Re: META: Neanderthal attitudes

Matt Gingell (mjg223@nyu.edu)
Fri, 3 Sep 1999 18:12:57 -0400



From: Robert J. Bradbury <bradbury@www.aeiveos.com>

>On Fri, 3 Sep 1999, Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
>
>> Individuals can always rise above the predispositions of their
>> genetic heritage,
>
>Absolutely false. I will never be a basketball player and am
>extremely unlikely to be a football player. Anyone over the
>age of 30, who did not start a sports "career" as a teenager,
>is unlikely to be involved in any professional sport due to
>the genetic heritage known as "aging". People to a large
>degree (we will say ~50%) their genes and there are many
>situations where even a superhuman effort will not allow
>them to "rise above" that. In thinking about this, I believe
>that in *most* situations, there exist individuals who would
>never be able to master the situation because of their
>genetic heritage. Genetic equality is a fantasy.
>
>[If people don't flame that, I'll be surprised.]

I certainly hope so, Nazi-boy. [Iím inserting a wink here, though hope it isnít necessary.] <(Dramatic clearing of throat...) Ďwinkí>

The point youíre making is surely true in the case of height/build, perhaps coordination, etc. Ė Iím uncomfortable though with the jump that generalizes that to ~50% of our genes, especially with regard to intelligence. The mind is a great deal more flexible than the body. The breakdown of environmental and genetic influence isnít nearly so clear.

-matt