Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human

About the Course:

In February, 2001, it was announced that the human 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.

Nature Via Nurture chronicles a revolution in our understanding of genes. Ridley recounts the 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.


Matt Ridley

About the Author:

Matt Ridley is the author of the international best-seller Genome, as well as The Origins of Virtue, and The Red Queen. He has a DPhil degree from Oxford University in zoology and was science editor and American editor of the Economist between 1983 and 1992. He was a columnist for the Sunday and Daily Telegraph between 1993 and 2000. He is currently non-executive chairman of Northern Rock plc.

Course Objectives:

  1. to learn more about the ways genes influence and are influenced by behavior

  2. to become more familiar with ways genes influence the formation of personality and individuality

  3. to learn more about the role of genes as influencers of culture

  4. to become more aware of the ways in which the word “gene” is defined and how those definitions shape our understanding of genes

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Course Number: 100153
Credit Hours: 12cr
NBCC Credit Hours: 12cr
Exam Fee: $83.64
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Format: Book
4.53 out of 5
Popularity: 48 members have taken this course

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