The math gene: how mathematical thinking evolved and why numbers are like gossipWhy is math so hard? And why, despite this difficulty, are some people so good at it? If there’s some inborn capacity for mathematical thinking—which there must be, otherwise no one could do it —why can’t we all do it well? Keith Devlin has answers to all these difficult questions, and in giving them shows us how mathematical ability evolved, why it’s a part of language ability, and how we can make better use of this innate talent.He also offers a breathtakingly new theory of language development—that language evolved in two stages, and its main purpose was not communication—to show that the ability to think mathematically arose out of the same symbolmanipulating ability that was so crucial to the emergence of true language. Why, then, can’t we do math as well as we can speak? The answer, says Devlin, is that we can and do—we just don’t recognize when we’re using mathematical reasoning. 
From inside the book
1 page matching Why are numbers beautiful? It's like asking why is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don't see why, someone can't tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren't beautiful, nothing is in this book
What people are saying  Write a review
User ratings
5 stars 
 
4 stars 
 
3 stars 
 
2 stars 
 
1 star 

Review: The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved And Why Numbers Are Like Gossip
User Review  Daniel Belay  GoodreadsDevlin argues that mathematical thinking evolved as the human brain developed the capacity for language, and spends a majority of the book discussing human evolution and linguistics. While starting ... Read full review
Review: The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved And Why Numbers Are Like Gossip
User Review  Maria Rita Biagini  GoodreadsThe book must be read. It is not an easy reading. I've appreciated it and I'm going to read it again in order to understand some theories about language that it try to explain and I've not got completely. Read full review
Contents
A Mind for Mathematics  1 
In the Beginning Is Number  15 
Everybody Counts  39 
Copyright  
10 other sections not shown