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. 


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