Genetics

'The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality'—A Review

'The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality'—A Review

Is a left-wing author allowed to believe in genetics? The question is only partially sarcastic: Doctrinaire progressives are inclined to cringe (at least for public consumption) at the idea that one’s DNA might drive real differences that shape our lives. Indeed, the whole concept is seen as a means

Robert VerBruggen
Robert VerBruggen
Genetics
There is No ‘Gay Gene,’ but Sexuality is Affected by Many Genes of Small Effect

There is No ‘Gay Gene,’ but Sexuality is Affected by Many Genes of Small Effect

The authors of an international research project into the genetics of same-sex behaviour recently reported their findings, and created a minor media stir. The international team of researchers looked at DNA markers and data from surveys of sexual behaviour completed by over 400,000 UK Biobank participants, as well as

Jerry Barnett
Jerry Barnett
Gay Gene
'The Guarded Gate' Review: Elites and Their Eugenics Projects

'The Guarded Gate' Review: Elites and Their Eugenics Projects

A review of The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants out of America by Daniel Okrent, Scribner, 496 pages (May, 2019). ….our people refuse to apply to human beings such elementary knowledge as every successful farmer is obliged

Jack B. Nimble
Jack B. Nimble
Bioethics
Genes, Environment, and Luck: What We Can and Cannot Control

Genes, Environment, and Luck: What We Can and Cannot Control

Social justice activists have issued a challenge to “check your white privilege.” Inasmuch as I oppose the inherent racism ingrained in such expressions of Identity Politics, my initial replies were of a snarky nature, such as “It’s doing just fine, thank you.” But as I engaged the task more

Michael Shermer
Michael Shermer
Art and Culture
Should We Use Genetic Technology to Boost Human Intelligence?

Should We Use Genetic Technology to Boost Human Intelligence?

Chinese researcher He Jiankui is now world-famous for having announced the creation of genetically-modified twins that would be resistant to HIV. He said that he edited the genomes of these twins with CRISPR/Cas9, a technology that makes it possible to target specific genes within a living organism. Everywhere, scientists

Julien Delhez
Julien Delhez
Genetics
What Does Genetic Research Tell Us About Equal Opportunity and Meritocracy?

What Does Genetic Research Tell Us About Equal Opportunity and Meritocracy?

Editor’s note: This article was adapted from Robert Plomin’s new book Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are. For a review of Blueprint by Gregory Cochran, see here. For a piece by Toby Young on the book, and a wider discussion of social genomics and

Robert Plomin
Robert Plomin
Books
Is Sociogenomics Racist?

Is Sociogenomics Racist?

The publication of Blueprint (2018) by the behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin has revived the old debate about whether there’s something inherently racist or right-wing about looking for biological causes of human behavior. The subtitle of Plomin’s book—How DNA Makes Us Who We Are—makes it sound as

Toby Young
Toby Young
Genetics