INHERITANCE OR ENVIRONMENT?

Today something happened which surprised and shocked me, I watched an  programme on PBS which shows stimulating and interesting programmes from an American point of view. I found the programme took a very original view on the influence of genes on an individual’s behaviour  and attitudes with reference to three very important areas: intelligence, crime and poverty. Over the years I have read  about the links between intelligence and how much may be inherited through the genes and the fact that individuals differ in their talents and abilities. I have always accepted  that each one of us is a unique individual with different strengths and weaknesses. Myself  I was never much good at sport; too slow, too awkward, too clumsy. On the other hand I never came top of the class!!! There was very  frequent measurement of who got 9/10 and who didn’t.

     There were some subjects which had a fascination for me ; English and for a time French, history and geography. Other subjects, domestic science, needlework and mathematics had very little interest or seemed beyond my understanding. Sometimes a charismatic teacher, Mr Buchanan  our history teacher, made any topic interesting. I understood clearly that we all have different likes and dislikes, to get back to the programme, ‘ In the name of the Gene,’ the assumption that our genes govern everything  about us, our approach to crime, poverty and intelligence. This was said to be  what the ‘experts’ learned from a study of genes, although no proof was offered as to which genes controlled intelligence, or poverty or criminal behaviour. It was stated that black people had lower intelligence than white people and this was a fact of life. this is of course total rubbish. The state of poverty was due to the extravagance  and carelessness  of  the individuals themselves. This I know to be a total misunderstanding of the social and political organisation of British, American or indeed any society in our world. Even in democratic countries a small elite controls access to information to a considerable, if not total extent. The press in the UK is not controlled by the government but triviality swamps most newspapers and much of television.  Many people in the twenty-first century feel disregarded and ignored and know that they are living an impoverished life without a decent house for their family to live in.

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2 thoughts on “INHERITANCE OR ENVIRONMENT?

  1. I’m sure genes play a part in who we are, but opportunity, environment and education do too. So many have no access to these. The world never seems to change….sighs….xxx

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