Nature Via Nurture by Matt Ridley
Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human

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Synopsis

Armed with extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, acclaimed science writer Matt Ridley turns his attention to the nature-versus-nurture debate in a thoughtful book about the roots of human behavior.

Ridley recounts the hundred years' war between the partisans of nature and nurture to explain how this paradoxical creature, the human being, can be simultaneously free-willed and motivated by instinct and culture. With the decoding of the human genome, we now know that genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain, they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues, and even run memory. They are consequences as well as causes of the will.

 

About Matt Ridley

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Matt Ridley is the author of several award-winning books, including Genome, The Agile Gene, and The Red Queen, which have sold more than 800,000 copies in twenty-seven languages worldwide. He lives in England.
 
Published February 14, 2012 by Harper Perennial. 352 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Nature & Wildlife, Law & Philosophy, Literature & Fiction, History. Non-fiction

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Ridley’s examples and inferences include genes and their mutations in the course of evolution that influence brain size and neuronal connections, personality, sexuality, language, culture, aggression, and nurturance, but still operate as cogs in the wheel of experience.

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The Guardian

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Simple-minded claims that there are "genes for" this or that trait - even the most obvious, such as eye-colour - without understanding that how a gene is expressed depends both on the active cooperation of many other genes, and on the cell within which the genome is embedded, are misleading.

Apr 19 2003 | Read Full Review of Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Ex...

The Guardian

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'The more you discover genes that influence behaviour, the more you find that they work through nurture, and the more you find that animals learn, the more you discover that learning works though genes,' says Ridley.

Mar 30 2003 | Read Full Review of Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Ex...

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