FORA Science

Season 2010 Episode 0309

Hardwired for Life?

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Hardwired for Life?
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Researchers in the field of behavioral genetics have asserted claims for a genetic basis to numerous behaviors, including homosexuality, aggression, alcoholism, and nurturing. Furthermore, a growing scientific and popular focus on genes and behavior has contributed to a resurgence of behavioral genetic determinism -- the belief that genetics is the major factor in determining behavior. Just recently commentators have blamed the international economic crisis on the innate greed of our consumer "have it all now" society.Are behaviors inbred, written indelibly in our genes as immutable biological imperatives, or is the environment more important in shaping our thoughts and actions? What are the social consequences of genetic diagnoses of such traits as intelligence, criminality, or homosexuality? How much of our behavior can be attributed to our hardwiring?moreless
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