Biological Determinism

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 cannot 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 behavioral 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 the variation in, say, intelligence among individuals is a consequence of variation among their genes, then manipulating the environment will not make much differences". The author argues that the proportion of variation in genes is not fixed properly, but one that varies from environment to environment. So, the author of the article provides many examples and rejects the fact that the intelligence is only affected by genes.

2. We can characterizes the ideology of biological determinism as an explanation of social, cultural and physical inadequacy among people based on their inborn biological differences, which are passed along from parents to children. Scientists who support the theory of biological determinism insist that all people differ in their fundamental abilities because of some innate differences, such as genetic constitution. This ideology of genetic inequality states that there is a bridge between racial genetic constitution and the size of the brain. Many scientists believe that the evaluations of people's brain sizes correspond to a person's intellectual ability. Samples of skulls from around the world confirmed Western European supremacy. The "scientists" in pursuit of studies such as biological determinism always failed to clarify how typical these skulls were of their respective populations. Simple selection of skulls easily biased results, without a scientist necessarily realising his own subjectivity. The theory of biological determinism appeared primarily to legitimate forms of social inadequacy and control. Such ideas were the product of industrial revolution, as well as cultural and ideological.

Some ideologies of biological determinism assert that sophisticated behaviour is not taught, but develops automatically. There is a difference between mankind and animal's behaviour. For example, child learns how to speak his first words under the influence of the parents or relatives, but a child who is raised in an isolated environment cannot communicate in a normal way. We can conclude from this example that a child begins to speak not because of genetic variations of his or her parents, but because of the environment he is located in. History knows the cases when a child was raised among animals, but his human's inherited genetic constitution did not influence his intellectual performance.

The fact that so many oriental children do well seems to be more of a nurture/environmental reason rather than a nature/genetic reason. Their parents may have come from villages with little or no chance of an education. When they migrate to the West, many, as a result of conflict such as the Vietnam war, brought their ideologies with them. But they may not have the higher intelligence as an innate ability, so therefore neither would their children. This is an example to show that in some cases nature can affect the way nurture rules your life, and it is completely controverts the ideology of biological determinism.

Another author's example that contradicts the theory of biological determinism is Wilson's disease, which causes suffering from inability of detoxify to cooper, which is an example of a genetic disorder. A few centuries ago people with such behaviour could not be considered fully functional. However, because of achievements of modern medicine, a treatment for these genetic disorders was found, and just by taking a pill, such a genetic disorder can be eliminated. Today we do not accept people with genetic inability because these people are different from us, but tomorrow they will be full members of our society.

3. From my point of view, biological determinism does not have a direct bridge to social inequality and political control. In my opinion, intelligence is shaped by a mixture of genes and environmental influence. The question, is whether all people have approximately the same capacity to think and to work. But it is not appropriate question to ask. The question should be, whether all people are motivated by the same things? Given the cases consider, the answer is "no". This is an important distinction. Every one of us has different surroundings which in one way or another shapes our perceptions of social reality. Rules of the society where we live can tell each of us to act a given way in certain situations. Our nature is our genetic endowment. It determines our basic physical appearance: our hair and eye colour, etc. It determines the types of emotions and motivations we can experience. We have different inner responses to different environments. However, our genes depend on the environment to fill in the missing details. So, if we are genetically predisposed to become agitated in a crowded setting, but we never experience such an environment, we will not have this genetic behaviour. We cannot tell whether that people in our society are distinct from each other because of those unexpressed innate differences. No two people are motivated by the same experience; that's why we are so different. There is no doubt that our achievements in a society are predominated by our own contribution to any business and how much effort we put to it. It requires 100 % contribution in order to achieve the deserved result. In every layer of society we can encounter cases when individuals are raised above the average because of the level of their intellectual ability, but not because their parents were rich and famous.

One historical example that contradicts the theory of biological determinism is a the world famous scientist Albert Einstein. Jewish immigrant from Germany, he was not rich, his parents were not professors or politicians. Because of his significant intellectual power, he became famous all around the world. And even after his death, his brain was taken by a scientist who tried to figure out what was the difference between him and the rest of us. Nothing unusual in his brain was found. This specific example contradicts the theory of biological determinism. Einstein's innate capacities were not transmitted from generation to generation biologically. Thus is his efforts made him famous and acceptable through the world. Thus is his contribution to science could give him a control and a power, if he desired it.

Yes, Einstein was in some way different from others. What can it be? If we assume that all individuals were raised in the same environmental condition, such as family, school and neighbourhood, than the differences between them and others can be explained by the genetic constitution, but it still does not mean that this genetic constitution was 100% inherited from their parents. From my point of view, these genetic differences can be explained only by the random combination of genes. I think it cannot be explained by any logical way or by genetic science but only as a result of play of nature . The best proof of this idea can be that after all of successes in the field of genetic science, there is still no any remedies that can let to produce smart children. Another example that contradicts a theory of biological determinism, that we do not live by our natural, instinctual, primitive way because we do not live, as primitive animals do in nature. Civilization is a subversion of nature.

In a global contest there is a huge amount of examples when people whose parents did not have any money or power, achieved the higher level of power. For example Napoleon, a son of the ordinary people, citizen of Corsica, just with the help of his intellectual power he became the first person in the France. He did not inherit any imperious qualities from his parents, but he manages to become an imperator. We can say that his existence causes the death and starvation of millions people during the wars that he had. What can be the best proof of the power when person's desire for control decides for people to die or to live?

History knows an example where it is not innate abilities bring people to the power and control. A monster of the 20th century came to the power that responsible for the World War II. Anything is known about Hitler's sadistic behaviour or harmful acts in his childhood. Hitler's hate came from the fact that he was an outsider who did not belong anywhere, who never found a safe and secure place in a society. The environment he lived in, the unfairness of German society, the crisis in his family made him mad and furious This is an influence of a society made him a bloody criminal of the 20th century. Hitler's remarkable power as a speaker and the will to the revenge made him a very good orator that helped him to lead the masses. Hitler and Napoleon had inner responses in different ways to different environment. No one can assume that a hunger for a domination and an authority came to them with their mothers' blood. Therefore, there is no bridge between biological determinism of innate capacities and a desire of people with a power to invade and kill the innocent population. Our genes encode only what they need to, to conserve genetic material. The rest of the detail is left for the environment to fill in.

4. For thousands of years humans ask the question of their "human" nature. They have attempted to find themselves in relation to the animal kingdom.

The quest for knowledge is universal in Frankenstein: It is well-known that the scientific revolution of 17th centuries initiated a profound intellectual upheaval in western thought that replaced the philosophical universe of Aristotle and the Middle Ages with the new infinitely and mechanistic universe of Copernican astronomy and Galilean-Newtonian physics. And this new mechanistic universe dominated western thought until the early years of the 20th century-shaping almost all aspects of the further development of western culture and setting the stage, for the revolutionary scientific developments of the present century. The scientific revolution that resulted in the new mechanistic universe of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton also resulted in an equally profound upheaval in the development of western medicine. In Science and Literature in the Nineteenth Century Mary Shelley's theme of scientific interference with the fundamental mysteries of life makes Frankenstein the prototype of numerous works of science fiction. She creates the typical representative of her time. Frankenstein is a great medical scholar, exaggeration of Shelley's simple student. A "Frankenstein Effect," the suite of moral and ethical problems encountered when man tries to improve our nature.

The monster, being a sort of matter duplication of Victor, has a physical and psychic link with his creator. If the monster is wounded, Victor also gets the same wound.

This transforms the story from its usual allegory of the relationship of God and Man to one of the two sides of a single person's personality. I do think that Frankenstein's monster can be considered as a product of theory of biological determinism. Biological determinism states that intellectual abilities are enclosed in us by genes inherited from parents.

The main idea of Victor Frankenstein, was a creation of some kind of machine or robot, which, like we assume, does not have any genes background and therefore, according to the theory of biological determinism, does not have any intellectual future. Despite this assumption, a monster begins to show the sign of the intellect, he tries to get knowledge and it means that something going on with him. This something changes his intellectual structure, shifting him from the animal state to the human being. If we follow the ideas of biological determinism, it should be nonsense: Monster does not have any intellectual background. He does not even have parents. But in fact, happened something opposite, according to the book, the monster very much wants to stimulate his intellect and has a great desire for knowledge. He eagerly listens the humans' discussion and teachings and he revels in finding some books: ''The possession of these treasures gave me extreme delight; I now continually studied and exercised my mind upon these histories. Just like his creator at the beginning of the narrative, he is thirsty for knowledge and reads everything that he can lay his hands on.

The artificial man is put in a number of situations where one would expect a human being to react in one way and a machine or construct in another . The monster that Frankenstein creates has all of human society against him from the start. Wee see Shelly's intentions to show that monster and his behaviour reflect the image of our society, where humans are not very kind to each other and not to mention how they treat somebody who is not human or looks repulsive. The monster or the people that he tries to be friend with and who consistently refuse his offers of friendship on the basis of his appearance. We see the author's intentions to show comparisons between the monster and other people. She illustrates the presence of human's characteristics that are traditionally thought to be defining characteristics for a monster.

The monster did very human thing when he risked his own life and saved a young girl who has fallen into a rapid river. We see than a monster has very negative impression about a society he meets, but despite of that, he has very good intentions to contact a human race. However, the influence of a society makes him depressed and dissatisfied with his life situation. "The feelings of kindness and gentleness which I had entertained but a few moments before gave place to hellish rage and gnashing of teeth. Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind.'' Having come this far, one might be forgiven for wondering which is the most ''human'' the monster or the people that he tries to be friend and who consistently refuse his offers of friendship solely on the basis of his appearance. Therefore, from author's intentions and Frankenstein motivations we can tell that the monster is a by-product of the theory of biological determinism.

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