On WhyTalking about Behavioral Genetics Is Important and Difficult.2004 Subtitleof the Hastings Center Report'GeneticDifferences and Human Identities'.
I wasn't given the genetics for football. This is my gift right here. I was always well-built. You can't do certain sports without the genetics, and talent, too, of course.ronnie coleman: Ellen Mazo (May 1, 1999) "Building the Image of a Role Model", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. A-1.
Many great civilisations have fallen, leaving nothing but cracked ruins and scattered genetics. Usually this results from: natural disasters, resource depletion, economic meltdown, disease, poor information flow and corruption. But we’re luckier than our predecessors because we command a technology that no one else possessed: a rapid communication network that finds its highest expression in the internet. I propose that there are six ways in which the net has vastly reduced the threat of societal collapse.david eagleman: "Six ways the internet will save civilisation" in WIRED magazine (9 November 2010)
Addiction is a decision. An individual wants something, whatever that something is, and makes a decision to get it. Once they have it, they make a decision to take it. If they take it too often, that process of decision making gets out of control, and if it gets far out of control, it becomes an addiction. At that point the decision is a difficult one to make, but it is still a decision. Do I or don't I. Am I going to take or am I not going to waste my life or am I going to say no and try and stay sober and be a decent Person. It is a decision. Each and every time. A decision. String enough of those decisions together and you set a course and you set a standard of living. Addict or human. Genetics do not make that call. They are just an excuse. They allow people to say it wasn't my fault I am genetically predisposed. It wasn't my fault I was programmed from day one. It wasn't my fault I didn't have any say in the matter. Bullshit. Fuck that bullshit. There is always a decision. Take responsibility for it. Addict or human. It's a fucking decision. Each and every time.james frey: page 291 (A Million Little Pieces (2003))
I think it's bullshit. People don't want to accept the responsibility for their own weakness so they place the blame on something that they're not responsible for, like a disease or genetics. As far as studies go, I could prove I was from Mars if you gave me enough time and enough resources.james frey: page 302 (A Million Little Pieces (2003))
Another philosophical question regards the very definition of the word 'selection'. One of the original formulations of selection was 'the survival of the fittest'. If you open a standard textbook of genetics 'fitness' will probably be defined as 'the ability to survive' or something similar. But if the 'fittest' are defined as 'the best survivors' then the idea of natural selection becomes 'the survival of those best at surviving'. So what else is new? If there is no more to Darwinism than a truism then the whole theory rests on very shaky ground.Brian Leith, The Descent of Darwin: A Handbook of Doubts about Darwinism (Collins, 1982) p. 21
Biochemists and biologists who adhere blindly to the Darwinism theory search for results that will be in agreement with their theories and consequently orient their research in a given direction, whether it be in the field of ecology, ethology, sociology, demography (dynamics of populations), genetics (so-called evolutionary genetics), or paleontology. This intrusion of theories has unfortunate results: it deprives observations and experiments of their objectivity, makes them biased, and, moreover, creates false problems.Pierre-Paul Grassé, Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation (Academic Press, 1977) p. 7
Statistically , the probability of any one of us being here is so small that you'd think the mere fact of existing would keep us all in a contented dazzlement of surprise . We are alive against the stupendous odds of genetics , infinitely outnumbered by all the alternatives who might, except for luck , be in our places.Lewis Thomas, in Exploring the Road Less Traveled: A Study Guide for Small Groups, Simon and Schuster, 2 November 1985, p.111
I grew up very Christian ... My family are still very Christian. I am in no way disrespecting them when I say this: it was overbearing. I believed I was touched by Jesus, and I prayed all the time. I was still very Christian when I left the Marines. I would tell everyone about Jesus — it was almost evangelical. I thought all the good things in my life were because of my faith.When I came back from expeditions, I had some experiences that made me readdress all that. I'd pretty much known all along that Christianity wasn't for me. Ever since then, I've been on my own quest to find another truth. I can't read novels, but I do read books about cosmology, about astrophysics, about genetics. I'm interested in altered states of mind, and creation myths. It's all part of the same thing — I want to know why we think what we think. Now, I'd describe myself as pan-deist, reluctantly verging on atheist.bruce parry: As quoted in "Bruce almighty: What drives Tribe's presenter-explorer Bruce Parry?" by Ed Caesar in The Independent (11 August 2007)
If, nevertheless, textbooks of pharmacology legitimately contain a chapter on drug abuse and drug addiction, then, by the same token, textbooks of gynecology and urology should contain a chapter on prostitution; textbooks of physiology, a chapter on perversion; textbooks of genetics, a chapter on the racial inferiority of Jews and Negroes.Thomas Szasz, Ceremonial Chemistry (1974).
Ben Stein: What do think is the possibility that intelligent design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics, or in evolution? Richard Dawkins: Well, it could come about in the following way: it could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved by probably some kind of Darwinian means to a very, very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto, perhaps, this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of our chemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer, and that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe. But that higher intelligence would itself have had to come about by some explicable, or ultimately explicable, process. It couldn't have just jumped into existence spontaneously. That's the point.Richard Dawkins: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008-04-18)
Sociobiology is not just any statement that biology, genetics, and evolutionary theory have something to do with human behavior. Sociobiology is a specific theory about the nature of genetic and evolutionary input into human behavior. It rests upon the view that natural selection is a virtually omnipotent architect, constructing organisms part by part as best solutions to problems of life in local environments. It fragments organisms into “traits,” explains their existence as a set of best solutions, and argues that each trait is a product of natural selection operating “for” the form or behavior in question. Applied to humans, it must view specific behaviors (not just general potentials) as adaptations built by natural selection and rooted in genetic determinants, for natural selection is a theory of genetic change. Thus, we are presented with unproved and unprovable speculations about the adaptive and genetic basis of specific human behaviors: why some (or all) people are aggressive, xenophobic, religious, acquisitive, or homosexual.stephen jay gould: "Our Natural Place", p. 243
As working scientists in the field of evolutionary genetics and ecology, we have been attempting with some success to guide our own research by a conscious application of Marxist philosophy. We therefore cannot accept the view that philosophy must (or can) be excluded from science, and deplore the anti-ideological technocratic ideology of Soviet liberals. At the same time, we cannot dismiss the obviously pernicious use of philosophy by Lysenko and his supporters simply as an aberration, a misapplication, or a distortion dating from the era that is often brushed aside as 'the cult of personality' (with or without naming the personage in question). Nor is it sufficient to note that Marxism has had its signal successes despite Lysenko, with its pioneering work in the origin of life among its achievements. Unless Marxism examines its failures, they will be repeated.richard lewontin: "The Problem of Lysenkoism" by Richard Lewontin and Richard Levins, in Hilary and Steven Rose (eds.), The Radicalisation of Science, Macmillan, 1976, p. 34
If, nevertheless, textbooks of pharmacology legitimately contain a chapter on drug abuse and drug addiction, then, by the same token, textbooks of gynecology and urology should contain a chapter on prostitution; textbooks of physiology, a chapter on perversion; textbooks of genetics, a chapter on the racial inferiority of Jews and Negroes.thomas szasz: p. 11 (Ceremonial Chemistry (1974))
Statistically the probability of any one of us being here is so small that you would think the mere fact of existence would keep us all in a contented dazzlement of surprise. We are alive against the stupendous odds of genetics, infinitely outnumbered by all the alternates who might, except for luck, be in our places.lewis thomas: "On Probability and Possibility"
This is perhaps the most important book on evolutionary genetics ever written"ronald fisher: Laurence Cook, on The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection 
The history of biology is littered with horrifying examples of the misuse of genetics (and evolutionary theory) to justify power and inequality: evolutionary justifications for slavery and colonialism, scientific explanations for rape and patriarchy, and genetic explanations for the inherent superiority of the ruling elite.Pankaj Mehta, There's a gene for that, Jacobin, February 2014
The appeal of biological determinism is that it offers plausible, scientific explanations for societal contradictions engendered by capitalism. If Type-II diabetes is reduced to the problem of genetics (which it surely is to some degree), then we don’t have to think about the rise of obesity and its underlying causes: the agro-business monopoly, income inequality, and class-based disparities in food quality. Combine this with the prevalence of drug-based solutions to disease pushed by the pharmaceutical industry and it is no surprise that we are left with the impression that complex social phenomena are reducible to simple scientific fact.Pankaj Mehta, There's a gene for that, Jacobin, February 2014
Memory is a mystery as deep as any that even psychology can propound. [Natural] Philosophers might perhaps encourage themselves to attack the problem of the nature of memory by reflecting that after all the process may in some of its aspects be comparable with that of inheritance, but the student of genetics, as long as he can keep in close touch with a profitable basis of material fact, will scarcely be tempted to look for inspiration in psychical analogies.p. 191 (Problems In Genetics (1913))
The concept of evolution as proceeding through the gradual transformation of masses of individuals by the accumulation of impalpable changes is one that the study of genetics shows immediately to be false. Once for all, that burden so gratuitously undertaken in ignorance of generic physiology by the evolutionists of the last century may be cast into oblivion. For the facts of heredity and variation unite to prove that genetic variation is a phenomenon of individuals.Chapter XV, p. 289. (Mendel's Principles of Heredity (1913))
It was in the attempt to ascertain the interrelationships between species that experiments n genetics were first made. The words "evolution" and "origin of species" are now so intimately associated with the name of Darwin that we are apt to forger that the idea of common descent had been prominent in the mnds of naturalists before he wrote, and that, for more than half a century, zealous investigators had been devoting themselves to the experimental study of that possibility. Prominent among this group of experimenters may be mentioned Koelreauter, John Hunter, Herbert Knight, Gartner, Jordan. Naudin, Godron, Lecoq, Wichura--men whose names are familiar to every reader of Animals and Plants unders Domestication.Introductory Chapter, p. 2 (Mendel's Principles of Heredity (1913))