The Birth of the Mind: How a Tiny Number of Genes Creates The Complexities of Human Thought

The Birth of the Mind How a Tiny Number of Genes Creates The Complexities of Human Thought In The Birth of the Mind award winning cognitive scientist Gary Marcus irrevocably alters the nature vs nurture debate by linking the findings of the Human Genome Project to the development of the br

  • Title: The Birth of the Mind: How a Tiny Number of Genes Creates The Complexities of Human Thought
  • Author: Gary F. Marcus Jo Ann Miller
  • ISBN: 9780465044061
  • Page: 473
  • Format: Paperback
  • In The Birth of the Mind, award winning cognitive scientist Gary Marcus irrevocably alters the nature vs nurture debate by linking the findings of the Human Genome Project to the development of the brain Scientists have long struggled to understand how a tiny number of genes could contain the instructions for building the human brain, arguably the most complex device inIn The Birth of the Mind, award winning cognitive scientist Gary Marcus irrevocably alters the nature vs nurture debate by linking the findings of the Human Genome Project to the development of the brain Scientists have long struggled to understand how a tiny number of genes could contain the instructions for building the human brain, arguably the most complex device in the known universe Synthesizing up to the minute research with his own original findings on child development, Marcus is the first to resolve this apparent contradiction Vibrantly written and completely accessible to the lay reader, The Birth of the Mind will forever change the way we think about our origins and ourselves.

    One thought on “The Birth of the Mind: How a Tiny Number of Genes Creates The Complexities of Human Thought”

    1. How can a paltry 30,000 genes code for the production of a human being with its trillions of cells, each cell itself an exquisitely complex assembly of interacting organelles, microstructures and molecules? It would seem there wouldn't be enough information contained in such a small number of instructions. Marcus does a masterful job explaining how this so called "gene deficit" is simply a result of thinking of genes the wrong way. The genome is not a blueprint or otherwise static list of instru [...]

    2. This book explores brain development, using examples from neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and genetics. There are some interesting case studies involving babies and their flawed perception of the world at early ages. Also, there were surprisingly barbaric neuroscience experiments investigating the development of the visual cortex in kittens. If you're interested in brain development, this is worth reading. It's a smooth and easy read, which highlights various research efforts on the subject [...]

    3. Very interesting book that lightly touches on (redundancy alert) how a tiny number of genes creates the complexities of human thought. I give it 3.5 stars which is half a star more than liked it. The reason for it losing 1.5 stars IMO is because the author has not familiarized himself with the teachings of Harun Yahya, and therefore has fallen prey to believing that evolution could create by itself (through random mutations) organisms as complex as human beings. The chapter entitled "The Evoluti [...]

    4. Gary Marcus gives us a thoroughly readable and enjoyable survey of what is known and surmised about how our genetics affects our brain, and what it does. The illustrations are pertinent, the mix of technical terms and memorable anecdotes is just about right, and a wide range of great thinkers (Pinker and Dawkins, Crick and Mendel) are called upon to help illustrate the problems and their purported solutions.But, does it really give us anything we didn't already have, this book?In some sense, the [...]

    5. Lots of fluff without much new information.Some gross errors that diminish the book,like talking about "the genes for gender",pardon me, but while some languages may have "gender"people and other animals have sex. I'm not surprised that errors like this are made,but rather there seems to be no fact checker or editor to clean up the messes the author makes.The author talks a lot about "identical twins",and how they're not really identical.True, that's because they are not really identical,they ar [...]

    6. This is the first time I have read a nuanced, enlightened explanation of the nature/nurture debate. Usually the writer on this topic is in one camp or the other, or the explanation is very reductive. Marcus covers many shades of gray, and though there is no satisfyingly clean answer, he never insults the reader by pandering to oversimplified theories. It almost seems like there is a waltz between the environment and our DNA, with one partner leading and then the other, to suit the moment. I can [...]

    7. Marcus ist Pinker-Schüler, das merkt man schon, aber er ist durchaus ein eigenständiger Denker und fähig zu differenzieren. (Zumindest verkauft er den Sprachinstinkt nicht als Tatsache.) Sehr schön, wie er verschiedene Experimente an Kleinkindern, die “beweisen” sollen, was das Kinder schon alles können - oder eben nicht - relativiert.Die Grundannahme, dass Gene ebenso wie für körperliche Merkmale auch für den Geist verantwortlich sind, ist, wie er selbst weiß und betont, für den h [...]

    8. Lots of fluff and not a lot of new information? Huh, one of the things I liked about this book is that it DID NOT add in a bunch of fluff. At less than 200 pages for the main part of the book, it's quite concise. He looks at lot of the claims that because we have so few genes or that because the brain is so plastic that there can't be anything innate. He shows how genes play a developmental role in the brain and how they are necessary for every day brain functioning. He also shows how the capaci [...]

    9. Learning is a prenatal inaugurated ability that is so mysterious to our understanding. According to the contant of this book, it stated that even a four days new born could have its recognition ability in a module of an adult's congnitive ability. A paltry of restricted number of genome is responsible for the developement of the nervous system and in the view of a shifted module of systematic calculation in maths, the genome is rather small in munber, so meagre to have the whole brain controlled [...]

    10. This book was the first scientific book I read that I actually enjoyed. I read it for a 9th grade book report (you’re reading it now), and it wasn't just some professor rambling on for hours. It is a relatively short read at 189 pages (not including glossary and references), and is very informative.The first couple of chapters explain how genes work and doesn't talk much about the mind. After Marcus finishes explaining genes, he starts explaining how the brain itself works (with a chapter-long [...]

    11. This book is truly a book of wisdom. It opens door that no one would ever expect to be opened in your mind. It was a bit of a tough read but getting through expanded my knowledge on how the brain is made. When it explained how the brain works it made me suddenly realize why I feel in certain ways and when. It explains that 30,000 genetics it takes to create a human however only no more than 20 genes is what it takes to create the brain. It is truly fascinating. Books like these are what can help [...]

    12. Un buon saggio sul cervello come organo prodotto dall'evoluzione e dal prodotto di un piccolo numero di geni.Di difficoltà abbastanza alta, non è consigliato ai non specialisti, o comunque a chiunque non abbia già più di una infarinatura in neurologia, genetica, biologia molecolare, cibernetica.

    13. Although focused on the gene expression side, the latter part in particular has a rather well balanced nature/nurture discussion, copiously researched and accessible for the "non-neuroscientist" reader.

    14. Perfect introduction to genes for the non specialist. The flow of the book is smooth and it keeps you engaged. Will read more books by this author for sure as he has that rare gift of simplifying complex ideas.

    15. The title is an exaggeration. The book discusses some recent research of how brain and mind develops, but the truth is that we still do not know much about this complex process. If you want to find a coherent picture of mind development or a grand theory, you will be disappointed.

    16. surprisingly quick read for such a big topic, but a great primer for venturing into evolution and the mind.

    17. Started it a while ago but had to drop it, I had too many things to do at my lab. However, I hope to pick it up again soon!

    18. Scientific but the concepts are easily understood even if the detailed science is better if you have a biology background.

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