A massive and fast growing field in science—behavioral genetics—has a huge body of conclusive evidence that, at first reading, seems at odds with left-wing ideology.
Robert Plomin, professor of behavioral genetics at King’s College London, published a paper showing that a child’s educational success can be predicted by their genes. Genetic data from 20,000 DNA variants across several genes collectively account for 10% of the differences in children’s educational achievement age 16. At the most extreme ends of this genetic variation is an entire exam grade difference—from A to B grade for those with the highest polygenic score, to B to C grade for those with the lowest.
The notion that success at school could be so influenced by genes is uncomfortable for those who uphold the view that anyone can do or achieve anything they put their mind to.
Though these scientific findings could be alarming for anyone, the seemingly deterministic perspective seems to contradict the left-wing emphasis on the role of privilege in any person’s success.
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