By Arthur W. Staats
Prometheus Books, $27.00, 382 pages
Mankind likes to think they are an unique kind of animal. From learning, to the size of our brain, using tools, and more. This is what helps separate us from other animals, we made it to the top because we are smarter than all the others. But are we the only really unique animal on this planet. Apes can make rudimentary tools, wolves are excellent thinkers and hunters. What humans so special? In this book Arthur Staats tries to answer that question, but it is a difficult read. Mr. Staats argues that human learning has not been fully understood by scientists for decades, stretching all the way back to Darwin. He argues that humans start learning when they are still babies and that is does not stop even when they turn into adults. Humans learn by experiences, and new experiences bring about new thoughts and ways to do things.
The problem is the writing itself. It is a mess most of the time and gave me a headache. Mr. Staats seems to be a angry man, and taking it out on everyone in this book. Also the constant rhetorical questions become old quickly. Also a thesaurus would have helped.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter