Mirror of Zen Blog

Parents Matter, But They Don’t Seem to Make a Difference

In fact, parents have far less control over their child’s outcome than they think. This is the consensus of some of the latest research into genetics and its influence on our behavior.

Here is tiny excerpt from a very, very eye-opening discussion between Sam Harris and Robert Plomin, an American psychologist and geneticist who is renowned for his studies of the behavioural differences in twins who have been separated and were raised apart. It’s truly fascinating stuff about the brain-based “who” of us. I heard this discussion when it first dropped, in July 2020, and listened to it again three days later. It was amazing to see further insights bubble up to the surface — about us as humans, of course, but also reflections and insights bearing on my own development in a family of nine kids.

Plomin’s latest book, Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are, makes the case that DNA inherited from our parents at the moment of conception can predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses. Of course, it’s not as simple as that, he says, since there are some other caveats. But that is the determination of his lifetime of work as an esteemed pioneer in this field. It is an utterly engrossing conversation.

If you are interested, most of the rest of the discussion happens on Sam’s podcast. Here is a direct link to the YouTube version (truncated):

(Some descriptive info for this post should be credited to Sam’s YouTube channel.)

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