Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Rose: Lifelines

Some misunderstandings and misinterpretations about sociobiology and behavior genetics in Lifelines by Steven Rose

Stephen C. Maxson a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Graduate Degree Program in Biobehavioral Sciences, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4154


Lifelines by Steven Rose is supposed to present a new perspective on biology replacing an emphasis on genes with one on organisms. However, much of the book is a highly biased critique of sociobiology and behavior genetics. Some of the flaws in Rose's description and depiction of these fields are presented and refuted. Also, it would appear that these aspects of the book and many others are, in fact, related more to Rose's perennial concern for the ideology, social origins or social consequences of behavioral biology. These concerns are, I believe based, in part, upon Rose's misunderstandings and misinterpretations of genetics, behavior genetics, and sociobiology.