Nature's Goodness & Genetic Determinism
This week on Psychology Today, I published an article on how knowledge of behavioral genetics shapes our moral judgements, titled Is Kindness Genetically Predetermined?
This week on the Nature & Nurture Podcast, I interviewed Dr. Alan Levinovitz about his book Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science. Find the podcast on YouTube & Spotify.
In this episode we talk about Alan’s book Natural, and attempt to understand why people gravitate towards assuming what is natural is good, what is unnatural is bad, and how people come up with ideas of naturalness in the first place. We contrast examples such as “unnatural” foods and medicines improving our lives, and “natural” diseases harming us, to make the case that what is natural may not be good, and what is unnatural may not be bad. We discuss historical and evolutionary reasons, including reducing uncertainty, for why humans tend to deify the natural and associate it with the good, as well as the philosophical implications of these differing worldviews, and how to cope with uncertainty.