Biological Determinism

Topics: Genetics, Biology, Human Pages: 8 (2954 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Biological Determinism

1. According to the author of the article "All in the Genes?", there is no intrinsic causality between genetics and intelligence. The author analyses different aspects of biological determinism, and supplies many examples, which illustrate aspects of this problem that are being discussed since the time when these ideas became popular. He does not agree with biological determinist that the intellectual performance of a person depends on genes inherited from his parents. There are a lot of different theories about intellectual capabilities. All these theories reflect different points of views, depending on the period of time the authors of these theories lived.

The author argues for the theory that in the nineteenth century , artificial barriers in social hierarchy prevented people from achieving higher intellectual performance. In the end of XX century, in most places these barriers were removed by the democratic processes, and nothing artificial can stand between the natural sorting process and social status of the people. These changes can not be considered as historical because the age of democracy is just two hundred years , and the time when inequality between classes and between people was a natural situation is almost as long as the history of the world .

The author insists that there is no connection between environmental differences and genetics. In support of his idea the author state that any Canadian student can perform better in mathematics than some ancient professors of mathematics. The author comes to the conclusion that changes in a cultural environment are the main factor that determines level of intellectual performance, not inherited combination of parent's genes . He argues that genetic differences that appear in one environment may easily disappear in another. A theory that twins were raised in different social conditions will have the same level of intellectual performance because identical genetics constitution was used by the ideologist of biological determinism. The author rejects this theory because from his point of view, all these cases cannot be considered as always reliable on a close look, in most cases, twins were raised by the members of the same family or in other words, not in a diametrical opposite level of society. The author believes that there is no convincing measure of the role of genes in influencing human behavioural variation.

During the argumentation of questions of biological determinism, the author supports his idea with numerous examples. He gives examples of supporters of bio determinism and outlines that these examples are not reliable. One of the fallacies of biological determinism is the result of IQ testing. According to some scientist only 20% of performance depend on environment and other 80% depend on genetic variations. The author state that this is completely fallacious because there is no connection between the variation that can be ascribed as genetic differences and whether an IQ performance was affected by environment and by how much. IQ measures little more than a person' s ability to take a test. Scores increase dramatically as a person is trained or familiarised with a test. It means that an IQ level does not depend on the intellectual abilities of parents but on the manner of studying and preparation that can be considered as environmental changes.

For the author, there is a casual relationship between genetic and environmental differences. He gives us an example of a fruitflies with more bristles under the wing on the left side than on the right side. He says that these differences are caused by random chances of cell during growth and development and that every organism is a unique combination of genes and environmental random chances. Another fallacy can be illustrated by the statement provided by the author, which is built on the ideology of biological determinism: ". . . if most of...
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