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From Honeybees to Street Vendors: Math as Popular Science.
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From Honeybees to Street Vendors: Math as Popular Science.
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Review Title
From
Honeybees
to
Street
Vendors
:
Math
as
Popular
Science
.
Year
2005
Abstract
Reviews
the
book
The
Math
Instinct
:
Why
You're
a
Mathematical
Genius
(Along
With
Lobsters
,
Birds
,
Cats
, and
Dogs)
, by
Keith
Devlin
(see
record
200508712000)
.
One
can
hardly
mention
the
subject
of
mathematics
without
hearing
about
the
general
public's
dismal
level
of
mathematical
ability
.
Great
concern
has been
expressed
about
the
mathematical
abilities
of
U.S
.
students
compared
with
students
in
other
countries
.
However
, in his
book
,
Devlin
argues
that
all
of us have
remarkably
sophisticated
natural
abilities
in
math
.
Devlin
does
not
dispute
that
performance
on
tests
of
math
skills
is
low
.
Instead
, his
claim
is
that
we
have
all
sorts
of
innate
abilities
but that
we
have
difficulty
applying
these
abilities
to the
abstract
math
that
we
try
to
learn
in
school
.
Devlin
does
not
make
a
strong
case
on how to
improve
math
skills
, but he
does
do
an
excellent
job
of
demonstrating
that
mathematics
is
ingrained
in
our
biology
. The
Math
Instinct
is
really
a
popular
science
book
about
biologythe
biology
of
mathematics
.
Devlin
describes
example
after
example
of
remarkable
mathematical
abilities
demonstrated
by a
variety
of
organisms
,
including
humans
. A
key
distinction
is
drawn
between
natural
mathematics
and
abstract
mathematics
of the
kind
that
we
attempt
to
learn
in
school
.
Natural
math
abilities
are a
product
of
evolution
by
natural
selection
.
Why
is
it
so
difficult
for us to
apply
our
natural
mathematical
skills
to
learning
abstract
math
?
Devlin
makes
it
abundantly
clear
that these are
very
different
types
of
skills
. In
some
cases
, the
term
natural
mathematics
refers
to
descriptions
of the
animal's
behavior
rather
than
calculations
performed
by the
animal
.
Readers
who
expect
to
learn
how to
reform
math
education
or how to
improve
their
own
lackluster
math
skills
probably
will not
find
the
book
satisfying
.
However
, as a
popular
science
description
of the
mathematics
of
biology
, this
book
is
immensely
satisfying
.
(PsycINFO
Database
Record
(c)
2017
APA
,
all
rights
reserved)
Serial Title
PsycCRITIQUES
Volume/Issue
Vol 50(47)
Publisher
American Psychological Association
APA Database
PsycCritiques
Document Type
ReviewBook
File Name
200512970001.pdf
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