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Genetic Glitch May Prevent Kids From Learning From Their Mistakes

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the bzzt-ow-bzzt-ow-bzzzzzzzzzt-ooooooow dept.

Education 500

jamie pointed out an interesting piece being featured in Newsweek that claims a "genetic glitch" may prevent some kids from learning from their mistakes to the same degree as others. "If there is one thing experts on child development agree on, it is that kids learn best when they are allowed to make mistakes and feel the consequences. So Mom and Dad hold back as their toddler tries again and again to cram a round peg into a square hole. [...] But not, it seems, all kids. In about 30 percent, the coils of their DNA carry a glitch, one that leaves their brains with few dopamine receptors, molecules that act as docking ports for one of the neurochemicals that carry our thoughts and emotions. A paucity of dopamine receptors is linked to an inability to avoid self-destructive behavior such as illicit drug use. But the effects spill beyond such extremes. Children with the genetic variant are unable to learn from mistakes. No matter how many tests they blow by partying the night before, the lesson just doesn't sink in."

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Refusing to learn from mistakes? (-1, Troll)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562669)

Kinda like the Democrats?

Refusing to learn from mistakes? (-1, Flamebait)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562709)

Kinda like the Republicans?

Refusing to learn from mistakes? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562765)

Kinda like the Libertarians? (if they ever got a chance damnit)

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (1, Funny)

networkconsultant (1224452) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562935)

now now if you ran a business you'd be a libertarian too.

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (5, Funny)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562995)

Unless your business gets big fat government subsidies. Then you'd be Iowa.

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (-1, Offtopic)

networkconsultant (1224452) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563089)

Libertarians are inherently anti government subsidy, let the market decide! If you are unemployed it's because you are useless! RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT!

You Mean "Republican" (-1, Offtopic)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563215)

Yes, of course. If you ran a business, you'd be a "libertarian" too, now, because now everyone knows "Republicans" run the country like a business: into bankruptcy, fire sale and embezzler's prison. So you have to start calling yourself "libertarian" so you can keep voting for the President of Sim City, instead of someone whose profession is governing.

Moderation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562955)

Once we finish moderating these, we'll know which one of the parent posts didn't learn from their mistakes!

Refusing to learn from mistakes? (4, Funny)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563189)

Kinda like those guys who keep finding genetic links to damn near everything?

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562779)

Kinda like voters?

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (0, Flamebait)

PacketShaper (917017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562857)

I'm curious why "kinda like the Democrats" was modded as Flamebait while "kinda like the Republicans" was modded funny...

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562879)

Using the topic to push a personal political opinion is flamebait. A reply which is exactly the opposite illustrates the irony of the argument, and thus is funny.

The next few people playing off of the original joke with their own variation are hoping to get caught up in a time-honoured slashdot tradition of karma-whoring threads.

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562887)

Click on the "Score: 1" link. They were both modded both up and down. I consider that fair, because both are amusing, but also flamebait. ;)

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563045)

Repeat after me:

EVERY... DIFFERENCE... IS... AN... ILLUSION... TO... DISTRACT... YOU!

(And yes, you have to yell it. More text to counter the lame "lameness" censorship. ;)

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562745)

A relevant 1st post?

You must be new here.

Seriously though, I wonder if this genetic defect correlates with any genetic traits that make kids more likely to enter politics?

I.e. Just like Dyslexic persons are usually able to see patterns and correlations that mis others, perhaps these none learners have that extra arrogance which says "a million strangers will choose me over you".

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (1)

iksbob (947407) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562863)

The tendencies seen in politicians strikes me as an intentionally adopted behavior, rather than genetic predisposition. If a politician changes his/her ways as a result of some failure, that can be read on the surface (as deep as politics seems to get these days) as admitting he/she was wrong in some form. Politicians do their best to look as absolutely pristine as they can manage, so as to give the competition as little mud to sling as possible.

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (4, Interesting)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562885)

There was a story months ago about how Dems brains differed from Reps in that Dems would change their mind about things more, while Reps would usually stick to their original decision no matter what. Can't find it on google though...

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (1)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563205)

That would imply that dems would win all of the elections, as only 30% have this gene.

Re:Refusing to learn from mistakes? (1)

tuomoks (246421) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563021)

Funny, why flamebait? If I could vote in US I would vote for a democrat %50 of time, or maybe a little less, there still are more parties than two? Doesn't everybody vote a person by merits, not by (business) connections?

Anyway, an interesting reaction from moderators. And if what I see about moderation, I go with anonymous "Kind like voters?"

Back to topic, interesting - I was one of those in college, not life threatening but the tests were a little difficult when not feeling too well in the morning. Good that I can blame my DNA - fortunately it doesn't seem to go to the next generation, even as adult they often say "thank you" for telling us your shortcomings so we don't have to learn them the hard way. Maybe it skips generations but that's their problem - heh!

Hey! (5, Funny)

Herr_Skymarshall (1029532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562671)

Let's party like we don't know any better!

Takes all kinds (5, Interesting)

XanC (644172) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562679)

Is this humanity's insurance policy against catastrophic changes, where the old rules don't apply?

Re:Takes all kinds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562743)

30% would seem a bit high, though. How often do catastrophic changes occur?

Re:Takes all kinds (5, Interesting)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562847)

Well, until recently, pretty often. It 30% shows me there is obviously some form of survival benefit to this for it to be so high.

They cast this in a very negative light, calling it a disability, but the inability to learn from mistakes is actually a god send. I don't know how many people I've seen get knocked down at work, or turned down by women and not get back up. It's the people who throw themselves at things against the odds and keeps fighting that truly captures the imagination. I'm not surprised it is as low as 30% when you see the state of politics and society.

Mostly this article is a crock of shit. Genetics is becoming the new astrology, and I see little evidence that what they say really applies on a macro level.

Re:Takes all kinds (2, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562925)

I don't know how many people I've seen get knocked down at work, or turned down by women and not get back up. It's the people who throw themselves at things against the odds and keeps fighting that truly captures the imagination.

That's giving up hope. Learning from your mistakes would be getting turned down by a woman, analyzing what might have led to that outcome, and trying to fix it.

Re:Takes all kinds (5, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563037)

"That's giving up hope. "

Giving up hope is a function of learning from your mistakes, there are situations where it is perfectly rational to give up hope.

They don't address the complexity of 'learning from your mistakes', one man's mistake is another man's genius idea. History is filled with critics that thought someone was mistaken when they ultimately turned out to be right, especially in mathematics.

Re:Takes all kinds (1)

Snoobic (1200681) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563191)

/agree

There's a difference. A combination of evolution, tenacity, and drive are all good things - and can lead to solving near-impossible problems.

I think what the article is describing more of an illogical, blind tenacity. I believe it was Ben Franklin who said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

segregation (4, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562983)

Whether it's a disability or not, I think we should seriously consider segregating the two populations and putting them in different classrooms. I bet that, to achieve their best, they'll need radically different teaching methods.

Re:segregation (3, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563133)

Whether it's a disability or not, I think we should seriously consider segregating the two populations and putting them in different classrooms.

Can it be called "The Gattaca Initiative"?

Re:Takes all kinds (1)

erareno (1103509) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562777)

I would think NOTICING the change would be more important than doing the same thing you did by mistake before any change occurred.

Just my two cents.

Almost (1)

snaildarter (1143695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563049)

Replace "humanity" with "evolution" and you are absolutely correct. Dawkin's The Selfish Gene explains it well.

Re:Takes all kinds (2, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563067)

Perhaps, perhaps not.

Consider that many kinds of sociopathy have the same kind of behavioral characteristics, but also include lack of guilt, inability to love, and parrotting of a number of emotions.

Correlation != Causation, but the relationship of risky behaviors and inabiity to learn from many kinds of mistakes also typifies the pathology of sociopaths.

Sadly... (5, Funny)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562681)

After 25 years of research the leading scientist discovered he also had the gene.

Re:Sadly... (1)

networkconsultant (1224452) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562953)

oddly enough his children were found at the local speakeasy before their SAT's.

Re:Sadly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24563015)

Although the scientist also came up with a remarkable new breed of superfly. That could, unaided, figure out how to fly through the open half of a half-open window. And also an off-switch for children.

Self-destructive behavior such as illicit drug use (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562687)

We actually have a special set of receptors called legislons that determine if a molecule is illicit vs one approved by congress.

Illicit? (5, Insightful)

solweil (1168955) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562711)

Illicit does not necessarily mean self-destructive. It is a matter of law, not health.

STDs in prison (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562865)

Illicit does not necessarily mean self-destructive. It is a matter of law, not health.

A matter of law is a matter of health for people who catch a disease while incarcerated.

Re:STDs in prison (1)

solweil (1168955) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562883)

The health problems that result from legal issues and punishment is why I hedged my statement with 'not necessarily.'

Re:STDs in prison (1)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563165)

Why, yes, the Almighty State is hazardous to your health. What a surprise.

Re:Illicit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562903)

It's self-destructive if using those drugs results in you going to pound-you-in-the-ass prison.

Wow, they should study the Slashdot editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562715)

nowhere else in the world is their [sic] a group of individuals more afflicted by these [sic] disorder then [sic] the Slashdot editers [sic]. What do they have to loose [sic]?

Re:Wow, they should study the Slashdot editors (3, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562789)

You can cure those siccups if you drink a glass of water with your head upside down.

So What's My Excuse? (4, Funny)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562723)

I know I fail to learn from my mistakes.

I forget to take out the trash.

I'm told about it.

I forget again.

What's my problem??

Re:So What's My Excuse? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562869)

I know I fail to learn from my mistakes.

I forget to take out the trash.

I'm told about it.

I forget again.

What's my problem??

Living with someone who tells you to take out the trash?

Re:So What's My Excuse? (1, Flamebait)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563083)

Get married in Japan. It's woman's work to take out the garbage there.

Hmm.. (-1, Troll)

SilverBlade2k (1005695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562727)

Sounds like Dubya has this genetic glitch..

scientific proof! (0, Troll)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562731)

This must explain conservatives. Keep trying the same failed policies time after time, each iteration expecting a different result. (Not a troll, just statement of fact. Look at the neocons trying to get us into a war over Georgia.) And let us not forget our pending war with Iran.

Re:scientific proof! (1, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563233)

This must explain conservatives. Keep trying the same failed policies time after time, each iteration expecting a different result. (Not a troll, just statement of fact. Look at the neocons trying to get us into a war over Georgia.) And let us not forget our pending war with Iran.

Son, did you read what I wrote? I said it ain't a troll, don't go modding it as such.

This explains... (5, Funny)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562733)

Why Bart Simpson kept trying to reach the electrified candy, while Lisa's hamster did not. The whole "bzzt...ow...bzzt...ow" sequence is stuck in my head.

Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562753)

They should really do more debugging before release.

Obligatory xkcd (5, Funny)

unfasten (1335957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562767)

from the bzzt-ow-bzzt-ow-bzzzzzzzzzt-ooooooow dept.

http://xkcd.com/242/ [xkcd.com]

Bart vs the Hamster (1)

cailith1970 (1325195) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563001)

I was thinking of that Simpsons episode myself, where Lisa did the tests to see if a hamster was more intelligent than Bart by wiring a electrical charge to a cupcake.

Whenever someone at work made the same mistake twice, we'd always trundle out the Simpsons quote (is there nothing that the Simpsons don't have an appropriate quote for?)

Re:Bart vs the Hamster (5, Interesting)

schon (31600) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563135)

(is there nothing that the Simpsons don't have an appropriate quote for?)

Scientology and abortion.

Scientology because Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart) is a die-hard scientologist, and (if you believe the rumors) has threatened to quit if they poke fun at it. The closest they got was "The Joy of Sect" (wherein most of Springfield joins a cult.)

Don't know the reason behind the abortion stance. Maybe because it's too hard to joke about tastefully.

Re:Bart vs the Hamster (1)

cailith1970 (1325195) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563195)

Well there you go - there's the two things I've never tried to apply a Simpsons quote to. Go figure.

Re:Bart vs the Hamster (1)

Squiffy (242681) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563243)

"...is there nothing that the Simpsons don't have an appropriate quote for?"

They don't have a quote for the case in which the Simpsons don't have an appropriate quote for something. Maybe that's because it never happens? Hm...

Attention deficit disorder (5, Informative)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562781)

Sounds like ADD to me. I've got ADD and although I'm very intelligent, I haven't been an 'A' student since freshman year of high school. I can learn things well, but I continue the same behaviors that prevent me from succeeding, such as reading Slashdot (among other things) instead of doing homework.

I took Adderall in school, which I believe stimulates dopamine and does indeed make it easier to do my homework. Also makes me test positive for meth, tell jokes that don't make sense to anyone but myself, and sleep 5 hours per night.

I was going somewhere with this post, but as usual, I got distracted. Anyway, I hope this perspective can inform someone or at least make the other folks with ADD feel like they're not alone, even when so many people don't even think ADD is real.

Re:Attention deficit disorder (4, Funny)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562833)

you just described my typical behaviour... but I've never been diagnosed with ADD, I just have a short... ooh a penny!

Re:Attention deficit disorder (3, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562839)

I know that's a joke, but if you find yourself fucking things up in ways that don't make sense to you, you may benefit from seeing a psychiatrist. Sometimes the drugs can turn people's lives around.

I wouldn't have graduated from college without my Adderall.

Re:Attention deficit disorder (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562835)

...and sleep 5 hours per night.

That's not the Adderall [xkcd.com] .

Re:Attention deficit disorder (1)

flonker (526111) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562961)

I was never diagnosed with ADD, but I'm discovering as an adult that I do indeed have it. Are there any tips or behaviour changes that help to complete projects without taking medication?

Re:Attention deficit disorder (4, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563055)

Give yourself structure. Make yourself a list of things you need to do every day. You could use paper, or be like me and get a $100 Palm Pilot. To me, mine is worth every penny. My list includes showering, walking the dog, getting haircuts, going to job interviews, getting my car inspected, paying my taxes, and pretty much every other thing I need to do.

Other things are make sure your hygiene is good. Shower every day if you can. Get exercise. Ride your bike for half an hour every day, if possible. I've really taken a liking to cycling and it's helped to put my life in the right direction and help my lose lots of weight. Eat an egg for breakfast everyday; it'll make you feel good. Don't eat junk food.

Keeping your body in shape helps you think more clearly, and the running theme is here that providing yourself with structure and goals is the best thing you can do for yourself this side of medication. I swear that giving myself some structure is the only reason I was able to graduate from college on time and the only way I'll succeed in making my career go somewhere and being the husband my wife deserves.

Re:Attention deficit disorder (1)

sykodoc (763810) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563229)

"How many kids with ADD does it take to screw in a lightbulb?!?" "Huh? I dunno. How many?" "I don't know. Want to go ride bikes?"

Re:Attention deficit disorder (2, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563271)

I've got ADD and although I'm very intelligent, I haven't been an 'A' student since freshman year of high school. I can learn things well, but I continue the same behaviors that prevent me from succeeding, such as reading Slashdot (among other things) instead of doing homework.

I had the same problem, I've been a 'B' student my whole life. From elementary through high school, where a B wasn't good, to college, where a B was about average, to law school where a B is pretty damn good. I think there's probably at least a few people somewhere who studied more for one class in one semester than I studied in 24 years of schooling. Though honestly I really regret not getting treated early on, I think I missed some good opportunities there.

Oh dont worry sir... (1)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562791)

...its just a glitch, we'll have this fixed in no time.
*bang*!

So that's what causes it! (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562799)

So /. editors don't learn from publishing dupes? [slashdot.org]

OK, maybe this isn't a dupe (diffrent researchers, maybe?), but I don't want to bring the groupthink's wrath down on me by RTFA.

Always comes down to our DNA (4, Interesting)

houbou (1097327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562801)

I'm not surprised anymore at articles such as this one. Our DNA is basically a blue print of who we are. Our limitations, strengths, etc...

While we are also a product of our environment, it's interesting to see how as we move forward in the research of the human body and mind, many of our issues which we would have deemed "environmental", are actually genetic.

So, the question is, can we fix this? And then, if we fix it, are we a different person? or just better? Is our individuality really based on our DNA? what does that make of the human soul? Not a religious person by nature, I do think there is a God, but, I believe that humanity has the right and the responsibility to learn as much of itself as possible, in order to survive and to improve as a species.

To me, an interesting question that raises is about our soul, such as, is our individuality link to it? or not? Having read and seen documentaries that a person on their death bed loses weight as they migrate from life to death. Many believe that our "soul" has a quantitive weight.

Who are we? If one could fix a learning disability by "re-wiring" our DNA, then, what's this "soul" thing to us?

Could it be that really, our version of heaven is actually our ability to learn about ourselves to the point where we can engineer our own immortality?

After all, for many, heaven is a blissful eternity of life after death. That's what many religions sell in their brochure :P (I said MANY, not all)

Is our goal to achieve long life by understanding our DNA? is this really what our reward will be? our quest for immortality lies within our reach in research and understanding of ourselves and what makes us really tick? :)

This thread may sound off beat to the topic at hand, but, I personally think it that there is a link.

Being able to fix a person by DNA so that they can finally "learn" from their mistake, is a behavioral fix. Done using medical treatment. To me, this means that there could be a day where "Psychology" as we know it might actually end, and DNA fixes could actually be the cure to depression, etc...

Cheers!

Rethinking religion (2, Interesting)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563209)

I think your comment is right-on to the topic. This finding, if it bears out, kind of blows the whole "sin" doctrine right out of the water, doesn't it? If some people cannot help but repeat their mistakes, how can they ever be "saved" from sin?

Re:Always comes down to our DNA (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563223)

Our DNA is basically a blue print of who we are.

Wrong. Epic fail. DNA determines what we are, not who we are. Saying DNA determines what we are is like looking at a blueprint of an office building and trying to determine what type of business will operate there.

So, the question is, can we fix this?

Who said people are broken?

I think I have this... (5, Funny)

srjh (1316705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562805)

I always hit submit before

Interesting... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562809)

But essentially flambait: illicit drug use is not always a self-destructive behavior. Some people find it very fulfilling and regard it as beneficial.

Re:Interesting... (3, Insightful)

srjh (1316705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562849)

And the corollary - drug use doesn't have to be illicit to be self-destructive. How many people drink themselves to death each year?

It should read "self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse".

Implications (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562841)

We should implement this test for all citizens and immediately revoke all civil rights for everyone with this abnormality. This is the first case where people can be accurately defined as sub-human despite looking like one and being able to breed with one.
Once we revoke their human rights we should have a popular vote on whether to sterilize them.

Re:Implications (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562877)

Once we revoke their human rights we should have a popular vote on whether to sterilize them.

Naw, we just need to pack them up onto four giant sleeper ships towards Gantris VI...
We can name them Reagan, Argo, Sarengo, and Nagglfar.

Re:Implications (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563265)

I just googled for Gantris VI and it seems it is something out of some Starcraft, which may be either a book or a game. But either way, reading
http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/United_Powers_League [wikia.com]
it seems that in this universe "over 400 million people were eradicated".
Now here in this reality, we are dealing with 30% of people, so ~1.8 billion. Just so you realize that reality has a way of outdoing imagination.

On the bright side (4, Interesting)

xPsi (851544) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562891)

I'm guessing there are many perfectly productive and successful adults out there who also have this "defect." Like ADD and OCD, which can morph into powerful creative and focusing skills as positive adult byproducts, I'm betting this one can manifest itself as otherwise helpful traits such as "never giving up", "persistence in the face of resistance", etc. "Once bitten, twice shy" probably isn't a meaningful phrase for them and they likely wouldn't suffer from a host of ordinary hangups that stymie many adults (who learned from mistakes in an ordinary fashion).

off topic? (4, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562893)

There are several studies available on "the Google" where you can find that genetically, we as a species are bound to obey the genetic code we are born with, whether that is good or bad. This is just another example. You'll see in my journal that the MWNN regarding atheists. This supports the atheist understanding of the world. We are born as we are, mostly accidental, or luck of the draw regarding genetics. There is no deity responsible for this. What a reprehensible thought that an all powerful and all knowing deity would do this to people?

As a hobby, I try to build small autonomous robots, and generally speaking most people believe that the human experience is the 100% value or perfect way of interacting with the world. What they forget, and what I like to call 'failure mode' is that we humans are anything but perfect: bad vision, autism, this story's problem, and many other failures. Ever bump into the wall in the dark? There is another failure.

We are far from perfect, hardly worthy of being called a creation of an all powerful being. Destructive behavior is what we excel at. Brilliant design, eh?

Back on topic: for the most part, we are finding genetic reasons for many problems with the human race. Even if they could all be corrected, I'm not sure it will improve our situation. I sometimes think that we are trying to save nature's discards. Amazing really. Apparently war fixes some of the overpopulation, or used to.

The answer to such problems is fantastically unimaginable. How do you fix the discards and keep population withing the realms of what the planet can support? China has taken a step in that direction and it has caused unimaginable hardships for their population; selling babies, hiding from the government, fear of things that are only natural.

So, what are we to do with things like this? What are we to do with people like this? Fix them, or abort them?

Re:off topic? (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563157)

This supports the atheist understanding of the world. We are born as we are, mostly accidental, or luck of the draw regarding genetics. There is no deity responsible for this. What a reprehensible thought that an all powerful and all knowing deity would do this to people?

And this is the ironic part of atheism: on the one hand, willing to accept that "we are born as we are", but on the other hand, unwilling to accept an evil or indifferent deity. Being agnostic lets you accept that an evil deity could exist, just that it's not (yet) provable. And if one has to accept what is understandable of the world, that best fits the current situation.

Re:off topic? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563231)

I accept no deity. 'Twas not me who said God loves all the little children, or that he has the whole world in his hands, nor was it me that said Jesus saves. I think we are all fscked. Some of us less so than others. There also is no devil or evil deity, only humanity's desire for self-destruction. You can blame either on whatever imaginary friend you like, but I will still hold you accountable when you fsck with my life. Funny how our supposedly christian laws in the USA don't let you choose the 'devil made me do it' option when pleading before the courts. Of course, judging by historical experience, pleading that the devil made you do it is probably not a sane defense anyway if you want to live much longer than the length of the trial.

I'm forcefully unwilling to accept any deity. When one comes down and hands me the amount I owe on my mortgage, I'm in church for life, whether it's the good church or bad one, I don't care. When some deity actually does *SOMETHING* for ME, perhaps I'll think about changing my thinking. Until then, keep praying for me bro' because I know you need a hobby.

Re:off topic? (1)

djfuq (1151563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563279)

AHEM

Hey Mr perfect imperfect genetics atheist preacher personage.

FYI
I don't learn from my mistakes, yet I am brilliant in my own way. All you have to do is read a few of my posts to know I'm a necessary evil for humankind to endure.

Now how do you propose we get rid of Stephen Hawking? I mean, he is inferior right?
Nothing but some discardable genetic crap - isn't he!

I have bad karma on this site. Does that mean I don't learn from my mistakes? Or do I intentionally prefer to do what the fuck I want to do? See, some people view things as mistakes. For instance, your comment is a mistake of arrogance that makes me laugh at you. And my comment is a mistake that makes you laugh at me.

So what is your baseline for knowing what is a good human, and a bad one?

Interesting how this genetic code is being interpreted isn't it?

I would say the 30% are the good humans who don't give a fuck about mistakes, and the other 70%? They spend all day thinking about mistakes the other 30% make.

I guess I've run out of vitrol for the moment -- cya!

Blame it on the Gene's (1)

LittleBigScript (618162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562911)

Sure kiddo. The DNA made you do it.

Character (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24562919)

Why can't people just have particular types of character, it is has served use well for millennia.

Now, they think it is all to do with dopamine receptors, and neuro this and that.

It is a load of mumbo jumbo, designed to sell more drugs, justify research grants, and support a whole string of others in the chain.

Some people just get bored easily, and are easily distracted, perhaps meditation could help improve focus, or some type of activity, though then they will probably get told they are obsessive.

We know substances can have an effect on feelings, and thoughts, but we don't really know how it all works, so these things are really just a smoke screen to try and validate what is just generalised observed behaviour. The problem is the substances can effect others in completely different ways.

It is pure madness not by the individual but by the observer, who seems to have some voyeuristic tendency, let people be who they are, and let society adapt, not the other way around.

Oh great! Just what we need! (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562937)

I'm not saying this report is wrong, because I don't know enough to have an opinion. However, I can see what one of its results is going to be: teenagers claiming it's not their fault that they did the same dumb thing for the fourth time, it's the fault of their genetics and hence, their parent's fault. Just what we need: another way for kids to avoid taking responsibility.

Or, as some call it, "Persistence" (2, Interesting)

Normal_Deviate (807129) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562945)

It's interesting to find a brain mechanism for persistence versus adaptation, but not interesting to add an exaggerated normative claim. If at first you don't succeed, (1) Quit; (2) Try again; or (3) Split the difference and alter the plan. Different people favor different strategies. Pretty obvious and pretty benign, unless your objective is to get research funding "for the children".

How long before we can start discriminating? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562947)

Seriously, this is just about the perfect setup for a bout of good ol' eugenics. "Newsweek reports that ~30% of the population are defective subhumans!" Bring on the cheap and unreliable test-kits at every drugstore, and hysteria generally!

Unconscious errors... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562973)

... I know I make these all the time, when I send commands to the motor centers some of them never get there and some of my posts are truncated or the wrong message was sent, so I might say their instead of there, etc.

Many errors are really the result of neurological issues and I wish more teachers would understand that.

I still make unconscious errors, so I'd have to agree with the article.

Original article (3, Informative)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562999)

I would much rather read the original article [sciencemag.org] than an oversimplified Newsweek summary.

enough with the excuses (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563011)

I don't care if daddy beat you or if you've got bad genes. be a douche and you should face the music.

Re:enough with the excuses (0)

houbou (1097327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563255)

If you are a douche, you should face the music (assuming all your DNA bits are correctly aligned)

Information is power. This type of information is actually going to alter the way we view at bad behaviours.

If someone can prove without a doubt, that our ability to make correct decisions is linked to our DNA and then, prove that someone's DNA can be faulty. Then, these indviduals are ill, but they are not "a douche".. :)

More to the point, if this can be corrected with gene therapy or something like that, I say Yay.

See, for me, the power of choice is based on free will. If your DNA compromises your ability to know right from wrong, then, where is that free will then?

I know this can become a real boon for defence lawyers who will try and use this to get their clients off the hook, but really, if we can figure out how to diagnose this, then we can figure out, in the short term, a better form of rehabilitation or incarceration for those who are afflicted, after all, if beyond a shadow of a doubt, one is set in their bad ways because of a DNA loophole, then, let's be humaine.

When the real fix is ready, again gene therapy, or whatever, we can cure them.

That being said, if DNA isn't an issue, well, they, indeed, they should face the music :)

Punish the healthy, heal the sick. :)

Without this 30% (3, Funny)

clovis (4684) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563017)

there would be nothing on YouTube but cats.

Also, survival traits in some cases may benefit the species more than the indivdual - some of us are needed to find out what new things can or can't be done. Some of us are needed to hold the beer.

Now we know what's wrong with Obama! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24563047)

Geez, no wonder he keeps recycling the failed policies of Jimmy Carter.

We all knew there had to be something genetically wrong with anyone who "thinks" that putting huge taxes on oil companies will make gasoline cheaper for the common man.

Re:Now we know what's wrong with Obama! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24563187)

Losers always whine about the failed policies of Jimmy Carter; winners go home and ... ooh a penny!

Genetic testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24563065)

So we could test for this at birth to see who was going to be drug addicted politicians later in life?

Like...The American voters?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24563107)

Bush...Twice?!?

It's like the cover of Britain's "Daily Mirror" asked after the re-election of Bush: "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?" (with a comment at the top of the cover saying: "Doh! 4 more years of Dubya")

And now our electorate is still a little confused about the people responsible for many of the bad policies of the past eight years... John McCain is only a few percentage points behind Obama. That is absolutely insane!

This genetic glitch must affect half of the American population -- especially the 20% who think Bush is "doing a heck of a job"! LOL!

This sounds familiar... (1)

Almonday (564768) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563177)

(Warning: Anecdote)

I can say that there is definitely something to this. I am the oldest in a family with 3 male children, two of whom, my younger brothers, are dizygotic (fraternal) twins. One of them is 450 pounds, has never had a problem with drugs or alcohol, is diagnosed with a form of schizoaffective disorder --they say his executive functions are broken, meaning that he has trouble putting things together as well as learning from his mistakes-- and is currently living on social security disability. My other brother has had numerous problems with drugs and alcohol, yet does not suffer from schizoaffective disorder, looks like a rail-thin anime character and is currently finishing up his undergraduate degree. Our mother is schizoaffective but stable on meds, and both our parents met as high-functioning graduate students at Stanford. As for me (and in reference to TFA) I was considered the "mellow" baby but am probably the most teflon-like of the three. The point, of course, is that although we all grew up with almost the exact same parenting --right down to breastfeeding, fireside chats and access to the best psychiatric resources-- all three of us turned out quite differently.

Incidentally, about a year and a half ago my family was asked to participate in a medical study at Baylor looking for genetic links between schizoaffective disorders, drug/alcohol addiction and (oddly) the presence of involuntary eye movements which show up to varying degrees when people track moving objects...apparently, when a police officer stops you on the highway and asks you to follow his pen from side to side, he's not looking to see if you can actually follow the pen; he's looking for these little eye flutters at the periphery of your vision which become more noticeable under the influence of alcohol. From what I know, the study was designed to see if paying attention to these eye flutters might eventually allow doctors to prescribe medication more quickly and effectively for both addictive and schizoaffective disorders. The study still has a few years left, but we'll see what comes up.

'Illicit'? (0)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563211)

A paucity of dopamine receptors is linked to an inability to avoid self-destructive behavior such as illicit drug use.

Yeah, because things can become self-destructive by legislative fiat. Considering that I owe a large portion of the person I am today to LSD and MDMA, I must say I am rather offended at the implication that I should regard this as destructive.

I see now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24563213)

This just explained the government.

I would call this (3, Funny)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563217)

George Bush syndrome.

Finally! Research I can use! (1)

lewp (95638) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563273)

Sayonara, personal responsibility!

I'm sorry officer (1)

grilled-cheese (889107) | more than 6 years ago | (#24563277)

"Will you hold my weed officer while I get my geneticists exemption note?"
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