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


Acclaimed author Matt Ridley's thrilling follow-up to his bestseller Genome. Armed with the extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, Ridley turns his attention to the nature versus nurture debate to bring the first popular account of the roots of human behaviour. What makes us who we are?In February 2001 it was announced that the genome contains not 100,000 genes asAcclaimed author Matt Ridley's thrilling follow-up to his bestseller Genome. Armed with the extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, Ridley turns his attention to the nature versus nurture debate to bring the first popular account of the roots of human behaviour. What makes us who we are?In February 2001 it was announced that the genome contains not 100,000 genes as originally expected but only 30,000. This startling revision led some scientists to conclude that there are simply not enough human genes to account for all the different ways people behave: we must be made by nurture, not nature. Matt Ridley argues that the emerging truth is far more interesting than this myth. Nurture depends on genes, too, and genes need nurture. Genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain; they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues and even run memory. after the discovery of the double helix of DNA, Nature via Nurture chronicles a new revolution in our understanding of genes. 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. Nature via Nurture is an enthralling, up-to-the-minute account of how genes build brains to absorb experience....

Title : Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes Us Human
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781841157467
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes Us Human Reviews

  • Mohamed al-Jamri
    2019-01-01 14:06

    الطبيعة عبر التطبّع للكاتب مات ريدليفي هذا الكتاب يحاول الكاتب تفكيك العقدة القديمة التي تقول بأن هناك تعارض بين الطبع والتطبّع أو الجينات والبيئة وأن أحدهما فقط هو الصحيح. في البداية يستعرض تاريخ هذا الجدل قبل أن يطرح الكثير من الأمثلة العلمية التي تؤكد أن كلا الفريقين خاطئين، فالجينات والبيئة لا يتنافسان على تحديد صفاة وسلوك البشر، بل يتعاونان، فلا تظهر الصفاة الجينية إلا عن طريق التفاعل مع البيئة.

  • Seán Hudson
    2019-01-04 18:10

    I feel bad giving this book a rating, since it has been one of those rare ones that I decided to stop reading despite having only managed a few chapters. I did skim through a fair bit of the rest, and saw that the interesting facts and historical figures associated with the nurture-nature debate persist throughout the book. Those were the bits that made it informative and interesting. But I had some serious issues with some of Ridley's opinions disguised as fact, as well as some technical choices such as referring to a "Genome Organizing Device" or "GOD" which is responsible for the development of life. He says he does this so he can write in the active rather than the passive voice, but he could easily have used "natural selection" or some other substitute. He says he chooses GOD to "keep religious people happy", which I would find incredibly patronizing if I was religious. This is just one example among many when Ridley tries to say something clever or adopts a writing style that strays from scientific interest to being pompous at best and misleading at worst.Oh, and his idea of what a meritocracy is (and how, as he says, it necessarily fails) is shudderingly narrow-minded. I could be ok with this if he put it forward as his opinion, but no, he writes facts that aren't facts. If you do read this book, it's good to keep that in mind.

  • Soren Maleficus
    2018-12-31 16:14

    My other favorite writer, next to Pinker. Ridley sets out to tear down the wall that has divided the "Nature vs Nurture" debate for centuries. Readable (as always from Ridley) and engrossing, this explains how environment can trigger genes, and how genes often determine which environments we choose. 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.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-25 18:56

    Nicely written examination of a subject which everyone should understand. He does his best to put the "nature vs nuture" debate to rest. Informative without being dry.

  • Jurij Fedorov
    2018-12-23 18:56

    A really good book.Pro:I takes a centrist view of things. It is basically science with no personal views or observations. This is the middle ground in the nature-nurture debate. Well written and short enough to not get boring. Basically all the basics on the debate and a great book.Con:Ridley knows a lot. He is a scientists. I would imagine that 90% of the non 5 stars reviews here are by people who got a bit stuck on the paragraphs talking about the studies and how they were done. It explains things well but some people might not even know how science works in practicality. Some of the book can be a bit hard at times. That said it is still a very recommended book for all type of readers. It is another must-read if you are in any shape or form interested in social science. If you don't understand the debate or the science on it this is a great way to learn about it.

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-07 15:10

    While I agree with the central theme of the book, the author struggles to find the balance between an academic publication and a book for the general public. This book assumes knowledge of psychology, neurobiology, genetics, cultural anthropology, and sociology that are likely to be found only in people who have at minimum a BS degree and supplemental reading, or work experience in these fields. Reviews of pertinent studies in these fields are boring to those with this prior knowledge and insufficient for lay persons.

  • Nuha
    2019-01-05 13:02


  • عمر الحمادي
    2018-12-25 15:52

    الطبع البشري ينشأ عن تفاعل الطبع مع التطبع، ويكون الطبع عبر التطبع، فالجينات هي خلاصة المشاعر، و الجينات ليست محركة دمى ولا مجرد ناقلات للوراثة، بل هي تنشط أثناء الحياة وتوقف بعضها البعض وتتفاعل مع البيئة، وهي من يتيح للعقل البشري أن يتعلم ويتذاكى ويتشرب الثقافة و يعبر عن غرائزه.يقول داروين أن الاختلاف بين الإنسان والحيوانات هو في الدرجة وليس في النوع، فمن قال أن الإنسان الوحيد الذي يمارس الجنس من أجل المتعة أصبح مخطئاً مع وجود قرود البابون التي تمارس الجنس عند الاحتفال بالطعام، أو أن الإنسان هو الوحيد الذي له ثقافة متوارثة فقد وُجد أنثى شامبانزي تكسر جوز الهند باستخدام مطرقة خشبية وتعلم ذلك لأبنائها، و صرنا نعرف أن للحيوانات مشاعر وذكريات وأحاسيس وبديهيات وفضول ومحاكاة ومنطق لكن بدرجات متفاوتة، ومع وجود تشابه جيني بين الشمبانزي والبشر بنسبة تصل ٩٥٪‏ إلا أن هنالك فجوة ثقافية هائلة بين البشر و أذكى الكائنات الحية، فالبشر يمتلكون أسلحة نووية ويشعلون النار ولهم ما يعبدون وينظمون الشعر ويتعلمون الفلسفة من خلال الثقافة المتراكمة والمتوارثة بين الأجيال، فلم يكن من الممكن لرجل أعمال معاصر أن يقوم بعمله إلا بفضل الكتابة الصوتية الآشورية والطباعة الصينية والجبر العربي والأرقام الهندية ومسك الدفاتر وفق القيد المزدوج الإيطالي والقانون التجاري الهولندي الخ الخ ويرجع المؤلف سبب التطور والحداثة في العقل البشري إلى الجينات التي ساعدت العقل البشري في القيام بما يقوم به بشكل مختلف عما كان بخلاف الحيوانات الأخرى التي لم تتقدم ولم تتطور، فالجينات ليست ناقلة للمعلومات فحسب بل هي مستجيبة للخبرات البيئية.يرى المؤلف إن البشر مثل باقي الثدييات -وخلافا للطيور- يكونون بحكم الطبيعة إناثاً ما لم تظهر عليهم علامات الذكورة، فالنساء هن الجنس الافتراضي للبشرية، ووجود هرمون التسترستيرون مثلاً هو من يشكل أعضاءهم الذكرية، ووجود جين SRY يجعلك ذكراً ولكي تكون أنثى لا تحتاج إلا إلى تعطيل عمل هذا الجين.يرى بعض الباحثين أن النفور من زواج المحارم وأشباهه - وعلى ضوء دراسات أجريت في الصين- هو حالة واضحة لعادة تنطبع في العقل أثناء الفترة الحرجة للشباب، فهو تطبع نقي بدون تخيلات مسبقة عمن سينفر منه ممن كان رفيقاً له في طفولته.يرفض المؤلف إلقاء اللوم على الحتمية البيولوجية لتبرير الشذوذ الجنسي، فمع أن تبريرهم يبدو عقلانياً إلا أنه في غاية الخطورة ، فالميل للعنف أيضاً أمر بيولوجي غريزي عند الذكور إلا أن ذلك لا يعطيهم الحق في ممارسة هذا العنف ولا يؤكد صحته لأنه من وحي الطببعة والغريزة.أحيانا يكون هناك ميل لاختيار التطبع الذي يناسب الطبع والذي تسميه عالمة النفس ساندرا سكار ب"البحث عن البيئة المناسبة للتركيب الجيني"، فالناس تحب فعل ما تجيده وهم يجيدون فعل ما يحبون، وقد يكون مثال ذلك ميل الصبيان للعب بالأسلحة والمنافسة بينما تميل البنات إلى الدمى والقصص والعلاقات.لاحظ عالم النبات السويسري "دي كاندول" أنه على مدى قرنين جاء العلماء العظام من مدن ذات تسامح ديني كبير وروابط تجارية ومناخ معتدل وحكومات ديمقراطية، وبذلك يقترح أن الإنجاز والشهرة العلمية ترجع في الغالب إلى الظروف والفرصة أكثر منها إلى العبقرية الفطرية، وخالفه في ذلك "جالتون" قائلاً أن العبقرية العلمية تورث ولا تكتسب، لكن الأقرب إلى الصواب أنه كلما جعلنا المجتمع متكافئاً زاد احتمال التأثير الجيني، فيكون مثلاً أفضل حامل أثقال هو الذي لديه أفضل جينات، في حين أنه في مجتمع متخلف سوف تحدد الخلفية البيئية والفرص من سيكون المنتصر.البشر يفزعون غالبا من الثعابين، والخوف منهم هو واحد من أشهر أنواع الرهاب عند اليشر والذي قد يكون بسبب مشاهدتهم فزغ آبائهم من الثعابين، وهناك من يخاف من العناكب والعتمة والمرتفعات والرعد والأماكن الضيقة والتي كانت تشكل تهديدا للبشر في العهد الحجري، أما تهديدات العصر الحديث كالبنادق والسيارات فأكثرها لا يسبب الرهاب ! هل هي الجينات من نقلت لنا هذه الخبرات والمعلومات من العصر الحجري؟ الجينات محتمات عنيدة صغيرة تتمخض عن رسائل تنبؤية قاطعة لكنها بعيدة عن كونها ثابتة في أعمالها بل هي أدوات لاستخلاص المعلومات من البيئة.لعل ما يلخص فكرة الكتاب هو مثال نظرتنا إلى الجمال، فهو طبع متوراث وتطبع مكتسب كذلك ، فيمكن للحمية الغذائية والتمارين الرياضية والحلاقة والماكياج والعمليات جعل الشخص جميلاً بالتطبع، بل يكفي المال والرفاهية والراحة لجعل غير الجميل جذاباً تماما مثلما يحدث في هوليوود، ويمكن للفقر والضغط النفسي تدمير جمال الجميل.مفاهيم كريهة مثل العنصرية قد تكون موجودة في الجينات تجعل الإنسان يتعصب ضد من يختلفون عنه عرقياً، فالتعصب العنصري قد يكون فطرياً، حتى أن علماء الوراثة في القرن العشرين اجتهدوا في اثبات أن الاختلافات بين البيض والسود أعمق من كونها مجرد اختلافات في لون البشرة بل هي تشمل العقل و التفكير !

  • MonkOnAcid
    2019-01-15 11:51

    It is not that simple. One cannot simply take a small aspect of reality and ignore all the rest, especially when the rest is more than closely connected, and, at the same time, hope to come to worthy conclussions. This, unfortunately, has been a common theme in biology, psychology, sociology and what not.But here comes (the) Matt Ridley to the rescue. It is not nature or nurture, it is nature and nurture or nature via nurture as author with intelectual force proclaims. The dichotomy is false and needless. Both nature and nurture have a determining effect on the individual at the same time. Even in the most, seemingly, obvious situations when one would be too tempted to pass the opportunity to attribute effects to one or the other, it is commonly both still that have the effect in an interconnected fashion. Many fell in this trap and simply could not pass the opportunity to dichotomize falsely. But not Ridley.And in what eloquent and addictive form has he introduced this needed insight to the world, to the psychologies and to the biologies. One intriguing fact changes another, one mind bending idea comes after another. Not to forget the multi angled approach, too.A worthy read, a worthy hypothesis and a worthy conclussion. Simply, a must read.

  • Aaron Michaux
    2018-12-31 15:03

    The best book I have ever read on the nature-nurture debate. Ridley is an engaging author who weaves a tapestry of science, politics, history and anecdote. The binding thread is famous scientists and philosophers who have framed the nature-nurture debate over the past few hundred years. All of them have introduced profound insights, and if you were to put them all in a room together, then surely their bushy beards would all get tangled up.Apart from the human and political element, I loved Ridley's description of state-of-the-art experimentation, and especially new experimental techniques that rely on recent innovations. A tremendous amount has been learned since Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene". It seems that the life sciences will only extend that knowledge exponentially in the next few decades as high technology allows experimentation that previous generations could never have dreamed about.Informative and entertaining, hat goes off to Matt Ridley.

  • Cassandra Kay Silva
    2018-12-29 11:52

    I love this author. He is direct with his examples, moves quickly and yet you never feel like you miss a step. It's always very fluid and easy with Ridley. I preferred both the Genome and the Red Queen to this however, if you have yet to read much on the subject of genetics those would be a better start. Not because anything in this one is incomprehensible in the least bit without any other knowledge, but more just because if you had to pick any one of these awesome texts those would be a better choice. Still I found this a wonderful addition to my growing Ridley Collection and was pleased at his approach. He did not in any ways take sides in the Nature/Nurture debate. Instead he tells the tale of how one naturally leads to the other and how important both are to the human system/organism.

  • Gerald Berke
    2019-01-15 17:14

    A detailed, readable and witty treatise on how life is controlled by genes (nature) and how life controls genes (nurture). The research, the ideas, the roots of various theories of understanding from 100 years or more to studies that are quite current are all layed out.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 compendium of what we know about genetics and evolution, right up to the publication date. What is also revealed is how little is known in one or two or three decades past, what 5 or 10 years can add to the science. It would surely seem to be worth another book every 5 years at the rate we are going.

  • Elphaba
    2018-12-31 15:03

    GREAT BOOK - lots of science and even though it was published before the Human Genome project was finished, we (my book discussion group) could find nothing out of date about the data - basic premise: that Genes are not static but are an active and varying and incredibly wondrous part of the development of homo sapiens from conception to death. Many genes change sometimes as often as every second and sometimes as often as once in a lifetime and sometimes never depending on DNA switches that respond to environment or conditions during post conception (which can include during the womb). Highly recommend.

  • Yasser Mohammad
    2019-01-20 15:19

    Supreme!I do not remember enjoying (which is very different from liking or learning from) any book more than I enjoyed reading Genome. This is a real sequel and in many ways it has the advantage of being focused.The main idea expressed in this book is that Genes are the underlying mechanisms for BOTH nature and nurture and as such these two are not in a fight they are collaborating factors. No matter how common-sensical this may be, many people for long time were against it.

  • Astha Garg
    2019-01-05 15:16

    This was my first science book that I read for leisure and I must say it has got me hooked on the genre. I loved Ridley's style - the humor, logic, experiments and his own thoughts. I wish there were more authors writing not-so-technical science books in my own area of expertise.

  • Brandon Clark
    2019-01-17 15:02

    Good book on the role played by genetics and experience on psychology and biology.

  • Cheryl
    2018-12-30 17:52

    I read prologue, epilogue, and discussion of free will. Considering how (relatively) old this is, that's plenty.

  • John de' Medici
    2018-12-22 16:06

    Quite a fascinating and an informative read.

  • Pippo Ranito
    2019-01-20 18:54

    This book was hard to put down because of Ridley's extremely engaging approach, which, to me was his greatest strength and also his weakness.Let me tell you about it really quickly.Chapter 1 is perhaps my favorite. You won't understand the book nor follow its flow if you won't commit to the argument and style of chapter 1. IN that chapter, Ridley builds the foundation for his "one long argument", if I may borrow from Darwin.His argument follows flawlessly, like a river undisturbed. The flow is both violent and calm. The strength lies in his effective method in strengthening his points. This mode of argumentation, does not just relies not on devious tricks of trade, but Ridley gives you a reason to believe him by amply supplying his arguments with the latest scientific results at the time of writing. The bevy of scientists he paints all join in together to form this dynamic, yet, important debate among themselves, and Ridley plays the part of mediator between the two in excellence - equally (for the most part) summarizing their points in quick, witty, and accessible form.Which becomes a problem. Ridley is rich with facts and examples, and to add strength to his arguments, he quickly dispenses with individual facts quickly to move to the next one. There are extremely interesting examples that he mentions but leaves in the dust all of a sudden to call up another point, which I think is unfortunate. The quality of his argument is already there, but I think Ridley wanted to up it all up by banking on quantity.This I feel is the book's greatest paradox. The premise of the debate regarding nurture against nature is paralleled with the choice between quantity and quality. It need not be one over the other. It should be one supplementing the other and vice versa, in an endless dialogue, which I feel, in Ridley's case, is lost in his crusade to marshal all the facts that he can in order to build his case by the sheer force of quantity. One need not to be agile in apportioning facts in order to illustrate the agility of genes.

  • Jonathan Vazquez-Perez
    2019-01-18 14:19

    Exploring nature v nurture was always an interesting topic and this book was great at making it clear that it's not that simple. In fact the more I learn about Science, (molecular biology in this case) I learn that any claim that any 1 gene is the cause of something in particular is an insult to the real complexity that is behind the working of things. So really it's not ever nature that is the complete driving force and it's not really just nurture either, so you see examples of how nature plays a strong role and you become convinced that everything comes down to heredity and genes and then you get an example of how development and nurture plays a huge role and you become convinced it's all in nurture. The truth lies in the middle? it seems like we tend to have an addiction as humans to seek out cause-effect truths and try to simplify the complexity of an issue with many working parts, when in reality how things work, not just in science but even in politics and other disciplines in life come down to having an eye for nuance and subtlety. Reality is more than just words on a book, it's more than just theory, so i'm really straying from the amazing biology findings the book talks about which are amazing... but my take home message for the book overall is that things are never as simple as they seem even if we try to box things in little catchy phrases, there is more to it than that.

  • Robin
    2018-12-28 14:06

    Ridley tells a story of scientific perspectives on the influence of nature and nurture on human perspectives. He combines the works of prominent scientists from the past with recent scientific discoveries. His somewhat colloquial style is both positive and negative, it adds to readability but it distracts from scientific rigor. His explanation of scientific concepts is good, but he does not posit a unified theory to explain behavior. Instead he goes through several specific cases and describes the influences that genetics and environment have on them, sometimes generalizing the science to broader behaviors.

  • Per Kraulis
    2019-01-15 16:59

    A book on the Nature vs Nurture controversy that has stood the test of time. Its message - that genes act via environment and environment via genes in order to shape the organism - is as relevant now as it was when the book was first published in 2003, although a couple of the recent examples have been complicated by later research, I believe. But the basic argument of the book is as sound as ever. A good read which I can recommend.

  • Kerena
    2019-01-11 19:21

    After reading Genome by Matt Ridley I couldn't wait to pick up another book by him. Nature via Nurture has some interesting research elements but I did find the system of how it was written to be slightly complicated. It was harder to read physically than genome but I definitely found myself seeing links to the other book.

  • Linda
    2019-01-19 13:53

    It is an odd book. The facts and figures are great but I don't some of the author's opinions are facts. He makes wild suppositions which appear unsupported. I won't finish it but will skip bits til the end.

  • Rui
    2018-12-26 17:01

    The nature/nurture dichotomy is a pseudo-problem. It's not a zero-sum game. They interact and depend on one another.

  • Ami Kothari
    2019-01-02 14:17

    The concept of nature vs nurture is something I began to understand much more clearly after reading this book. A must read for those who are fascinated by genetics.

  • Paige
    2018-12-31 12:13

    4 Stars.Nature and Nurture, Nature vs Nature, Nature via Nurture.It astonishes me that there should be an argument against what seems so obvious- that nature and nurture are interchangeable and intimately linked.Granted people will often hijack which parts they think relate more to our psychology, our health, our heredity, etc... And it doesn't seem so odd to say- well of course the content of a persons character falls into the 'nurture' category where health and 'instinct' fall into the nature category. But should you make these assumptions I can recommend a good book that will tear your assumptions to shreds. Probably... Anyway that book is this book.Matt Ridley has compiled a treasure trove of studies which blur any lines between the influences of nature and nurture, compelling you to acquiesce that "experiments ... show genes to be the epitomes of sensitivity, the means by which creatures can be flexible, the very servants of experience".Okay moving on, I did have a few issues with this book. I'm quite sure that before I read Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender I was sensitive to lazy scientific gender assumptions, but perhaps not to the degree I am after having read her book. What I am getting at is that although Ridley writes with scientific clarity, there are moments where he too seems to make assertions based on 'the obvious', not the scientific consensus. He makes a few comments about men and women that just bored me. I saved a few extracts of particular comments he makes that irk me slightly:In all 37 cultures, women wanted men older than them. In nearly all cultures, social status, ambition and industriousness in a mate mattered more to women than men. Men by contrast placed more emphasis on youth (in all cultures, men wanted younger women) and physical appearance (in all cultures, men wanted beautiful women more than women wanted beautiful men). In most cultures, men also placed slightly more emphasis on chastity and fidelity in their partners, while (of course) being much more likely to seek extramarital sex themselves.Well what a surprise! Men like pretty, young, faithful women, while women like rich, ambitious, older men.Oh women! Always digging that gold.Boys like David Reimer want to be boys. They like toys, weapons, competition and action better than dolls, romance, relationships and families.Because, ya know, dolls romance and relationships are like heroin to women. I'm actually balking at the memory of all the things I wasn't allowed to do as a little girl growing up, all the things I was discouraged from doing. But anyway let's end on a fun non gender related quote:... these features are necessary for the human skill of grasping, aiming and throwing a small rock- something that is beyond the capability of a chimpanzee, whose throwing consist of randomly aimed, underarm efforts.In defense of the chimps, they are pretty damn accurate when they are lobbing faeces at zoo patrons.I thought I took more quotes than that, oh well. Happy reading.

  • R Hazman
    2019-01-08 18:51

    Bir Bölüm:"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 bağdaştırmayı öğrenebildiğini, sonra da bunu hatırlayabildiklerini göstererek herkesi şaşırtmışlardı.Aynı zamanda belirli genlere sahip olduklarında bunu yapabildiklerini de kanıtladı bu deney. Önemli genlerden mahrum olan mutantlar o aşamaya gelemiyordu. Meyve sineğinde bellek oluşumuyla ilgili en azından onyedi gen mevcuttur. Bu genlerin küçük düşürücü isimleri vardır, örneğin ahmak, unutkan, lahana, şalgam vesaire gibi. Bu haksızlık sayılır, çünkü sinek bu gene sahip olduğu için değil bu genden mahrum olduğu için ahmaktır. CREB genleri denen bu genler, insanlar da dahil bütün hayvanlarda kullanılır. Öğrenme sürecinde bu genler faal halde olmalıdır, yani protein üretmelidirler.Bu şaşırtıcı keşfin nasıl bir şok etkisine sahip olduğu pek anlaşılmaz. 1914 yılında John B. Watson'ın bağdaştırma aracılığıyla öğrenme hakkında yazdıkları şöyledir:"Çoğu psikolog beyinde oluşan yeni yollardan akıcılıkla bahsediyor, sanki Hephaistos'un minik hizmetçileri varmış da ellerinde çekiçlerle, keskilerle sinir sisteminde sağa sola koşturup yeni siperler kazıyorlarmış, eskilerini de derinleştiriyorlarmış gibi." (J. B. Watson - Behaviorism, Norton, 1924)Watson bu görüşle dalgasını geçiyordu. Fakat bu şaka onu bastırmıştır. Zihin bağlantılarının oluşması, sinir hücreleri arasında yeni, güçlü bağlar meydana gelmesi şeklinde hayat bulur. Hephaistos'un bu bağlantıları meydana getiren hizmetkarları vardır. Bunlara gen denir. Genlerden, kaderin yeri doldurulamaz bu kuklacılarından beyni inşa etmesi, sonra da işi beyne bırakması beklenir. Fakat öyle yapmazlar; öğrenme işini de ele alırlar. Tam şu anda, kafanızda bir yerde bir gen faal hale geliyor, bu şekilde bir dizi protein beyin hücreleri arasındaki sinapsları değiştirme işine girişebiliyor, böylece sonsuza dek bu paragrafı mutfaktan gelen kahve kokusuyla bağdaştıracaksınız belki de..."

  • Toni Daugherty
    2018-12-30 18:14

    Our genes and the promoters that switch them are what determine many of our decisions and physical outcomes. The dominant theme of Ridley's book is that the human genome is not simply a blueprint that will determine what an animal ends up physically, but rather, a flexible entity that also affects the processes of daily life and choices. He argues that environment also plays a role, and the nature v. nurture debate is a ridiculous one, once one sees this. When one studies the effects of genes, promoters, proteins, neurons, it is hard to give dignity to a nature/nurture debate. A gene can be affected by its environment adding another layer to the outcome of an expressed gene. Ridley explains how propogating nerve cells are sensitive to the environment - allowing a switching off/on effect that determines the outcome of that cell or many outcomes. However, it is not a linear effect, but rather a circular one, with environment and heredity playing a role. This makes for a complicated understanding of the processes of the animal body and the brain.I thought it was especially interesting that once again the environment, in the development of children, which has the greatest effect on the outcomes of children is not the household or the parents. I've read this many times before and this idea is well explained in Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, which offers explanations of how children's environments are their peers - not their parents. It must be then, that in situations where it seems their parents have a huge impact, that in fact, the parents have merely chosen to spend time with other parents just like them, whose children probably have the same values. In societies that are homogenous, it's expected that it will appear that the parents have a huge impact but it's probably the peers that are affecting other children's behavior.That is really a side note, however. Ridley's book is really about the agility of a gene and how there is a complex number of things affecting that gene at different times, and how it will respond differently and sometimes numerously. One cause is not one effect. One cause can be many effects.

  • Henri Hämäläinen
    2019-01-05 10:51

    The Agile Gene is book from Matt Ridley about genetics, evolution and how people are people. It starts form really early in first studies about human and behaviors. It tells a full journey to the latest genetics researches.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 it starts to get more obvious that there is no one explanation on this question. Nature plays it part on growing, but nurture also has a big effect on many things. The most surprising there is that genes actually work with environment to make things possible. So those are not only enablers or disablers, but can adjust to the environment.I have to admit the book was quite hard to follow sometimes. It went such deeply to some of the scientific subjects, that it would have required some more basic understanding of genetics to follow fully. Still mainly it was fun and interesting to read. Matt Ridley knows how to write in very interesting form.Reading the book I had to change my mind many times. On some points I was sure that genes are the main influencer of what we turn out to be, but then after some tens of pages I again thought that environment is the important thing. I can't remember a book that have mixed my head more during reading the book than this was. That said in a good way.I recommend this book to those who are interested on psychology, genetics or evolution. It requires interest towards those subject, otherways it becomes too technical to read. I enjoyed it a lot. It goes to the one of the best books I've read this year.This review was first posted to my blog - here