David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 8 (1):33-45 (1993)
The human gene pool displays exuberant genetic variation; this is normal for a sexual species. Even small isolated populations contain a large percentage of the total variability, emphasizing the basic genetic unity of our species. As modern man spread across the world from its African source, the genetic basis for man''s unique mental acuity was retained everywhere. Nevertheless, some geographical genetic variation such as skin color, stature and physiognomy was established. These changes were biologically relatively insignificant. Most of the genetic load in the genome has been carried throughout the history of the species. There is little hope of purging all of these harmful genes; we must accept them and continue to treat their syndromes medically. All populations carry extensive genetic variation due to genes that encode variations in quantitative traits. Of greatest importance among these is ubiquitous polygenic variability in brain function and intelligence. Mental acuity is what sets us apart from the rest of the biological world. Throughout our history, genetic recombination among the many genes involved in brain function has occurred. This has provided a genetic basis for the action of natural selection that favors intelligence in meeting the demands of the environment. As environments change in the future, this type of genetic variability will continue to be a crucial resource.
|Keywords||Human evolution genetics of populations genetic load mutations quantitative genetics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Fred Gifford (1990). Genetic Traits. Biology and Philosophy 5 (3):327-347.
Ainsley Newson (2004). The Nature and Significance of Behavioural Genetic Information. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (2):89-111.
Walter Glannon (2001). Genes and Future People: Philosophical Issues in Human Genetics. Westview Press.
David B. Resnik (2000). Of Maize and Men: Reproductive Control and the Threat to Genetic Diversity. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (4):451 – 467.
Michael B.�Lker (2004). Bear Ye One Another?S Genetic Burdens: The Price of Diversity and Complexity. Poiesis and Praxis 3 (1-2):73-82.
Michael Bölker (2004). Bear Ye One Another's Genetic Burdens: The Price of Diversity and Complexity. Poiesis and Praxis 3 (s 1-2):73-82.
Antoinette Rouvroy (2008). Human Genes and Neoliberal Governance: A Foucauldian Critique. Routledge-Cavendish.
Russell Powell (2010). The Evolutionary Biological Implications of Human Genetic Engineering. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (1):22.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #254,563 of 1,010,908 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?