No Two Alike

Mr. Hume:  Although The Nurture Assumption made the more noise, I actually liked No Two Alike the better of JRH’s two books. It begins with a pair of identical twins joined together at the head since birth. You can’t get more alike than that: same genome, and how different could their environment have been? Yet by age 29 they were quite different people, so much so that they decided to risk separation surgery so each could pursue her own goals. Alas, they died in the OR.

That’s just the starting point for an exploration of how we get to be what we are, informed by a very wide knowledge of the child-development and personality literature. A lot of what we are is genes, of course; but what’s the rest? That’s her topic, and she makes a very fascinating story out of it.

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4 Responses to No Two Alike

  1. David Hume says:

    Agreed Mr. Bradlaugh, agreed indeed!

  2. In general twin studies fit perfectly into a Darwinian paradigm.We don’t need to resort to anecdotals, but I cannot resist the experience I had with the Van Arsdales, Tom and Dick, who played basketball for Indiana when I was a doctoral student there in the notorious Sixties.

    Tom and Dick were six foot six and built very solidly. They were brilliant enough to both major in math. When have you located any math majors among today’s prominent athletes?? They got mostly A’s in an era when grades were still given on merit and F’s were so common in Physics that predmeds sweatted bullets.The Van Arsdales were All-America and well-behaved enough to never get negative news. My family happened to be in a restaurant with them and they came over to chat with my two sons.While one could detect slight nuances of difference, I marvelled at their similar outcomes on the basketball court. If Tom got 24 points, Dick got 23, and their productivity continued into the NBA which was rather rapidly becoming more black.They were no Michael Jordans but they both remained in the NBA for 10 years.As very smart guys they surely did well after retirement.

    I discuss the nature-nurture issue on YouTube. If you search for Darwin Censored and select my #5 and # 7 you can get my thoughts on this complex issue.Hope you enjoy them.

  3. ◄Dave► says:

    @Cornelius J. Troost

    If you search for Darwin Censored and select my #5 and # 7 you can get my thoughts on this complex issue.

    Here is the link for the above: Darwin Censored. You should consider aggregating the audio from the whole series into a podcast. I commend you for the courage to challenge the PC dogma. Of course, there are some hereabouts who will accuse you of believing in pseudoscience just for challenging conventional wisdom. ◄Dave►

  4. Thanks Dave.

    If the work of Harpending, Hawks, Lahn, and others is pseudoscience, then where do I find real science? It is David Hume who has eloquently defended real research as the empirical basis we must rely upon.However, as he suggested in his review of my book, we must await the cumulative effects of research to establish our theories on more solid ground.This being said, almost 100 years of IQ research leaves little doubt that Jensen was and is correct. One can debate the actual size of heritability of IQ, but whether it is 70 or 80% is surely not earthshakingly important.

    Conventional wisdom based upon a liberal myth is hardly more than mass conformity to wishful thinking and fear, with a large measure of stupidity thrown in. I’ll do the podcast and thank you for the advice.

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