Monday, October 28, 2013

Is math ability genetic or something else?

Is one "born" a math person? Using Korea, Japan, and China as exemplars, these folks argue that math ability is more about culture than genetics. And, they suggest, Americans should follow that lead. (This is not a new idea, of course, but it popped up again today.)

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1 comment:

  1. Hey. The article posted makes a common mistake: It's not either-or. There's a strong motivation to suggest that we're all blank slates and that everyone is born equal; while we all deserve equal treatment, the "genetics" proponents never say that it's mostly genetic. The truth is that progressive thought is married to a cardboard caricature of "genetics" as "deterministic". The article hints at this in the begining but then proceeds to ignore its own qualifications.

    The truth is pretty balanced: A genetic advantage (and there are massive genetic advantages out there) needs the opportunity to be honed. But the ideological resistance on the progressive left to seeing the major limitations imposed by human biology and human nature on individuals is inherent in the progressive ideological attitude.

    But we will have to confront reality at some point.

    None of the genetics - as - reality types disregard culture and socialization. Actually, it's largely the other way around. Stephen Pinker is one of the best thinkers in this area, and he's 100% dead-bang-on.

    it's the real philosophical weakness of the modern progressive left.

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