Robert Plomin on heritability

This post is just a record of the key insights I took away from Sam Harris’ enlightening talk with Robert Plomin.

I sure wish it were easier to capture and embed these kinds of audio segments, and to do so more effectively — ideally with transcription. It was way too much work to construct the URLs that deliver these segments into the embedded players I’ve included here, even with the tool I made for that purpose. It’s nice to have a standard embedded player, finally, but since it doesn’t show the endpoints of the segments you can’t tell they’re each just a few minutes. It looks like they all run to the end.

I wound up going to more trouble than it’s probably worth to convey the most memorable parts of that excellent podcast, and I don’t have time to transcribe more fully, but for what it’s worth, here are the segments that I’ll be remembering.

1. “The most important thing we’ve learned from the DNA revolution in the last 10 years is that genetic influences on complex traits are due to thousands of tiny DNA differences.”

2. “These polygenic scores are perfectly normally distributed.”

3. “I’m saying there are no disorders, there are just quantitative dimensions.”

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