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Evolution and MoralityNOMOS LII$
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James E. Fleming and Sanford Levinson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814771228

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814771228.001.0001

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Missing Heritability

Missing Heritability

Hidden Environment in Genetic Studies of Human Behavior

(p.100) 3 Missing Heritability
Evolution and Morality

Jonathan Beckwith

Corey A. Morris-Singer

NYU Press

This chapter explores the search for biological explanations of variation in human behavior and aptitudes, focusing on the field of human behavioral genetics. Today, the two main efforts to correlate genetic variation with variations in human behavior are (1) the classical studies of genetically identical twins and (2) research to directly correlate human behavioral variation with alterations of specific sites on the human genome. Studies carried out since the human genome was completely sequenced in the year 2000 reveal a much greater complexity than expected in the relationship among genes, environment, human traits, and behavior. This development has led to talk in the scientific literature about “missing heritability”—the gap between the heritabilities for traits calculated by those doing twin studies and the actual contribution of genes detected by genome mapping.

Keywords:   biological explanations, human behavior, human behavioral genetics, genetic variation, twin studies, genome mapping, missing heritability

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