Life's Journey
A Guide from Conception to Growing Up, Growing Old, and Natural Death


Angelico Press | Amazon | eBook | Barnes&Noble


Summary
 


LIFE’S JOURNEY is a rich exploration not only of biology but also of the meaning of life and death. In addition to guiding the reader through the biological milestones marking a lifetime, the book is also a philosophical pursuit of the Great Questions that accompany our journey through life.
Gerard Verschuuren describes in fascinating detail the six main phases of that journey: conception, life in the womb, infancy and childhood, adulthood, old age, and natural death.
If you have children going through earlier phases, or parents experiencing later phases, this book offers a wealth of helpful information on what to expect. And if you are anxious to know what lies ahead on your own path, LIFE’S JOURNEY is invaluable in preparing for any number of possibilities. This unique guide will enable you to better understand your children, spouse, parents, friends, and ultimately, yourself.

Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur

<

Table of Contents
 


FOREWORD by Dr. Ronald Arellano

I.FROM THE DAY OF CONCEPTION
  THE BIOLOGY BEHIND IT
	1.  The Origin of New Life
	2.  Chromosomes and Genes
	3.  DNA, the Language of Genes
	4.  Twins, Triplets…
  BEHIND THE BIOLOGICAL FACTS
	5.  What are the facts?
	6.  Is DNA the Secret of Life?
	7.  Can Things Go Wrong?
II.LIFE IN THE WOMB
   THE BIOLOGY BEHIND IT
	8.  From One Cell to Trillions of Cells
	9.  The Nervous System
	10. Sex Determination
   BEHIND THE BIOLOGICAL FACTS
	11. How Random Is Random?
	12. A Human Being in the Making
	13. Genetic Testing
III.GROWING UP
    THE BIOLOGY BEHIND IT
	14. Some Milestones
	15. Brain Development
	16. Windows of Opportunity
	17. Sexual Differentiation
	18. Puberty
    BEHIND THE BIOLOGICAL FACTS
	19. Is the Brain a Computer?
	20. Are We Preprogrammed?
	21. Nature or Nurture?
	22. Learning Just in Time
IV.GROWING IN MATURITY
   THE BIOLOGY BEHIND IT
	23. A Work-in-Progress
	24. Continuing Education
	25. Menopause
   BEHIND THE BIOLOGICAL FACTS
	26. A Gene for Everything?
	27. Rationality and Morality
	28. What Makes Us Rational and Moral Beings?
	29. Freedom and Free Will
	30. Addictions
V.PHYSICAL DECLINE
  THE BIOLOGY BEHIND IT
	31. Going Downhill?
	32. Programmed Cell Death
  BEHIND THE BIOLOGICAL FACTS
	33. The Mind behind the Brain
	34. Defective Brains
VI.THE FINAL STAGE
   THE BIOLOGY BEHIND IT
	35. Clinical Death and Brain Death
	36. Is There Endless Life?
	37. The Threat of Cancer
   BEHIND THE BIOLOGICAL FACTS
	38. The Purpose of Life
	39. Near-Death Experiences
	40. Heaven and Hell?
	41. Euthanasia
VII.CONCLUSION
VIII.INDEX

<

Reviews
 


"For readers who seek to better understand the interplay between science and human nature, they need look no further.
In the first part of each chapter, Dr. Verschuuren expertly explains the basic science of the physical body and its various growth and maturation processes from conception through death in very readable terms. It is in these sections that Dr. Verschuuren’s gift of writing and explaining complex concepts in extremely readable prose shines through.
In the second part of each chapter, Dr. Verschuuren, the philosopher and observer of human nature, overlays the biological 'facts' with well-reasoned concepts inherent in all of us that are not easily explained, and even rejected, by science, but that equally contribute to the human organism."

Ronald S. Arellano, M.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

“Modern scientific advances have led to an unprecedented understanding of the mechanisms at work in the human body, its beginning, development, and decline: the 'what' of human beings.
In his new book, Dr. Verschuuren reviews accurately, succinctly, and engagingly the biological facts but also shows how the data point to a non-material basis for the irreplaceable and unrepeatable 'who' of human beings.
Over and over again in these pages, Dr. Verschuuren demonstrates the absurdity of materialistic and deterministic explanations for who we are. We can oppose his arguments but only at the cost of embracing self-contradiction and thus undermining the very basis of all science and knowledge.”

Oswaldo Castro, M.D.
Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Center for Sickle Cell Disease
Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC.

"Dr. Verschuuren’s book on human development presents the human life cycle in a holistic manner that is compatible with the best of Western scientific, philosophical and theological thought. This approach steers clear of the irrationality of Scientism and restores the study of the sciences to its rightful position as the modern heir to Natural Philosophy, as it was known from the time of Ancient Greece until the Enlightenment.
I highly recommend this book for those inquisitive minds that are open to a non-dualistic view of the universe in general and human life in particular."

John (Jack) I. Lane, M.D.
Professor of Radiology
Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN

“In this new book, Dr. Gerard Verschuuren wields his substantial experience as both a geneticist and a philosopher to take his reader on an informative odyssey from nascent human life to senescence and beyond. Presenting the most up-to-date scientific facts about the biology and genetics of the various stages of life in an engaging prose, Verschuuren then takes the reader 'behind the scenes' to ask probing questions about the scientific underpinnings, such as 'is the brain a computer,' and 'what are addictions if we have free will?' As I read through the sections on the biology of life's stages, I found myself asking the same questions that were then eloquently answered in the next segment.”

Paul J. Camarata, M.D., FACS
Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery
University of Kansas School of Medicine

"In this book, the author takes the reader on a breath-taking, beautifully written tour through all six stages of human existence. He guides us on a journey that each of us has traveled or will experience, from conception to death and to birth in eternal life. The author’s knowledge of genetics and biology provides the reader with an up-to-date, scientifically solid description of each stage of life in a way that is eminently readable.
The author expertly combines scientific details with the meaning behind each stage of life. It is refreshing to read this fascinating book with which he so eloquently explains the truth and purpose of human existence. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the wonders of God’s gift of human life and the meaning behind this magnificent gift."

Leonard P. Rybak, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology
Southern Illinois U. School of Medicine, Springfield, IL

"I highly recommend this solid presentation of human biology at each stage of life, accompanied by thought-provoking consideration of the great philosophical questions evoked by each stage."

— Opus Dei Father C. John McCloskey
in National Catholic Register, July 6, 2016