A human being’s genetics influence their body, traits, and other characteristics, but many common misconceptions about genetics and heredity persist. The Onion debunks some common myths about genes and genetics.
MYTH: Genes are the sole factor determining a person’s traits.
FACT: While genes are responsible for some traits, a person’s environment can also be scapegoated.
MYTH: All genetic mutations are harmful.
FACT: Some of them are gross too.
MYTH: Many scientists believe mental illnesses are genetically inherited.
FACT: Not yours, though, you’re just being overdramatic.
MYTH: Genetic sequencing is as simple as freshman biology led you to believe.
FACT: Those Punnett squares are a joke, your biology teacher lied to you, and she killed all those frogs for fun.
MYTH: Homosexuality is caused by a “gay gene.”
FACT: Homosexuality is caused by seeing your brother’s friends play basketball in the driveway in tight shorts.
MYTH: Children often inherit their mother’s eyes.
FACT: Countless families have been torn apart by children fighting over who will inherit their dead mother’s eyes.
MYTH: Genetically modified foods are bad for you.
FACT: You need to be eating more fruits and vegetables—let’s start there.
MYTH: Only certain people possess “disease genes.”
FACT: Every human body has the potential to be bankrupted by medical expenses.