“THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” Different circumstances present different risks and opportunities, and in this brave new world of psychobiology and genetics, how and why we respond to any specific circumstance seems to be increasingly explained by what’s in our genes rather than what kind of diapers we wore growing up. In other words, nature seems to be edging out nurture as the chief culprit for shaping our behavior and identities. But, of course, the whole story is a little more complicated than that. Steven Pinker talks about the somewhat muddled implications of getting to know your genome in his New York Times Magazine article “My Genome, My Self”. Mapping our individuality through our genes at first seems like a straightforward proposition (i.e. this gene makes you fat, this one makes you good at math). But the endeavor quickly becomes a rabbit hole that leads you from piece to piece to piece – all of which refuse to neatly add up and explain a concept like intelligence, let alone demystifying what makes you you:

The search for I.Q. genes calls to mind the cartoon in which a scientist with a smoldering test tube asks a colleague, “What’s the opposite of Eureka?”