The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers Are Like Gossipby Keith Devlin
A groundbreaking book about math and language, from the well-known NPR commentator Keith Devlin. See more details below
A groundbreaking book about math and language, from the well-known NPR commentator Keith Devlin.
- Basic Books
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Paperback Edition
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.32(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.90(d)
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Devlin presents an interesting, well-thought out, and insightful hypothesis about mathematical thinking. Although I would argue with some of the details, there is much to be appreciated in his presentation. I think the hypothesis should be reformulated and investigated by the appropriate disciplines. I was particularly captured by his suggestion that mathematics is like gossip -- and I can agree. This image, this similarity takes mathematical thinking and numbers out of the realm of cold, hard, distant things and makes them approachable friends. I find this idea quite freeing. Recommended for those interested in brain evolution,thinking, mathematics, and for those who think they can't do mathematics -- it's just gossip.
I bought this book because it was to discuss why some people have a harder time doing math than others. Why do mathematicians find math so easy while the rest of us seem to struggle? While the book doesn't discuss much about an actual math 'gene' it does discuss evolutionary ideas about how humans developed a more complex ability to do mathematics than other species. While some of the reasoning may be pure conjecture, the ideas presented are thoroughly fascinating and well worth the read. Devlin also refers to the development of mathematical ability in children which is equally interesting for parents of young children.