Genetic Determinism

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What Is It

Are there genes for practically everything? For being gay? For being mean? For being a philosopher? Does modern science show that we are largely the product of our genes --- or not? Join Ken and John and famed philosopher of biology John Dupre to see how trapped you are by your genes.

Listening Notes

What role do genes play in how organisms develop? John begins by distinguishing the genotype from the phenotype. Genetic determinism says that the genotype completely determines the phenotype, that is, the genes completely determine how an organism turns out. We often read about "a gene for intelligence" and "genes for homosexuality", but what does that mean? Doesn't that support the idea of genetic determinism? 

John introduces the guest, John Dupre. Dupre distinguishes between various senses of the word "gene". But, John asks, haven't we found a gene for Down syndrome? Dupre explains what that phrase means. Ken says that he learned about the genetic code in school that spells out how each organism will develop. Dupre replies that that use of the phrase "genetic code" is incorrect. The genetic code is very basic and the phenotypic traits depend on more than just the genes. For example, Dupre says, a family may have a common nose shape, but that is determined by biology, not just the genes. Dupre gives some reasons for looking at the genome, as a whole, rather than individual genes. Ken summarizes: using the phrase "gene for X" does not mean that someone that has that gene will necessarily have X. 

Ken asks aren't genes distinctive, extra-powerful causes? The genome is important but overemphasized. Dupre criticizes the idea that all the information that is passed from parents to offspring is in the DNA. Dupre gives some reasons for looking at the genome as a whole rather than individual genes. Then, John, Ken, and Dupre discuss what it means when people talk about the number of genes in the human genome and what "junk DNA" is. 

Dupre thinks that genetic determinism is false. Does this mean that anyone can become anything? What does his view entail? There are limits, but they are not imposed solely by genes. Dupre thinks we should shift from focusing on the genome to concentrating on development. 

  • Sixty Second Philosopher (Seek to 51:30): Ian Shoales provides many quotes from various philosophers, authors, and poets in favor of donating to public radio to help out the donation drive. 


Comments (1)

RepoMan05's picture


Thursday, September 26, 2019 -- 8:31 AM

If there's no genetic marker

If there's no genetic marker for homosexuality then it can be determined that homosexuality is a subjective construct. A subjective construct cant be enforceable. That is to say, homosexuals cannot force straights to entertain the "homosexual" delusion. But thats not perfectly the case. There are genetic causations that predispose people to becoming attacted to the same sex. Honestly, i feel its shown that all females are homosexual in addition to whatever else they are.

The catholic churches possition is that homosexuality is unnatural and thus immoral. But this really goes to show how far catholics are able to rationalise, which isnt very far at all. Morality itself is unnatural. Beyond that, the catholic church is the biggest collective of homosexuals on earth. Having most of the world's xxy females and the most pederasts world wide. While it's overwhelmingly obvious we cant take moral pointers from such an establisment of eunuchs, pederasts, misandrists, catamites, and heroin mafia, they are useful for something, being the most dispicable archaic bag of evil on earth for us to have something to struggle against.

Even their own publication predicts the end of their publication. They exist only as an entity of structural violence. There's no reason to let them enter illegally. They let no one else enter their own countries illegally. They found a sect of muslims they liked once. A bunch of pederast warlords farming 95% of the world's heroin.... even said to be the source of evil in the world.

Im tired of this dichotomy. Im tired of their 2dimentional thinking. Im tired of this two sides of the same coin thing. Im tired of their jelous god named after ji(zeus). Im tired of this type of currency.

Lets let the real currency be something natural. Like whether or not your country can take care of its own self on its own.

Lets drop the fed on it's face. It's just a bitish catholic puppet. An instument of slavery. Its only real goal is to make everything illegal so that its operators acting under impunity can enforce law subjectively, biased, and self-servingly.

Lets see evil take care of its own self once its currency bubble blows up. Lets see them choke on all their el Dorado gold. What worth is a brick of gold to a starving man looking at a loaf of moldy bread.

You wanted pure top down cannibalism, eat up.

Genes only give capacities, propensities, and limitations. Its up to you whether or not you're able to overcome these factors. It's whether or not you're truly "alive" or just a pocket calculator only able to calculate as it was designed. A so called "flaw" can be your biggest strength or it can be your biggest weakness. Science and mathmatics are the most potent magics, but they are not a belief or compatable with theists.