predisposed -v- learnt

Paul Parker parker0 at
Tue Dec 3 10:12:55 EST 1996

In article <1996Nov24.085249 at topaz>,
thomasr at (Roger Thomas) wrote:
>In article <m+4lycBTKQyN089yn at>, parker0 at (Paul Parker) writes:


The earlier deletions referred to reports on studies in the USA linking 
aggresive behaviour with serotonin levels,  establishing this was both
inheritable characteristic and treatable.  

Other inheritable and treatable genetic links exist.

>> How much of an individuals behaviour is an inherited genetic 
>> predisposition at birth, how much is from culture - what is learnt 
>> after birth ?
>> Links between culturally modified predispostions are being found.

We can leave this issue - we can all learn bad habits, more as this 
is not relevant directly to the issues raised below. 

>> Links between genetic predispositions are being found.
>> Where are we going we this  ?   
>> If we are proving the existance of such inherited predispositions 
>> we are saying those same theories which the Nazi's were - and 
>> remain, so widely condemned for were perhaps accurate...
>> If you're unhappy with this path of thinking, with where it leads,
>> don't feel lonely !
>Facts don't have to be palatable :-)
>Assuming the hypothesis is established the next step is to do something
>about correcting serotonin levels in individuals who are suffering.

Sorry as not clear enough.  My concern was not serotonin levels 
influencing a persons behaviour or predisposition to particular - for
example aggressive, behaviour.  

Was reflecting on the debate re race, the usual derogatory comments 
over certain behaviours being normal - or at the time being abnormal,  
for people of a particular race. 

In our discussions on racial issues we have dodged questions :

	1)  	whether exists genetic identifiers for race;

	2)	whether such gentic identifier - if exist,  might be 
		linked to any behavioural characteristic;

	3)	whether any genetic identifier should be linked to
		rights of individuals;

IF we accept that in genetic terms there exists an identifier for 
race we can not deny it is possible to have existing a genetic 
link between race and behaviour.

IF we accept that in genetic terms there might exist genetic 
links between race and behaviour can we deny the funds to
persons wishing to study in this area ?

In terms of public morality perhaps.

Should we allow any such public morality on these issues to 
restrict what now seems to be application of reasonable scientific 
investigation of the issue  ?

>A 'happy' pill?
>A possible further step may be manipulation of genetic material so
>'normal' levels are maintained automatically by the individual.

I have seen occaisional reports on such work, however I had not 
followed these up in any depth,  so just recall them as interesting
areas of research - but not mine, at the time.  

Manipulation of genetic material we now do often, perhaps with little 
reflection on the wider issues concerning why we are doing such 
research and just where are we going with it.  

Are we walking along a cliff face studying articles in the newspaper 
rather than where we are walking to ?

Have any of the ethics commitees examining and deciding related 
matters - and the allocation of grants, released any discussion papers 
on their approaches to the issues involved ? 

>I find no joy in people being depressed enough to commit suicide.
>Whether any particular race has more or less problem with low seratonin
>levels is irrelevant.
>When they've finished tinkering with that one maybe someone will start
>work on a way to increase melanin levels in the skin of white people
>who live in the tropics - so we can cut down on the skin cancers.

As could reduce the health budget studies here might even be funded ;-)

Again, the question is can we now say with any certainty that race 
can not be linked to behavioural disorders genetically, or must we
admit the possibility of such a link ?

regards,   Paul.

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