By Richard C. Lewontin
Following within the model of Stephen Jay Gould and Peter Medawar, one of many world's prime scientists examines how "pure technology" is in truth formed and guided through social and political wishes and assumptions.
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Extra resources for Biology As Ideology (Cbc Massey Lectures Series)
These results of adoption studies illustrate perfectly why we cannot answer a question about how much something can be changed by answering a different question, namely, are there genes influencing the trait? If we wanted seriously to ask the question posed by Arthur Jensen in his famous article "How much can we boost I. Q. ",11 the only way we could answer would be to try to boost I. Q. and scholastic achievement. We do not answer it by asking, as Jensen did, whether there is a genetic influence on I.
They are given names beginning with the same letter and are dressed alike. International twin conventions give prizes for the most similar twins. 10 As a consequence of such biases, there is at present simply no convincing measure of the role of genes in influencing human behavioral variation. One of the major biological ideological weapons used to convince people that their position in society is fixed and unchangeable and, indeed, fair is the constant confusion between inherited and unchangeable.
So we get cancer because our genes are not doing their business. It used to be that people thought that viruses were a major cause of cancer, and a great deal of money and time has been spent looking for the viral causes of cancer in humans without success. Biology has moved on from the time when viruses were all the rage to a time when genes are much more trendy. Alternatively, there are environmental insult theories of the causes of cancer. Cancers are caused, we are told, by asbestos or by PVC or by a host of natural chemicals over which we have no control, and although they are present in very low concentrations, we are exposed to them over our whole lives.
Biology As Ideology (Cbc Massey Lectures Series) by Richard C. Lewontin