The Book Depository The Genetic Lottery by Kathryn Paige Harden

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The Book Depository The Genetic Lottery by Kathryn Paige Harden
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Description: The Genetic Lottery : Hardback : Princeton University Press : 9780691190808 : 0691190801 : 01 Oct 2021 : A provocative and timely case for how the science of genetics can help create a more just and equal society. In recent years, scientists like Kathryn Paige Harden have shown that DNA makes us different, in our personalities and in our health-and in ways that matter for educational and economic success in our current society. In The Genetic Lottery, Harden introduces readers to the latest genetic science, dismantling dangerous ideas about racial superiority and challenging us to grapple with what equality really means in a world where people are born different. Weaving together personal stories with scientific evidence, Harden shows why our refusal to recognize the power of DNA perpetuates the myth of meritocracy, and argues that we must acknowledge the role of genetic luck if we are ever to create a fair society. Reclaiming genetic science from the legacy of eugenics, this groundbreaking book offers a bold new vision of society where everyone thrives, regardless of how one fares in the genetic lottery--.

 

Category: Books

Merchant: The Book Depository

Product ID: 9780691190808

MPN: 691190801

GTIN: 9780691190808

 
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Author: Ms. Anna C. Gleave

Rating: 5

Review: There has long been a societal reticence to accept that genes influence our behaviour and personality traits. With the historical track record of eugenics, this is quite an understandable position. However to ignore scientific fact is a dangerous position to take if we wish to find solutions to human frailty and weaknesses in order to make the world a better place for all. Paige Harden manages to make the complex science behind behavioural genetics accessible. She has started a vital debate about how we can use this knowledge to remove some of the judgement felt by those who have succeeded in the modern world towards those who are struggling. Harden considers how we might find ways to compensate those who struggle through no fault of their own (the genetic lottery) and help them to optimise their potential with the relevant and tailored support. To ignore genetics is to continue to apply the wrong solution to a problem and that helps no one. Ultimately the more genetics (nature) comes to the fore the more we need to find environmental solutions (nurture). This is a stimulating, thought provoking read and I only wish government, education and health would take heed.

 

Author: John D.

Rating: 3

Review: Kathryn Harden does a great job of adding to the confusion and contention in the debate over the genetic component of the equality of humans and human races. Like Murray and Herrnstein, Hardin is convincing that people are genetically different giving rise to different and unequal life outcomes. Harden says on page 10 that “the outcome of the genetic lottery is a systemic force that matters for who get more, and who gets less of nearly everything we care about in society.” On page 21 that “we cannot afford to ignore the fundamental fact about human nature: that people are not born the same.” On page 24 that “I hope to convince you that genetics do, in fact matter for understanding social inequality.” On page 121 “After fifty years and more than one million twins, the overwhelming conclusion is that when people inherit different genes, their lives turn out differently. Or most definitively on page 129 “..the inescapable conclusion is that genetic differences between people cause social inequalities.” Having established these genetic facts, Harden spends balance of the book attempting to convince readers that the outcomes of people’s lives are NOT the result of genetics, and that anyone who see genetics as a driving factor is a BAD eugenicist. Hardin is the good geneticist because the science of genetics “is entirely compatible with a full-throated egalitarianism.” OK I am confused. One of her main arguments is the bromide of racism. Page 85 “genetic research does not just disproportionately study White people, It also is disproportionally conducted by White people.” “Eurocentrism of genetic research is an example of how racist systems can interact and reinforce each other.” Page 90 “I am skeptical that scientific results will just so happen to turn out to be consistent with the “Just So” stories told by White people crafting a “moral apology” for slavery and oppression.” Then Hardin is forced back to the facts of genetic science. “Intelligence tests measure individual differences in cognitive functions that are broadly relevant in our current society to people’s performance at school and on the job, even to how long they live.” ( P221) People love sports the world over! Everywhere tests measure individual differences in speed, reaction time, and agility to determine who get the chance to play on which teams, and ultimately which teams will probably be winners and losers. It is widely accepted that speed, reaction time and agility are determined in the genetic lottery of life. But Hardin refuses to accept that cognitive ability determined in the same lottery of life, sets the probability of the winners and losers in the game of life. Hardin is a fervent believer in the equality of people, just as the Catholic Church was a fervent believer that the Earth was the center of the universe. The Church could not come to grips with the evidence of Galileo, and Hardin cannot come to grips with the evidence of genetics. The Church and Hardin’s answer is to smear, condemn and cancel the science and genetic scientist demonstrating inequality. Science will win out. And contrary to Hardin’s book, any equality in people must come from ethics and morality, not genetics.

 

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