gillen, such as Body by Design

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review. 

No comments: