When I worked with a fourth-rate magazine in a run-down building in South Delhi, an “editor” asked me why I brought up “adoption studies” in an article on income inequality. I said intelligence and conscientiousness are the biggest predictors of success. These traits are highly heritable. That dunderhead said he couldn’t see what bearing “adoption studies” can have on all this. He just couldn’t see the relationship. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out how someone can fail to understand such an obvious argument. I was young, and didn’t suffer fools gladly, as I do now. I asked him to get brains. He drove me out. I said, “You’re not a man.”, and he said, “But see what I just did.”
I’m sure the lame toddler who once barged into office crying “Shiphony Didi”, with his funny footwear and computer sketches will soon prove me right. That was his son.
Twin adoption studies study identical and fraternal twins separated at birth, and raised in separate homes. By adulthood, identical twins turn out to be strikingly similar, but fraternal twins aren’t so similar. Adopted children have more in common with their biological parents than with the parents who raised them. They’ve done this repeatedly over many decades, with the same results. It’s undeniable genes are the biggest factor in play here. On fundamentals, there is virtually no disagreement among researchers who professionally review such literature. Continue reading