A key move this book makes is to distill the issues into eight conceptual and methodological gaps that need attention. Some gaps should be kept open; others should be bridged-or the difficulty of doing so should be conceded. Previous researchers and commentators have either not acknowledged all the gaps, not developed the appropriate responses, or not consistently sustained their responses. Indeed, despite decades of contributions to nature-nurture debates, some fundamental problems in the relevant sciences have been overlooked.
When all the gaps are given proper attention, the limitations of human heritability studies become clear. They do not provide a reliable basis for genetic research that seeks to identify the molecular variants associated with trait variation, for assertions that genetic differences in many traits come, over people's lifetimes, to eclipse environmental differences and that the search for environmental influences and corresponding social policies is unwarranted, or for sociological research that focuses on differences in the experiences of members of the same family.
Saying No is saying Yes to interesting scientific and policy questions about heredity and variation. To move beyond the gaps is to make space for fresh inquiries in a range of areas: in various sciences, from genetics and molecular biology to epidemiology and agricultural breeding; in history, philosophy, sociology, and politics of the life and social sciences; and in engagement of the public in discussion of developments in science.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In this well-researched and thought provoking book, Taylor presents more than just another critique of the current assumptions and methodology for the distracting and divisive studies of nature versus nurture. Through an engaging roadmap outlining the field's unanswered questions, the reader is invited to consider how to recognize and measure the interplay of genetics and environments and to pay attention to the underlying factors that also act as components of variations. His conceptual framework provides a foundation for deeper inquiry and analyzes the implications of our current thinking gaps. He also offers alternative qualitative and quantitative approaches to evolve this field in order to lead to new discoveries and connections. While many books point to the need to let go of establishing dominance of preferred factors over others, Taylor's groundbreaking book gives possible directions and viable solutions for the responses and social contexts of our presently unproductive nature-nurture explanations.