The Dependent Gene by David S. Moore
The Fallacy of "Nature vs. Nurture"

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Synopsis

True or false?

Eye color is determined solely by genes
Genes limit our potential
Some traits are more genetic than others

Surprisingly, all of these statements are false. We continually hear about new studies that tell us genes are responsible for traits like obesity, depression, breast cancer, violent behavior, and others. But contrary to public opinion, genes don't determine the final form of any of our traits, even biological ones like hair and eye color.

David S. Moore's The Dependent Gene is the first accessible book to show how all traits are caused by complex, dependent interactions, between genes and the environment. In clear, elegant language, Moore investigates how these interactions occur at every stage of biological and psychological development-from a single fertilized egg to a full-grown adult.

Our beliefs about where traits come from affect how we think about parenting, education, crime, health care, reproduction, and other social issues. In addition, biotechnological advances like cloning and DNA "fingerprinting" have made more important than ever before to understand the role of genetic factors in trait development. An enlightening guide to this brave new world, The Dependent Gene empowers readers to take control of their own destiny.

 

About David S. Moore

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David S. Moore, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Pitzer College and at Claremont Graduate University. He received his doctorate in developmental psychology from Harvard University and did his post-doctoral work at the City University of New York. His work with infants first alerted him to the remarkably complex interplay between nature and nurture in the development of traits, and his views on these subjects have been augmented by his subsequent work in the newly emerging, interdisciplinary fields of developmental cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychobiology.
 
Published January 16, 2002 by W. H. Freeman. 320 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Science & Math, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction

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Moore is also to be commended for his clarifying revisionist history of biology, showing embryology shunted off from the “modern synthesis” that united Darwinian natural selection with population genetics and gene theory.

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Moore ably demonstrates the danger of genetically based judgments, citing such ill-fated examples of genetic determinism as George Bush Sr.'s Alcohol and Drug Initiative in the early 1990s to target and treat potentially violent criminals and, of course, the Nazis' gruesome projects.

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