16 Nov 2009

Dandelion Or Orchid?

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Are you a genetically a dandelion or an orchid? Both have their place in the evolutionary scheme of things according to a recent article in the Atlantic by David Dobbs.

Most of us have genes that make us as hardy as dandelions: able to take root and survive almost anywhere. A few of us, however, are more like the orchid: fragile and fickle, but capable of blooming spectacularly if given greenhouse care. So holds a provocative new theory of genetics, which asserts that the very genes that give us the most trouble as a species, causing behaviors that are self-destructive and antisocial, also underlie humankind’s phenomenal adaptability and evolutionary success. With a bad environment and poor parenting, orchid children can end up depressed, drug-addicted, or in jail—but with the right environment and good parenting, they can grow up to be society’s most creative, successful, and happy people.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

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If you actually live your life as though this sort of thing really accounted for gene movement, your eschatology quickly becomes anisotropic. Pretty soon, you’re telling your kids stuff like this:
[WARNING: graphic language]


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