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DNA has little to do with who we are

DNA has little to do with who we are DNA has little to do with who we are
Source: Kata via society6
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived
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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived
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It doesn't matter whether we are talking about criminality, or psychological characteristics, or psychiatric disorders, or perfectly normal human behaviours like political bent, or susceptibility to alcohol, or being gay or anywhere on the spectrum of sexual preferences, the biology that is revealed by genetics are not causes, or triggers, or foundations. They are potential factors: probabilities. We hope that science is nuanced and complex, and not prone to trends. That, alas, is not true. Techniques become easier, and adopted widely. The scrutiny applied varies, in labs, in people, in publications, in funding. Journals are not all equal, and publication in a journal is not a mark of truth, merely that the research has passed a standard that warrants entering formal literature and further discussion with other scientists. That also means in public, and, rightly, in a press for whom nuance and scrutiny are not held to the same standards. Genetics matures, and the data flows. It is complex, and unclear, and requires analysis, and parsing, and experimental testing, and more of all of that over and over. That relationship between a complex ecosystem of scientific research and publications and how that information enters the public domain frequently is broken. H.L. Mencken's maxim at the beginning of Chapter 5 captures it perfectly, and ironically given that lie was a newspaperman:

“For every complicated problem there is a solution that is simple, direct, understandable, and wrong.”

No one will ever find a gene for 'evil', or for beauty, or for musical genius, or for scientific genius, because they don't exist. DNA is not destiny. The presence of a particular variant of a particular gene may just have the effect of altering the odds of any particular behaviour. More likely, the possession of many slight differences in many genes will have an effect on the likelihood of a particular characteristic, in consort with your environment, which includes all things that are not DNA.

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