Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

Behavior genetics against genetic determinism?

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanApril 20, 2009 5:18 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Bryan Caplan notes & argues:

If you take a closer look at BG research, though, you'll notice something interesting. Virtually every BG study partitions variance into three sources: genes, shared family environment, and non-shared environment. Typical estimates are something like 40-50% for genes, 0-10% for shared family environment, and 50% for non-shared environment. And what exactly is non-shared environment? Everything other than genes and family environment! ... Nevertheless, I strongly suspect that if non-shared environment's contribution to behavioral variance were a lot smaller, determinists would be heralding the result as "proof" of their position. And if this suspicion is right, it's only fair to ask them to reduce their confidence in light of the findings of BG research.

This seems about right. The only issue I have is that as Caplan notes there isn't really a lot of data on what the unaccounted for "non-shared environment" is. If it's just so much "noise," there are pretty much no policy implications, right? Whereof one does not know, one must do no harm. Related:Environment as the gene's handmaid.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In