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Skeptic Book Club Feb. 13, 2011 4:00 - 6:00 pm
The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk

In "The Genius in All of Us" Shenk beautifully explains why the nature-nurture debate is dead. It is not just the genes we are born with, but how we are raised and what opportunities are open to us that determine how smart we will become. Nurture and experience reshape our genes, and thus our brain. Shenk argues that the idea we are either born with genius or talent, or we aren’t, is simply untrue. Ambition, persistence, and self-discipline are not just products of genes, but can be shaped by nurture and environment. Certainly it is important to have good genes, but that determines at most only 50 percent of your talent. He underscores the point that intelligence is made up of the skills that a person has developed--with an emphasis on “developed”--through hard work. Encouraging ourselves and our children to work hard requires being surrounded by others also wanting to achieve striving for excellence. Moreover, Shenk gives the hopeful message not just for kids, but also for adults. Happily for us, the human brain remains plastic, changeable and trainable well into old age. So no matter how old you are, if you’d like to be smarter--get to work! --Louann Brizendine

The Skeptic Book Club meets the second Sunday of each month at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 8029 Kingston Pike, at 4:00 p.m. to discuss a bit of everything from a mostly rational viewpoint. Feel free to join us even if you haven't read the book.

Posted by schadwick
Feb. 12, 2011