RE: SOCIETY: Education is the key

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Tue Aug 21 2001 - 22:43:41 MDT

Emlyn writes

>> (1) the native talent, intelligence, and temperament distinguish
>> thoughtful, productive, and intelligent people the world over
>> from the criminal, the stupid, and the insane, and,
>> (2) certain traditions, cultural mores, and memes [are always
>> exhibited] by the prosperous and technologically advanced
>> segments of societies all around the world.
>> Eugenics (or genetic engineering) could accomplish (1), but for
>> (2), only time and the incremental processes of economic advance
>> fostered by freedom and liberty will help.

> It would be extremely surprising to find that Eugenics could
> accomplish what you claim. More sarcasm, perhaps?

Oh, certainly not! I'm actually somewhat surprised that many
people today do not realize that eugenics could indeed affect
all the characteristics I describe in (1).

When I was 23, I taught elementary school, and there was a very
wise elderly teacher who I enjoyed talking to. Telling her
about one of the real problem kids in my class, she clutched
my arm one day and said, her old eye fixing me like a stake,
"Oh, don't you know? That boy's brothers and sisters aren't
at all like him. You never saw such sweet children. I tell
you that I knew that he would be trouble when I first saw
him a mere infant in his mother's arms."

I challenged her statement, but she was emphatic that babies
indeed have different personalities, and that she had known
all along that this particular boy was going to be "difficult".
Well, she was right about practically everything else she ever
told me, so I believed that too.

But that meant that if babies had a certain amount of
personality at birth then it came from..., there was
only one answer! If some significant part of their
personalities didn't come from their environment, then
indeed they had to be genetic in origin. It turns out
that this is something that has been known from time
immemorial but only unlearned in the 20th century, under
the ideological schools of behaviorism and misguided

But the twin studies! Far beyond what I had come to finally
accept in the early seventies, the twin studies hinted (if
not outright shouted) that a huge number of characteristics
lie in our genes. One simply cannot read the results of
studies such as the famous Minnesota one without being awe-
struck at the similarities of identical twins raised apart.

Now millenia before Darwin used their results and their common
knowledge to bolster his theories, breeders of plants and
animals knew full well that practically any trait of a species
could be bred at will. We would like to think ourselves different,
perhaps. But it's just not the case.


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