Brain matters

As many of you know, I am currently pursuing a doctorate at Durham University. What many of you don’t yet know is that my wife is also pursuing her bachelor’s degree in sociology here at Durham. I’ve become her personal tutor with her research papers, and she’s currently working on one dealing with gender inequalities in British education.

This got us talking as we waited for our coffee to brew (cheap IKEA french press; don’t buy one, they leak). The question we were pondering was, ‘Are people born with the same or differing brain capacity?’ In other words, is anybody really smarter than anybody else? Or do people achieve a status of ‘intelligent,’ ‘brilliant,’ ‘genius’ etc simply due sociological influences, i.e. the opportunities they have been afforded throughout life (especially early childhood and education)?

I don’t have an answer to that question. But it’s worth considering. Why are you ‘smart’ or not? In relation to the major current topic of this blog, namely the study of the ancient languages, why is one person ‘good’ at them and another person struggles? Or, why can one person play the violin like a master and another sounds like a dying horse?

Comments welcome, but be nice.

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