Vol. 6, No. 3, 2000 Page 8

Matt Ridley

"[T]he myth persists that genetic determinism is a more implacable kind of fatalism than social determinism. In practice, this is not proving true. Dyslexia and shyness both have a large innate component; recognizing this has led to better therapies, not callous fatalism....

The weather is deterministic, but it is not predictable. Like the weather, we are a complex amalgam of feedback systems: genes in our brains switch on in response to our behavior as well as vice versa. Perhaps freedom lies in expressing your own determini ism, not somebody else's. As the psychologist Lyndon Eaves has put it, `Would you rather be pushed around by your environment, which is not you, or by your genes, which in some sense is who you are?' Give me nature over nurture anytime."

Matt Ridley, author of Genome,
Time Magazine, February 28, 2000

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