John Protzko

The first law of BG takes a hit

Posted on | December 8, 2015 | No Comments

The first law of behavior genetics (BG) states that everything is partly heritable.

Everything means everything, not just height and intelligence but how you hold your beer cans, your fears, your ability to exert self-control. Everything.

New research involving school suspensions provides a hit to this law.

The authors analyzed data from over 1,000 twins who were surveyed twice during school.

The authors found that there is a strong heritability to being expelled. If one identical twin is expelled, it is very likely their co-twin will be expelled. This is not the case for fraternal (dizygotic) twins. The first law of BG strikes again.

When it came to suspensions, however, there was no heritability. None.

This is the first time I’ve ever heard about a heritability of zero (although others may exist), but it is shocking.

I believe in the first law of behavior genetics, but if we are going to justifiably keep it we should focus deeply on contradictory evidence.

For example, how good looking a child is alters how they are punished, uglier children are punished differently for the same offense.

There is a heritability to physical attractiveness.

Therefore, it would seem there should be a heritability to punishment. The fact that there isn’t, especially in light of experimental evidences saying there should be, is even more profound.


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