Biological determinism, to paraphrase the great literary critic Roberto Schwarz, is a socially necessary illusion well-grounded in appearance. Much like art and literature, science "is historically shaped and? ... ?registers the social process to which it owes its existence." Scientists inherit the prejudices of the societies in which they live and work. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the modern incarnation of biological determinism with its decidedly neoliberal assumptions about humans and societies.
Childhood is analogous to language learning. It has a biological basis but cannot be realized unless a social environment triggers and nurtures it, that is, has need of it. If a culture is dominated by a medium that requires the segregation of the young in order that they learn unnatural, specialized, and complex skills and attitudes, then childhood, in one form or another, will emerge, articulate and indispensable.neil postman
The core of ethics runs deep in our species and is common to human beings everywhere. It survives the most appalling hardships and the most ruthless attempts to deprive human beings of their humanity. Nevertheless, some people resist the idea that his core has a biological basis which we have inherited from our pre-human ancestors.peter singer
Only within the 20th Century has biological thought been focused on ecology, or the relation of the living creature to its environment. Awareness of ecological relationships is or should be the basis of modern conservation programs, for it is useless to attempt to preserve a living species unless the kind of land or water it requires is also preserved. So delicately interwoven are the relationships that when we disturb one thread of the community fabric we alter it all perhaps almost imperceptibly, perhaps so drastically that destruction follows.rachel carson
American housewives have not had their brains shot away, nor are they schizophrenic in the clinical sense. But if … the fundamental human drive is not the urge for pleasure or the satisfaction of biological needs, but the need to grow and to realize one’s full potential, their comfortable, empty, purposeless days are indeed cause for a nameless terror.betty friedan
Genocide begins, however improbably, in the conviction that classes of biological distinction indisputably sanction social and political discrimination.
The successes of modern control theory in the design of highly accurate space navigation systems have stimulated its use in the theoretical analyses of economic and biological systems. Similarly, the effectiveness of computer simulation techniques in the macroscopic analyses of physical systems has brought into vogue the use of computer-based econometric models for purposes of forecasting, economic planning, arid management.
According to Gould and Eldredge, the reason why so many links are missing is that they simply do not exist. They take the view that biological evolution proceeds in successive stages of "punctuated equilibrium." Living species would remain unchanged for extremely long stretches of time, and then undergo profound changes in relatively short periods. To borrow a term from the quantum theory of atoms, evolution would occur in "quantum jumps." It is very likely that the spark of life appeared during the first such "jump."niles eldredge
Almost all of the social tragedies occurring around the world today are caused by ignoring the basic biological laws of nature ... The quicker we humans learn that saving open space and wildlife is critical to our welfare and quality of life, maybe we'll start thinking of doing something about it.jim fowler
The male is a biological accident: the y(male) gene is an incomplete x(female) gene, that is, has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion.... To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.valerie solanas
I have a horror of tags and labels. I don't understand, for instance, how people can talk about Bergman's "symbolism". Far from being symbolic, be seems to me, through and almost biological naturalism, to arrive at the spiritual truth about human life that is important to him.andrei tarkovsky
The individual needs the return to spiritual values, for he can survive in the present human situation only by reaffirming that man is not just a biological and psychological being but also a spiritual being, that is creature, and existing for the purposes of his Creator and subject to Him.Peter Drucker
Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.robert a. heinlein
In the course of evolution nature has gone to endless trouble to see that every individual is unlike every other individual....Physically and mentally, each one of us is unique. Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.aldous huxley
Mr. Darwin's hypothesis is not, so far as I am aware, inconsistent with any known biological fact; on the contrary, if admitted, the facts of Development, of Comparative Anatomy, of Geographical Distribution, and of Palaeontology, become connected together, and exhibit a meaning such as they never possessed before; and I, for one, am fully convinced that if not precisely true, that hypothesis is as near an approximation to the truth as, for example, the Copernican hypothesis was to the true theory of the planetary motions.thomas henry huxley
For the fundamental fact of human psychology is that society, instead of remaining almost entirely inside the individual organism as in the case of animals prompted by their instincts, becomes crystallized almost entirely outside the individuals. In other words, social rules, as Durkheim has so powerfully shown, whether they be linguistic, moral, religious, or legal, etc., cannot be constituted, transmitted or preserved by means of an internal biological heredity, but only through the external pressure exercised by individuals upon each other.jean piaget
There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.colin powell
I’m a biologist who has been interested in the biological roots of cognitive phenomenafrancisco varela
I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag , whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands: the United States as a territory, as a people , and as a biological manifestation. That is an example of our perennial confusion of symbols with realities.alan watts
I like to present my characters whether they are in the past or in the future with interesting moral choices, and it seems to me that science-fiction writers are, or should be, the prophets and moralists of today. I am fairly well up on the biological sciences, but I am deeply uninterested in gadgets. A writer's job is to write about people with sympathy and insight.
One of the unfortunate consequences of the intellectualization of man's spiritual life was that the word "spirit" was lost and replaced by mind or intellect, and that the element of vitality which is present in “spirit” was separated and interpreted as an independent biological force. Man was divided into a bloodless intellect and a meaningless vitality. The middle ground between them, the spiritual soul, in which vitality and intentionality are united, was dropped.paul tillich
There is no question that Iraq possesses biological and chemical weapons and that he seeks to acquire additional weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. That is not in debate. I also agree with President Bush that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must be disarmed, to quote President Bush directly.
[I]f you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He's already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons; he poison gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunctions about killing lots and lots of people.
Mein background bestand ja darin, daß ich ein Labor gegründet hatte, das biological Computer Lab an der University of Illinois – da sind sehr viele freaks gewesen, also Leute, die nicht so denken wie alle anderen.heinz von foerster