Tending Adam's Garden describes and explains the way in which our immune system works from a novel perspective. The book uses metaphors and examples to bring the immune system to life and explores the fundamental miracle of nature. Written in plain language for a broad audience, this book encompasses much more than just immunology, exploring more fundamental matters such as causality, information, energy, evolution, cognition and individuality, as well as the strategy of the immune system and its role in health and disease.

Key Features

@introbul:Key Features @bul:* Provides a unique perspective on the immune system from one of the keenest scientific and philosophical brains in the world * Uses metaphors and case histories to explore themes in an accessible manner * Written in plain language requiring no specialized vocabulary or specific scientific background in the subject


Professional Immunologists, students of immunology, scientists in other disciplines within the life sciences at all levels, physicists, cognitive scientists, neurobiologists, philosphers of science and mathematicians, interested readers curious about life, health and disease.

Table of Contents

About the Author. From the Pre-Publication Quotes. Prologue. Introduction. On Causality and Evolution. On Cognition. On Immunity. On Autoimmunity. On Tending Adam's Garden. References. Index.


No. of pages:
© 2000
Academic Press
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the author

Irun Cohen

Dr. Irun R. Cohen studied philosophy at Northwestern University (B.A., 1959) and medicine at Northwestern Medical School (MD., 1963). He did pediatric training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and research in infectious diseases as a commissioned officer of the U.S. Public Health Service at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently, Dr. Cohen is the Director of the Robert Koch-Minerva Center for Research in Autoimmune Diseases, at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, and the Director of the Center for the Study of Emerging Diseases, in Jerusalem, Israel. He has published numerous scientific journal articles and edited or co-authored 4 books.

Affiliations and Expertise

The Weizman Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel


"Cohen's book is an excellent and genuine scientific work...The book is written in clear and non-technical language, and different audiences may find it relevant for their own fields of interest." -Yair Neuman, Ben-Gurion University of Negev, for SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE (June 2002) "...Irun Cohen, a leading experimental and theoretical immunologist, is one of the prophets who clearly sees the limits of current dogma and who has the vision to propose new alternatives. ...we may be grateful for the cogency of his argument and the creative insight he has offered into the nature of immunity, the organization of its function, and the promise of therapeutic approaches based on new ways of thinking. He has provoked us to question the basic assumptions of immunology; I believe he has done more, by showing us the shape of its future." -Alfred I. Tauber for THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE "Cohen’s Tending Adam’s Garden is without a question a special book, an unusual achievement that makes special demands of attention both on its readers and its reviewers. It is full of insights and felicitous comparisons and analogies, which this reader found stimulating, memorable and even occasionally moving." -SCIENCE (July 2001) Prepublication Reviews "It ranks among the best dissertations on natural philosophy that I have ever read. Aristotle would be bemused and Darwin delighted." -Gene H. Stollerman, Boston University "[Professor Cohen] has created a brilliant and iconoclastic text, that well-reflects his own broad intellectual foundations. His novel ideas will be provocative for scholars and lay persons alike...(a)terrific work." -Martin J. Blaser, Vanderbilt University "Cohen's book is a wonderful journey into the world of the immune sy