A Conversation With Alison Gopnik

Most parents have, at one time or another, gazed lovingly at their newborn child and wondered whether someday their offspring would grow up to be the next Einstein or Newton. If Alison Gopnik were watching, she might suggest that the newborn in the bassinet doesn’t need to grow up. Perhaps they already think like a…

From Genes to Memes – Part 2

Last month’s column discussed the human need to replicate and exchange both biological and cultural information. A gene contains and transmits the cross-generation biological information an organism needs to develop and maintain itself. A meme is the cultural equivalent of a gene—a bit of replicated information that spreads through imitation, teaching, and learning. Memes can…