Friday, July 13, 2018

A new book will tell you who you really are

I'm excited to read this new book by leading behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin. From the book description:
A century of genetic research shows that DNA differences inherited from our parents are the consistent life-long sources of our psychological individuality―the blueprint that makes us who we are. This, says Plomin, is a game-changer. It calls for a radical rethinking of what makes us who were are. Plomin has been working on these issues for almost fifty years, conducting longitudinal studies of twins and adoptees. He reports that genetics explains more of the psychological differences among people than all other factors combined. Genetics accounts for fifty percent of psychological differences―not just mental health and school achievement, but all psychological traits, from personality to intellectual abilities. Nature defeats nurture by a landslide.
The science should have flipped our understanding of human nature by now, but cultural elites are so allergic to reality, educated Americans still understand people to be a product of their upbringing. If a kid is a drug addict and white, they blame the parents. If he's black, they blame an unjust society. If public opinion reflected the science, people would say, "Poor bastard--he's got bad genes." Sure, there are other factors, and choices matter, but genes are the 800 pound gorilla.

This just shows that people, even those at the top of society, form their opinions based on what they want to believe, not based on the data. For years I didn't want to believe the genetic research, but it's simply too compelling.   

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