Matt Ridley

I believe human behavior has to be explained by both nature and nurture. No longer is it nature versus nurture but nature via nurture. Genes are designed to take their cues from nurture. The more we lift the lid on the genome, the more vulnerable to experience genes appear to be. …
Genes are… active during life; they switch each other on and off; they respond to the environment. They may direct the construction of the body and brain in the womb but then they set about dismantling and rebuilding what they have made almost at once – in response to experience. They are both cause and consequence of our actions. Learning could not happen without an innate capacity to learn. Innateness could not be expressed without experience. The truth of each idea is not proof of the falsehood of another.
The more we discover genes that influence behavior, the more we find that they work through nurture; and the more we find that animals learn, the more we discover that learning works through genes.

3 thoughts on “Matt Ridley

  1. shinichi Post author

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

    by Matt Ridley

    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 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.

  2. shinichi Post author


    by 棚橋弘季

    マット・リドレーの『やわらかな遺伝子』は、”Nature via Nurture”(生まれは育ちを通して)といい、長い間、人間を対象とする遺伝学や心理学などの学問の分野で論争の種となってきた”Nature vs Nurture”(生まれか育ちか)が、結局、どちらも重要で、どちらが欠けてもうまくいかないことを、最新の研究の成果をていねいに集め、紐解きながら、ていねいに説明してくれる1冊です。

    生まれか育ちかの論争は、いずれも決定論的な思考によって人間を含めた生物が成り立っている仕組みって何によって決定されてるんだっけ?という疑問に対し、一方ではそれはDNAを中心にした遺伝的な仕組みで成り立っていると主張し、他方は、いや、努力や勉学を含めた環境によって成り立つのだと主張することで、相手のあら捜しをして非難しあっているわけです。だって、愛が排尿と遺伝的に関係しているのだなんて主張された普通、いやでしょ? たとえ、それが真実を含むものだとしても。

    それに対して、マット・リドレーは、なんでどっちか1つに決める必要があるの? そんなの両方が関係しているに決まってんじゃんという論旨を、さまざまな科学的な研究結果を非常にていねいに取材して得た材料をものの見事に調理して見せることで、嫌味のない言い方で「生まれは育ちを通して」ですよねという論旨として語ってくれています。


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