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Twin Study

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Religiosity is moderately heritable—25 to 45% according to twin studies (Bouchard, 2004; Lewis and Bates, 2013). These figures are of course underestimates, since any noise in the data gets classified as ‘non-genetic’ variability. So the estimates would be higher if we could measure religiosity better. But what does it mean to be religious? Does it... Read More
Election poster from the 1930s for Sweden’s Social Democratic Party (source). Is the welfare state more workable if the population is more predisposed to obey moral norms? Do we differ genetically in our ability, or willingness, to comply with moral norms? Please note: I'm talking about compliance. The norms themselves can vary greatly from one... Read More
Home sweet home in the Scottish borderlands. This was one of the last regions of Britain to be pacified and brought under State control. People lived in fortified homes where the second floor could be reached only by an external ladder that could be pulled up. The stone walls were up to 3 feet thick.... Read More
In debating the causes of the Montreal Massacre, we must confront the psychological similarities between Marc Lépine and his father. Both seem to have had low thresholds for ideation and expression of violence. Was this quick temper passed down from father to son? Or are the similarities only fortuitous? If these psychological characteristics had passed... Read More
On December 6, 1989, a 25-year-old man walked into Montreal’s École polytechnique and murdered fourteen women. The event is still being debated … twenty years later. We know the immediate cause. The murderer, Marc Lépine, felt that places like the École polytechnique were training women to take jobs that had been mainly held by men... Read More
I used to believe in a direct causal link between father absence and early sexual maturity in girls. The reasoning was that a daughter’s sexual development is accelerated when her biological father is replaced by a strange male (such as a stepfather). At the time, I saw this finding as a way to counter the... Read More
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