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
We are inescapably the result of a long heritage of learning, adaptation, mutation and evolution, the product of a history which predates our birth as a biological species and stretches back over many thousand millennia... Going further back, we share a common ancestry with our fellow primates; and going still further back, we share a common ancestry with all other living creatures and plants down to the simplest microbe. The further back we go, the greater the difference from external appearances and behavior patterns which we observe today.fred hoyle
The social dynamics of human history, even more than that of biological evolution, illustrate the fundamental principle of ecological evolution - that everything depends on everything else. The nine elements that we have described in societal evolution of the three families of phenotypes - the phyla of things, organizations and people, the genetic bases in knowledge operating through energy and materials to produce phenotypes, and the three bonding relations of threat, integration and exchange - all interact on each other.kenneth boulding
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.
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
It is essential that we raise the image of sex, which is currently seen as a purely biological affair and often portrayed in its worst manifestations, to that of a spiritually based activity.stanislav grof
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
It is ironic that a movement that made its reputation championing the irrelevance of biological differences when those differences were to most women's disadvantage immediately returned to biological determinism when those differences were to the most women’s advantage.warren farrell
I believe that no one who is familiar, either with mathematical advances in other fields, or with the range of special biological conditions to be considered, would ever conceive that everything could be summed up in a single mathematical formula, however complex.ronald fisher
Professor Eddington has recently remarked that 'The law that entropy always increases the second law of thermodynamics holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature'. It is not a little instructive that so similar a law [the fundamental theorem of natural selection] should hold the supreme position among the biological sciences.ronald fisher
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
That biological jack-of-all-trades called ecologist tries to be and do all these things. Needless to say, he does not succeed.aldo leopold
Four years ago a large part of the civilised world laboured under certain biological fallacies which may, in a sense, be held responsible for the extent and duration of the present conflict. These fallacies, which were the foundation of pacifism and other pernicious forms of social and political radicalism, dealt with the capacity of man to evolve mentally beyond his former state of subservience to primate instinct and pugnacity, and to conduct his affairs and international or interracial relations on a basis of reason and good-will. That belief in such capability is unscientific and childishly naive, is beside the question.h. p. lovecraft
Nature and culture, instinct and morality, sexuality and achievement become incompatible as a result of the split in the human structure. The unity and congruity of culture and nature, work and love, morality and sexuality, longed for from time immemorial, will remain a dream as long as man continues to condemn the biological demand for natural (orgastic) sexual gratification.wilhelm reich
I seem to be a brief light that flashes but once in all the aeons of time a rare, complicated, and all-too-delicate organism on the fringe of biological evolution , where the wave of life bursts into individual, sparkling, and multicolored drops that gleam for a moment... only to vanish forever.alan watts
When the history of our civilization is written, it will be a biological history and Margaret Sanger will be its heroine.
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.
The biological function of curiosity as a mechanism of instinct driven behavior that serves in approaching new objects. Approach and exploration are described as being characteristic forms of behavior. The second kind of curiosity pointed is "scientific curiosity" and "metaphysical wonder" with which "the practical instinctive root has probably nothing to do" rather "the philosophical brain responds to an inconsistency or a gap in its knowledge.
[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.
We know that [Saddam] has stored away secret supplies of biological weapons and chemical weapons throughout his Country. We have no evidence, however, that he has shared any of those weapons with terrorist groups. Moreover, if we quickly succeed in a war against the weakened and depleted fourth rate military of Iraq and then quickly abandon that nation as President Bush has abandoned Afghanistan after quickly defeating a fifth rate military there, the resulting chaos could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam.
[It] is Hussein's vigorous pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, and his present and potential future support for terrorist acts and organizations, that make him a terrible danger to the people to the United States.