The Magazine

Their Right Stuff

The evolution of the Harvard guinea pigs.

Nov 19, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 10 • By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
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Vaillant is led to the uncomfortable conclusion that there are certain grounds on which nature is always more important than nurture. Having arrived at the Grant study after it rejected the idea that biology is destiny, he has presided over biology’s return. “In retrospect,” he writes, “I can see that environmentalism in the post-war social sciences was just as extreme as the pre-war hereditarianism had been.” What a come-uppance. Gene science has brought a partial vindication of the men with the skull-clamps and the scrotum-calipers. 

Just as communism, according to an old Hungarian joke, was the long road from capitalism to capitalism, psychiatry now looks like the long road that led from Darwinism to Darwinism.

Christopher Caldwell is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard.