A C Grayling

Brain Matters

Nature Via Nurture: The Origin of the Individual


Fourth Estate 320pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain


Allen Lane The PenguinPress 256pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

MATT RIDLEY’S NEW book is the fulfilment of an implicit promise. In an earlier book, Genorne, he had proclaimed himself to be no genetic determinist, arguing that the evidence points the other way. ‘The more we delve into the genome’, he wrote, ‘the less fatalistic it will seem.’ His confidence might seem to have been misplaced, given recent scientific developments. Giant strides have been made in understanding the roles played by individual genes in crucial matters including particular diseases and forms of behaviour, discoveries which lend powerful support to champions of nature in the nature-nurture debate.

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