Genetic Determinism

2854 WordsJul 8, 201812 Pages
Genetic Determinism On Christmas Day in the year 2001, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. When I looked into the brand-new face of my son I saw a beautiful mystery. I wondered what kind of man my boy would grow to be and what his life would be like. There are those in the scientific community who would argue that my son's path was already determined at the moment of his birth, that his fate could be deciphered from his genetic make-up. As a nurturing mother I know better. At two years old my son has developed a more diverse vocabulary than many children twice or even three times his age. He recognizes many written words and reads them aloud. He is able to spell his name. He can distinguish a square from a rectangle and an octagon…show more content…
Many scholars believe that "the new science of behavioral genetics has intellectual roots in the old ideas of Eugenics" (Steen 33). Eugenics disguised a political agenda as a scientific one in an attempt to endow discrimination with credibility. Supporters of genetic determinism theories do the same. Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray defend the theory of genetic determinism in The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, which was published ten years ago. Their book is one of the most widely referenced works regarding the theory that intelligence is inherited. The authors claim that the social order mirrors natural selection, wherein the genetically superior or more intelligent human rises to the top. Of course this means that the lower class, predominantly blacks, are represented as genetically inferior (xxi-xxiii). The authors claim that "ethnic differences in cognitive ability are neither surprising nor in doubt" (269) and attribute the inequality of life among Americans to inherent differences between races in intelligence (127). Their argument rests on the assertion that intelligence is both inheritable and immutable and is supported by intelligence test scores. The text is full of contradictions and a close analysis proves it to be lacking in evidence and smacking of social myth. Their theories are developed using speculation and are tainted by bias. There is no science involved. The theory of inherent
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