Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Genius in All of Us

The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong
By David Shenk
Doubleday, 2010. 302 pgs. Nonfiction

In The Genius in All of Us, David Shenk presents new scientific discoveries uncovering a new way to think about IQ and talent. First, he argues for a new way to think about genes and genetics. Where we once thought our genes decided who we are and what we can become, science is now finding that our environment plays an extremely large role in activating those genes and changing how they in turn alter us and our potential. Once the science has been explained, Shenk gives on overview of what this means for us and our children.

Almost half of this book’s 300 pages contain “The Evidence” which includes sources, notes, clarifications, and amplifications. The author’s presentation is convincing and fascinating. What we learn is that while not everyone can become an expert at anything, we are all hardwired to be adaptive to our environment. The right circumstances, drive, and opportunities can create amazing abilities in peoples. It would almost appear that we have more control over our genes than we do over our environment which is a dramatic paradigm shift. This book’s topic reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, but relies more on science to make its arguments.


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