Dear Kamran,

I have been a critic of research produced by the "behavioral genetics"
field, particularly twin studies, since 1998. In "Behave" (Chapter 8),
Sapolsky endorsed most major behavioral genetic claims and research
methods. In particular, he loves Bouchard's greatly flawed and heavily
genetically biased "Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart" even while, like
many commentators, he got the basic facts wrong about this study (eg.,
twins were not "separated at birth," which implies that they grew up not
knowing each other, and were reunited when studied). Given the fact that
the Minnesota study is often cited by white nationalist groups, in addition
to having been financed by the white nationalist Pioneer Fund, I wish he
would have reviewed it more closely and critically. To his credit Sapolsky
did discuss several criticisms of behavioral genetic twin and
adoption research, but he concluded in favor of this body of research and
in favor of general behavioral genetic positions, even if the "perceived
importance" of genes may be "inflated." For this and other reasons, I
cannot endorse this book.

Jay Joseph, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist
Author of *The Trouble with Twin Studies: A Reassessment of Twin Research
in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
 (2015), and Schizophrenia and Genetics: The End of an Illusion
<> (2017)

Blog: "The Gene Illusion" <>


On Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 6:01 PM Kamran Nayeri <[log in to unmask]>

> Dear All:
> I have been reading Behave and watching lectures and interviews by Robert
> Sapolsky. He is a fascinating speaker and has obviously a depth of
> knowledge in his field of study.
> I wonder if anyone on this list is familiar with his work and has opinions
> about it and can share any critique of the view of the biological nature of
> humans.
> Thank you.
> Kamran