The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ

Written by David Shenk

DNA does not make us who we are. “Forget everything you think you know about genes, talent, and intelligence,” he writes. “In recent years, a mountain of scientific evidence has emerged suggesting a completely new paradigm: not talent scarcity, but latent talent abundance.”

Integrating cutting-edge research from a wide swath of disciplines – cognitive science, genetics, biology, child development – Shenk offers a highly optimistic new view of human potential. The problem isn't our inadequate genetic assets, but our inability, so far, to tap into what we already have. IQ testing and widespread acceptance of “innate” abilities have created an unnecessarily pessimistic view of humanity – and fostered much misdirected public policy, especially in education.

The truth is much more exciting. Genes are not a “blueprint” that bless some with greatness and doom most of us to mediocrity or worse. Rather our individual destinies are a product of the complex interplay between genes and outside stimuli-a dynamic that we, as people and as parents, can influence.

This is a revolutionary and optimistic message. We are not prisoners of our DNA. We all have the potential for greatness.

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Featured On Episode #54

The Genius in All of Us

We'll be joined by journalist and bestselling author David Shenk, to discuss his new book, The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong. We'll dig into the relationship between intelligence, talent and genetics. When it comes to the brain, does DNA always equal destiny, or can hard work mean more than heredity? On Speaking Up we talk to Steve Thoms of Skeptic North on Homeopathy Awareness Week.

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