The Unreliability of High Human Heritability Estimates and Small Shared Effects of Growing Up in the Same Family

Biological Theory 2 (4):387-397 (2007)
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Estimates of a trait’s heritability can be used to predict the advance through selective breeding in agriculture and the laboratory where researchers can replicate varieties and locations. These conditions do not apply to human populations, yet considerable attention is still given to high heritability and to small effects of family members growing up together relative to differences within families. This article shows that the conventional partitioning of a trait’s variation produces components that cannot be associated reliably with average differences among varieties and locations , let alone underwrite hypotheses about measurable genetic and environmental influences



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