The First Lawyer of Behavior Genetics Speaks Out Against Plomin’s Blueprint

In his latest post, the behavioral psychologist Eric Turkheimer writes that in Blueprint, Robert Plomin appropriates his ideas without attribution and twists their meaning. You may have heard of the so-called First Law of Behavior Genetics: All human behavioral traits are heritable.” Turkheimer coined this and two further “laws” to point up ironies in the way behavior genetics was being practiced. “I wasn’t making the case that genes are the ultimate force that explains everything,” Turkheimer writes. “I was suggesting that if everything is heritable, maybe heritability is just an unsurprising part of the ordinary world, not a deep genetic insight into ‘what makes us human.’”

In effect, Turkheimer’s criticism of Blueprint is that its central thesis is based on a simplistic misreading of his (Turkheimer’s) work. This misreading makes Plomin’s book, Turkheimer writes, “simultaneously grandiose, boring and dangerous.” Ouch.

Here are the citations and links for Turkheimer’s original formulations of the “laws”:

 

Robert Plomin’s Use of My Ideas in “Blueprint”

4 thoughts on “The First Lawyer of Behavior Genetics Speaks Out Against Plomin’s Blueprint”

  1. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so
    I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to
    everything. Do you have any suggestions for newbie blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

    Reply
  2. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would appreciate your
    work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

    Reply
    • Hi,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I write extensively for academic journals and trade magazines and have published two books and an edited volume.
      If you post a link to your blog I’ll check it out and let you know.
      Cheers,

      Reply

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: