The Agile Gene: How Nature Turns on Nurture
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-...more
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If you entertain any notion that humans are unique, this book will seek to change your minds. By far my favorite parts are in his descriptions of Bonobos, Gorillas, and chimps.
He gives a summary of the major 20th century trends in psychology: including the usual (mostly deserved) jabs at Freud (he also gives Freud credit for his emphasis...more
I found the theme of the book best expressed by...more
If I had to criticize it, I would say that he brushe...more
The main question in the book is the long lasting debate on nature, meaning the DNA and inherited things and nurture, the things that environment effects on people. It goes trough studies from both sides and digs deep in to the main pillars of the both explanations.
One by one...more
"Pavlovvari deneyler günümüzde meyve sinekleriyle yapılır fakat ilke aynıdır. Test tüpünün içine kokulu bir kimyasal püskürtüldükten sonra sineğe ayaklarından bir elektrik şoku verilir. Sinek kısa zamanda kokunun ardından şokun geleceğini öğrenir, o yüzden şok verilmeden havalanır: İki olayı (başlangıçta sürpriz olmuştu) bağdaştırmıştır. Bu deney ilk defa 1970'lerde Chip Quinn ve Seymour Benzer tarafından California Teknoloji Enstitüsünde yapıldı. Sineklerin koku ile elektrik şokunu ba...more
Apart from the human and political element, I loved Ridl...more
I've listened to audio tapes of the book for a couple of years, and am now going carefully through the book, to locate and home in on specific details that I need to study to fully grasp.
The book is a marvelously readable compendi...more
"Social phenomena are scientific... but not reducible to biology."
"Scientific theories, like empires, are at their most vulnerable when they have vanquished their rivals. No sooner had the modular mind triumphed than one of its main champions started dismantling it."
"A calm home contains happy children; children who are hugged a lot are nice; children who are beaten a lot are hostile; and so on....more
In a nutshell, Ridley is discussing the nature vs. nurture argument: are organisms the product of their genes? or their upbringing?
He spends a chapter examining the history of the argument from Plato through Darwin... then the rest of the book on the pendulum swings since Darwin.
In short, he holds that the answer is "Yes." Genes help determine development, but are affected by events and chance.
Lots of t...more
I'm excited to pick up more of his books, and find authors simi...more
I did like what I read about the relationship between genetics and socialization. As with most heated debates I didn't see this as a black and white issue before I picked up the book.
Fabulous look into the relationship between genes and environment. Though it's left me more confused than ever. Though more informed than ever too. In summary, and as the title of the book sums up very neatly, there is no "versus" in the nature v. nurture debate. Great writer - the amount of information is enormous but the text is eminently readable all the same.