Re: Gene supremacy (Was: Re: Meme supremacy)

Sandy Madole (
Sat, 16 Aug 1997 10:08:36 -0400

At 00:28 15-08-97 +0000, you wrote:
> Anders Sandberg wrote:

>> Bouchard, T.J., Lykken, D.T., McGue M., Segal N. & Tellegen, A.
>> (1990) Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota
>> study of twins reared apart, Science 250, 223-228
>> Bouchard, T.J & McGue, M (1981) Familial studies of intelligence: a
>> review, Science 212, 1055-1059.

>From what i remember reading from Bouchard, Segal, Mc Gue, (can't remember
the title exactly) they were using their research data to support their
views about the influence of ones genetic coding being an 'ignorable'
factor. In the book i (quickly) read through, they were holding a strong
position against the new right ideas in biology, probably in an attempt to
counter racial prejudice. I could have taken their ideas to heart, if their
ethics had left some more room for individual capacities.

>From what i've gathered, Bouchard, Segal etc are representing left wing
political ethics in biology, Dawkins probably a right wing. I've read
material from both, and find both their writings contradicting at times,
and straying too much from the scientific into other fields (whether
ethical or layman), to take the explanations of their data 100% seriously.
I prefer people like Raup, who are not affraid to take up controversial
issues, but don't soke their pages with their personal opinions, or tie
every remotely relevant finding to their conclusion every other line, which
IMO shows uncertainty.

>From my absolute layman experience with genetics in animals, i noticed
that intelligence is linked to countless factors, with probably as many
exceptions as there are rules, yet that it was definitely genetic.
Overestimating the influence of genetic factors, or concentrating attention
on one, or a few of those factors is what feeds prejudice. Denying genetic
factors have an influence, or that their influence is 'ignorable' is just
being unrealistic.

Joost de Lyser