Steven Arthur Pinker (b. 1954 in Montreal, Canada) is a cognitive neuroscientist and evolutionary psychologist at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and author of a number of acclaimed popular science books including The Blank Slate, The Language Instinct, and How The Mind Works. Pinker explains a variety of human faculties including language as being an evolved capacity and explores in depth the reasons why natural selection would choose to develop the brain's linguistic systems. Pinker asserts that the capacity for language is in-built, but the specific rules have to be picked up through learning.
Pinker was raised in a Reform Jewish family, but is now an atheist.