The Agile Gene
How Nature Turns on Nurture
By Matt Ridley
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060006792, 352pp.)
Publication Date: July 2004
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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.
“An engrossing study of what makes us who we are … conveyed with insight and style.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Terrific popular science.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“Ridley is simply one of the best science writers in the business.”
“Thoughtful and entertaining.”
“NATURE VIA NURTURE proposes a new way of looking at an ongoing debate.”
-Washington Post Book World
“Fascinating and important information from the world of science.”
-New York Times Book Review