Dr. Pinker seems to convert the defense against blaming parents into romanticizing them, a deft move. Yet, he does not seem to know the arguments for the influences of parenting, because he does not argue against them. Instead he sets up straw dogs to knock down, pointing to the inability of cats and parrots to learn language like a baby, when he really seems to want to demonstrate that some individuals within the species are better hardwired to manipulate ideas than others. He then argues that children of immigrants can adapt better than their parents, which is not at all an argument for hardwiring or genetics either and is, rather, a focus on influences from later years of childhood. Yet, arguments for or against the influence of parenting on personality and intelligence should focus on the early years. Pinker says that what is hardwired is "motive and the ability to analyze the signals coming out of someone else's mouth as being formed out of units that have fixed meanings within a community and combinational rules that allow new ideas to be expressed ..." In other words, intelligence is inherited. I would argue that babies who do not have parents dialoguing with them, interacting, adoring, relating to their feelings and points of view, guessing their thoughts, giving words to their needs, do not develop as intelligently as those who do. It is a shame that this information is not widely disseminated, but instead, is sorely ignored or even deflected. I would recommend the works of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (attachment), Bessel van der Kolk, Colin Ross and Alvin Pam (trauma), Daniel Siegel, Allan Shore, and Bruce Perry (early childhood neuropsychologcal development), to get started.