Meanwhile the expanding pile of data on infants, who are not tainted by culture, shows remarkable parity among sexes and races. "We're getting evidence for an intricate and rich system of core knowledge that everyone shares and that gives us common ground," Spelke declares. "In a world of so much conflict, I think that's something we badly need."
DAVID DOBBS is a freelance science and medical writer who lives in Montpelier, Vt. He is author of Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral (Pantheon Books, 2005). His writing can be found at www.daviddobbs.net
- Number Sense in Human Infants. F. Xu, E. S. Spelke and S. Goddard in Developmental Science, Vol. 8, No. 1, pages 88101; January 2005.
- Pinker versus Spelke: A Debate. Available on Edge: The Third Culture Web site: www.edge.org/3rd_culture/debate05/debate05_index.html