Do Genes Really Determine Your Hobbies, Relationships, and Voting Habits?

Science and Pop Culture Make DNA Seem All-Important, But Nurture Still Matters as Much as Nature

Over the past 25 years, we’ve become surprisingly comfortable with the idea that genes play a large role in our lives. When DNA is in the mix, people assume that it is the primary cause of whatever human trait is being talked about. People may choose whether to pursue a hobby or a relationship based on test results—even though it means that they must dismiss the other information they have at their disposal. Judges have even used genetic tests to make sentencing decisions.

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Consciousness Isn’t About the Mind, It’s About the Body

Thinking and Feeling Are the Products of the Brain's Physical Architecture

Many students of the mind have observed that consciousness—as a word or as a concept—is a placeholder, a suitcase word for multiple processes in our brains. Those processes are systems …

Designer DNA Isn’t Just for ‘Designer Babies’

Dystopian Imagery Makes It Hard to Assess the Perils and Promise of Gene Editing

When we talk about gene editing technology, we often talk about—but almost never deeply consider—the concept of designer babies. Consider this article in The New York Times, titled “Gene Editing …

Resurrection Biology

Bring out the dead–the passenger
pigeon and Carolina parakeet,
the Tasmanian tiger, the dodo,
the mammoth still sleeping
in icy Neolithic dreams.

Unspool them in ribbons and splice
the shredded places …