Several large-scale searches for genes that influence complex human traits, such as intelligence and personality, in the normal range of variation have failed to identify even one gene that makes a significant difference. All previously published claims for genetic influences of this kind now appear to have been false positives. For more serious psychiatric and medical disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, several genes have been found where a rare mutation contributes to abnormal behavior, but in many instances they are de novo mutations not obtained from a parent. Despite the many disappointments in the search for genes influencing human behavior, the field of molecular genetics has made remarkable progress to the extent that several broadly applicable principles can now be affirmed. These principles show how development is regulated by networks of interacting genes that function in an environmental context. They invalidate several key assumptions of statistical genetic analysis that are made when estimating heritability. There is now a need to reform the teaching of genetics to our students and to restrict the funding of further searches for elusive genes that account for so little variance in normal behaviors.