Genetic Research and Human Behaviour
Genetic knowledge brings new fatalism: “…people often respond in rather fatalistic ways when they hear about genetic causes. We believe this is because most people have quite erroneous conceptions of how genes influence behavior. They seem to conceive of genes as something like ingredients in a recipe. Just as an extra cup of sugar will necessarily make the cake sweeter, people think that having a gene for obesity will inevitably make them heavier. However, genes are not the ingredients of our selves. The expressions of genes are governed by experiences and interactions with other genes, and they guide behaviors in probabilistic ways. Furthermore, genes can influence the ways we interact with, and are thus shaped by, our environments. The ways genes affect behavior are far more complicated than the ways that are typically summarized in university press releases or newspaper articles. In the end, these simplified stories can misrepresent genetic explanations for behaviors.
The next few decades of genetic research promises to provide us with an unprecedented opportunity to peer into the nature of our souls. We should venture with caution so we’re not blinded by what we see.” find the complete article here Genetic research and human behavior – The Boston Globe