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adiflesher's picture

Wise approach to Genetics


It seems to me clear that both nature and nurture play asignificant and inter-meshed role.

I do however take seriously the idea that genetics might pre-dispose us to certain patterns of behavior. If we believe the statistics in the article on fidelity, it raises somevery interesting moral questions.

If the case indeed holds that some men have a significantly higherchance of being promiscuous, in what ways should society approach this issue?  I think our collective gut instinct is to say, ignore it, even if they have a higher chance it doesn’t mean that they are destined to be promiscuous. Although this is true, I wonder if hiding our heads under the cover and pretending we don’t know something is the wisest response.

Can we perhaps find a more nuanced approach, one that willhelp people understand the gene story in a way that doesn’t ignore its power,while at the same time doesn’t promote false views of us as helpless automonscondemned to march haplessly along a pre-determined path?

I think we would find it difficult to defend the idea thatwe should ignore the genetic risk for heart disease.  If 5 people in your family have died of aheart attack under the age of 50 and you are chugging through life eating steak– wouldn’t it be compassionate of someone who loves you to say something? Wouldn’t it be just helpful for people to know that they have a higher risk based on their genetic make-up?  

I am not sure what the corollary is for genetic risk forpromiscuity or alcoholism or depression etc. – but

I think its worth exploring, so I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts. 




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