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Why scientists must fight off the DNA determinists

Genetic determinism has never been less justified but it is pushing its way back onto the agenda

One idea to have pushed its way back on to the scientific agenda is genetic determinism, the belief that genes determine the greater portion of human behaviour—that what we are and all we can achieve is encoded like a blueprint in our DNA. In psychologist Robert Plomin’s recent book Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are, for example, it is possible to see a version of this “hereditarianism,” albeit it in a more caveated and less crude form than is traditional. It is a dangerous strain of thought.

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