David's Reviews > The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God

The Accidental Mind by David J. Linden
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Jun 28, 2010

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Read in June, 2010

Most of the first half of this book is discussion of the anatomy and physiology of the brain. The author then flanges in a discussion on behavioral implications. Having taken an upper-division college class on the brain, much of the anatomy/physiology was review for me, but I found some good discussion on topics of nature vs. nurture (genetic, epigenetic, and learned behaviors) and how memory works. Oddly, he follows up the last two chapters with how this all plays into the evolution-creation debate, i.e., that the brain is an inefficient, inelegant agglomeration of stuff—an adaptation from an earlier design—and not the genius architecture of some omnipotent power. Yes, the brain is an impressive organ, but no one would have intentionally designed it the way it is and these design limitations do present functional problems, shortcomings, and inefficiencies—so this all runs counter to the “intelligent design” theory proposed by religious polemicists.

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