The Gene Bomb

Book cover

The Gene Bomb is a 1996 book by David E. Comings, self-published by Hope Press, that puts forth the theory that higher education and advanced technology may unintentionally favor the selection of genes that increase the likelihood of ADHD, autism, drug addiction, learning disorders, and behavior problems. Comings claims that the prevalence of these disorders is rising and I.Q. is decreasing; others argue that other factors may be responsible, including increased detection of these disorders.[1] He claims that society is inadvertently creating delays for the highly educated that reduce their reproductivity and causes them to have children later in life, thus raising the odds of certain disorders like autism. On the other hand, he claims that those having learning disorders tend to drop out of school earlier and have more children, thus passing on learning disorders at a higher rate. Environmental and societal factors are usually accepted as the cause, but Comings argues the opposite.[2]

According to a review of the book in the British Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology journal, "The arguments are developed in this book with an alarming lack of scientific accuracy and satisfactory supporting evidence."[3] The review concludes that the book "is an apocalyptic, irrational, and emotional treatise which opens up scientifically unsound issues that have already been formally buried".[3] A book review in the Journal of Medical Genetics said, "This is the sort of book which gets geneticists a bad name",[4] adding that some facts "are simply wrong", while vital facts "are simply missing".[4] Comings replied, in a Letter to the Editor, that the review "missed the whole point of the book and presented to the readers of this journal a distorted view of the issues I attempted to raise".[5]

Other Tourette syndrome (TS) researchers say of Comings' Tourette's research that his "assertions fall outside of the mainstream of the very extensive TS literature that has developed over the past 2 decades".[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Gene Bomb. - book reviews. Nutrition Health Review, Fall 1996. Retrieved from on 2008-06-22
  2. ^ Comings, David E. National Longitudinal Surveys, Annotated Bibliography. Retrieved on 2008-06-22.
  3. ^ a b Hodgson SV. "The Gene Bomb: Does Higher Education and Advanced Technology Accelerate the Selection of Genes for Learning Disorders, Addictive and Disruptive Behaviors? By David E. Comings, M.D., Hope Press, 1996". Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, Book reviews, 1997;39:208–209.
  4. ^ a b Wilkie T. "Book Reviews: The Gene Bomb". J Med Genet 1997;34:438–440
  5. ^ Comings DE. "Letters to the Editor: The Gene Bomb". J Med Genet 1997;34:876–879
  6. ^ Pauls DL, Cohen DJ, Kidd KK, Leckman JF. "Tourette syndrome and neuropsychiatric disorders: is there a genetic relationship?" Am J Hum Genetics, 1988 Aug;43(2):206–17. PMID 3165247

External linksEdit