[ExI] Genes aren't what we thought they were.......

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Jan 5 08:45:45 UTC 2019

On Sat, 5 Jan 2019 at 02:51, Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:
> No geneticist or biologist claims that complex phenotypic traits are
> genetically determined from birth by genes alone. That is a popular
> misconception. Actual genes make up a very small portion of our DNA and
> the intragenic regions have functions too. All his gene bashing without
> accounting for the importance of intergenic regions, introns, and
> epigenetics suggests he has some kind of idealogical axe to grind.
> Richardson uses a lot of straw man arguments largely similar to the
> following: "The popular view of genes is wrong therefore the science of
> genetics is garbage." I think he has got some sort of political agenda
> here because no serious biologist believes in pure genetic determinism.
> Keep in mind that the cytoplasm of the egg cell is inherited as well as
> the microflora, viruses, etc. Actual biologists know this.

Richardson is a psychologist. He is now retired, so presumably not
career motivated.  :)

His agenda seems to be anti IQ tests and anti genetic determinism.
Genetic determinism is still a popular idea among the general public
and arguably still needs opposing.
I doubt that Richardson is trying to teach geneticists their business.  :)

He seems to be trying to educate the public against ideas like
eugenics and 'the poor deserve to be poor'.

See: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_determinism>
Biological determinism is the belief that a human’s behavior is
controlled by a person’s genes and inherited traits.

The final paragraph of that article sounds very much like what
Richardson is saying --
The belief in biological determinism has been matched by a blank slate
denial of any possible influence of genes on human behavior, leading
to a long and heated debate about "nature and nurture". By the 21st
century, many scientists had come to feel that the dichotomy made no
sense. They noted that genes were expressed within an environment, in
particular that of prenatal development, and that genes were
continuously controlled by the environment through mechanisms such as


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