Heritability: Where Nature Meets Nurture

Heritability
Jared Taylor explains how genes influence both physical and psychological traits.
Jared Taylor
Jared Taylor is the editor of American Renaissance and the author of White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century.
We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • JohnEngelman

    You can’t change human nature. 

  • kminta

    While much of what Mr. Taylor says about Nature versus Nurture is true, he is making a mistake by down-playing the importance of nurture in terms of human wants and actions. Indeed, human intelligence, for example, may be mostly hereditary. But to truly reach one’s maximum mental guff,  a strong/healthy environment must be present.

    Also, we should be wise not to make nature and genetics the be-all, end-all of determining an individual (or race of people) is capable of. Such theories could lead to high misconceptions of others and, more dangerously, be used as an excuse for unacceptable behavior. 

    Case in point: if much of the problems exhibited within the Black community (i.e., crime, welfare, a high illegitimacy rate) can be attributed to some flaw found within the black gene pool, then is it really the fault of black that they lag behind other racial groups in overall human potential? If we accept the proposal that genetics is responsible for the things certain people do, do you know how many defense lawyers would use that as an argument for people on trial for murder or rape? A jury could find such individuals as “not guilty by reason of genetic defect.”

    While a great deal of human behavior may be driven by our genes, it is my belief that a civilized society should not allow such theories to dictate its overall course towards something higher and better. To do so would be a reversal of the evolution of civility. Nature and the genes we inherit may play a dominant role in what we are, but I think that Nurture has the last word in determining who we are.

    • Sonya610

      Also, we should be wise not to make nature and genetics the be-all, end-all of determining an individual (or race of people) is capable of. Such theories could lead to high misconceptions of others and, more dangerously, be used as an excuse for unacceptable behavior.

      Case in point: if much of the problems exhibited within the Black community (i.e., crime, welfare, a high illegitimacy rate) can be attributed to some flaw found within the black gene pool, then is it really the fault of black that they lag behind other racial groups in overall human potential?

      All diversity propaganda is about denying there are any REAL differences and saying it is all environmental (i.e. racism or poverty caused them to become that way).  If the real genetic differences were made known it would have a very positive effect.

      If/when the reality of genetic differences is widely accepted it will be seen as failure of the system if the expected behavior was not anticipated. In all honesty it IS a flaw of the system and not the fault of the individuals!  Can we really blame blacks for acting the way that they do when they are allowed and encouraged to act in their natural uninhibited violent ways with no hindrance? No we really can’t. It IS in their genes, it is natural for them be behave that way and the only failure is on the part of those White societies that import them and then allow them to carry on without restraint.

      To use the dog breed analogy, if someone owns a highly aggressive breed of dog and let’s the dog wander the street or run loose in a dog park is it the dog’s fault when he acts on his natural instincts and drives and bites other dogs/people? No rational person would say it is the dog’s fault! They would say it was the owners fault because they KNEW BETTER and did not control/predict the behavior.

      Who “owns” America? The government and the people, and it is OUR FAULT that we have allowed this to happen because the behavior is predictable and expected.

      • kminta

        Though this may not be your contention, but it seems to me that you’re saying that the behaviors of certain people are natural and should be tolerated. Sounds highly uncivilized to me! While it may be within one’s nature to behave in ways deemed unacceptable to others, to simply write it off as unchangeable is to strip that individual or group of people of their essential humanity; the basic and NATURAL understanding of what is right and what is wrong.

        Your dog analogy is merely comparing apples and oranges. We humans are not animals. If you train a dog to behave properly and do what you want him/her to do, with a strong/positive atmosphere, chances are the dog will learn to control his innate aggressiveness and be the ideal pet. The same goes for people. If you raise a child right, even if he/she was born mentally retarded, that person will grow up to be a productive member of society most likely instead of some criminal.

        Nature made us all unique; and while those innate differences should be acknowledged and appreciated, civilization as we know it would crumble if people were to submit to every natural impulse. Which is why I believe that it is essential that nurture should be given some, if not, an equal amount of emphasis in debating hereditary versus environment. You’re free to say otherwise.

        • Sonya610

          Your dog analogy is merely comparing apples and oranges. We humans are not animals. If you train a dog to behave properly and do what you want him/her to do, with a strong/positive atmosphere, chances are the dog will learn to control his innate aggressiveness and be the ideal pet.

          So you are basically saying the achievement gap is “racism” because genetic influence is not real. It is all about nurture.

          Okay then. ‘Nough said. We are all unique. Try raising a Jack Russell from birth with a  litter of Basset Hounds; according to YOUR theory the Jack Russell will become calm and develop a disctinctive baying bark and have some of the best tracking skills in the world.  Let me know how that experiment works out for you.

          And yes humans ARE animals. Flora and Fauna. Evolution.

          • kminta

            “So you are basically saying the achievement gap is “racism” 
            So you are basically saying the achievement gap is “racism” because genetic influence is not real. It is all about nurture. The western social experiments over the last 60 years have proven that theory to be false.”

            Who’s talking about racism? All that the achievement gap shows is that all men are not created equal. Unlike a lot of people, I’m perfectly okay with that. Does that mean that one person or group of people is “better” than another. That depends on what traits and skills does one deem valuable; and I sense that you’re falling into the trap of self-perceived superiority. I’d avoid that pitfall if I were you.

            “As far as my “dog theory” goes it is not theory it is reality, apparently it is a vague gray area you. Dogs are awesome creatures and all have wonderful attributes however that does not change breeding or genetics or behavioral traits. Most “dog training” involves training the humans, the natural instincts of the dog and the breed remain the same, it is the owner/caretaker that learns and adapts. 

            Humans ARE animals. Flora and Fauna. Evolution. Reality. ”

            So you’re suggesting that whites within Western societies have learned to “adapt” to black misbehavior for the last six decades, right? Unless you’re insinuating that blacks are less human than whites, you find it perfectly okay for whites to “adapt” to black-on-white crime and other forms of backwards civility, am I right?

            Since you’ve seem to come to accept the Darwinian theory of evolution, then I also assume that you accept humans and animals should behave the same, correct? But here’s the thing: thanks to evolution, we humans have bigger brains and are, thus, able to think about our actions as well as ways to improve our living conditions.

            And that’s what separates Man from Animal: control. We humans, with our evolved brains, are able to contain our more primitive impulses and, through that, our morals have evolved. Animals, on the other hand, have no morals; they just do what animals do. Which would you rather be?

            “I never ever used the word “tolerance”. I said expected behavior and responsibility for those that can expect that behavior yet choose to let them act out. HUGE difference. ”

            Could have fooled me! In other words, certain people who are genetically prone to specific kinds of behavior should be anticipated and be free of responsibility since no one is responsible for the genes we inherit, am I right? Again, only the uncivilized would accept uncivil ways and relieve them of any accountability; as if the person in question has no free will.

            And there lies the weakness of your argument: you’re proposing that we, as individuals and groups of people, have no free will. That nature has determined what we will all be in this life. I say “nay”. So long as you possess an innate understanding of good and evil, your life is in your hands. With freedom comes responsibility, and although Nature/genetics may dictate what you are capable of, it doesn’t determine your worth. Your actions do.

          • Sonya610

            No you are saying there are no fundamental genetic differences between humans.


            And that’s what separates Man from Animal: control. We humans, with our evolved brains, are able to contain our more primitive impulses and, through that, our morals have evolved. Animals, on the other hand, have no morals; they just do what animals do. Which would you rather be?

            I am a White Human Animal and that suits me just fine! Why don’t you start volunteering in the prisons or fostering black children so that you will be able to teach them about “morality”. Apparently you have the answers that no other Liberal Western Mind could come up with for the last 60 years. You could save White nations BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of dollars!

            Thank goodness you have arrived, it isn’t about genetics it is about morality, and human’s are animals they are well…given free will and such. You have found the answer and you just need to spread the word!

            Your ideas are very original, all unique and individual and well….I am at the moment awe inspired.

      • http://premiseblog.wordpress.com/ Dewey

        Sonya610,

        What happened is that everyone started pretending all of the CARS in the RACE were the same model, so we should drive them all the same.

        WHITE car?  It drives too fast, let’s slow it down.  
        BLACK car? Cannot complete turns very well?  It doesn’t matter, drive it the same. 

        MASS IGNORANCE is to blame.  

        • Sonya610

          The African slave trade was truly the biggest mistake America ever made; ultimately it is likely responsible for the downfall of our nation and possibly Europe too.

          Everyone always KNEW they would never assimilate! That they couldn’t assimilate!  The civil rights movement was a sad attempt to make them fit in and that concept along with the accompanying White guilt ended up ushering in massive third world immigration not just in the US, but ultimately in Europe too.

          The founding fathers were brilliant men, surely they must have realized importing black slaves would be a permament problem and a curse on future generations of Americans. Why did they do it? Greed? I think we could understand how it could happen today because our politicians are extremely greedy and corrupt but back then?

      • Flytrap

         Sonya,
         
        You brought up many good points to kminta, unfortunately they were rebuttals to points not made.  He is correct when he says that forethought and free will are what separates us from wild animals.  Look at the murder rates here, http://chartsbin.com/view/1454

        What this tells me is that culture plays a role in violent, anti-social behavior and if we allow the genetic excuse to be valid, thereby excusing abhorrent behavior, we can expect much more of it. 

        If folks want to talk up genetic compulsions in the court room, maybe we ought to talk up accelerated deterrents for said individuals.  Too stupid to understand your actions, you get flogged in public and prison.  They stress unequal genetic abilities, we stress harsher punishment to get to the more primitive parts of the brain.   

    • http://premiseblog.wordpress.com/ Dewey

      Kminta,

      I hear your point on the black race.  Care must be taken not to let the blacks use this as an excuse.  

      Here is how I see it:

      Everybody says there is this RACE problem.

      The problem, is we don’t understand THE CARS.

      A BLACK car is different than a WHITE car.  Every model car has different advantages and disadvantages with steering, handling, speed, and endurance.    

      If you know the disadvantages, you know how to counter them.

      My hope, is that we learn the inherent disadvantages and advantages of the Black race.  Typically, an advantage is bound up with its inherent disadvantage.  Traditional culture, in fact, was an attempt to counter the inherent imperfections of human nature.

      For Blacks, we cannot allow them to CULTURALLY PROGRAM themselves.  In the 1940s and 1950s, this was understood.  

      Blacks are more impulsive, which can mean more quickly creative.  Thus, they need MORE STRUCTURE to channel their creativity.  

      Blacks mature sooner, thus their men need jobs sooner.  The need more BASIC, TECHNICAL training in school.  College for Blacks is usually a waste.  Young Black men want money fast, and the current White-centered education system forces them to the Black market to make quick money.  Technical training for Black males will reduce the destruction of the black family.  

  • Sonya610

    You, Sir, have a sharp mind. Great rant and on target.

  • http://premiseblog.wordpress.com/ Dewey

    Here is the statement that someone told me, which planted the seeds of conservatism in me:

    “Human nature never changes”. 

  • http://premiseblog.wordpress.com/ Dewey

    Fakemail,

    It sounds like you haven’t been “educated”.  You will therefore be called “ignorant”.  

    Do you mean to say that we have something valuable and unique in each one of us?

    Do you mean to say that we are not interchangeable atoms of society?

    Does that mean we should choose our mates wisely, because our children will resemble in behavior the behavior of our mate?

    Are you implying that women should value conception, because it carries on their unique genetic heritage?

    Preposterous!  You are so ignorant and uneducated.  

  • http://premiseblog.wordpress.com/ Dewey

    Eric D.,

    While I don’t wish to promote typical White infighting, can you provide some hints as to where I might find your information on the heritability of homosexuality?

    I find the right-wing side against homosexuality is that the enfettered embrace of homosexuality tends to promote the more perverted of the bunch. 

     Thus, homosexual tolerance under traditional Western society morphs into promotion of perverts. 

    • Tom R.

      In the late 19th century, the British medical view–as I understand it–was
      that some homosexuals had been “hard wired” for that orientation from the time of conception;  for most of those practicing homosexuality, however, it was a chosen orientation–an allocation of value–arising
      essentially from strong lust pressures, underlying anxieties, compounded  wrong choices, etc.   If one has “mis-chosen” to the point of being driven just to “vibrate the nervous system” with orgasm after orgasm–same sex involvements make much more sense that the trade offs that most women expect from me.   The condemnation of homosexuality does have a strong , evolved basis–even if some informed discrimination is perhaps called for in a degree of compassionate regard for the hard-wired  invert as distinct from the compounded choice-misallocations leading to the spectacles of the lust-saturated misery of an urban gay bar.  

    • WhiteGuyInJapan

       http://goo.gl/ylOdh

      Jim Goad, in his usual self-indulgent but entertaining and informative manner, cites a few links to studies on the heritability of homosexuality.  He also makes a great point that the same crowd who persistently argue against the heritability of intelligence or even the biological existence of “race” suddenly insist that homosexuality is genetically determined or at least is an expression of predispositions.   The chutzpah on these guys!

      Personally, I always wondered how homosexuality could into evolutionary theory.  Economically, having 10% (according to the Kinsey Report) of a population engaging in non-reproductive sexual behavior could lead to a surplus  as homosexuals could contribute  labor without producing more mouths to feed.  Raising the numerator without raising the denominator, as it were.

      In Western culture homosexuals have been over-represented in the arts and humanities.  It could be said that they make cultural rather than genetic contributions.  Perhaps like manic-depression (also found frequently among artists), homosexuality gives individuals a predisposition towards the sensitivity and introspection needed to produce art, music, writing, etc. 

  • http://premiseblog.wordpress.com/ Dewey

    Excellent view, keep putting out the truth.  You hit the nail on the head:

    Anti-Semitism is a good precursor of Anti-Whitesm.  

    The Jews were persecuted because they were successful, better at planning for the future, and better with money than the other ethnic groups.Of course, once an ethnic group has innate advantages to get them to a societal position, they may begin to network in a way favorable to their in-group.  Jewish privilege thus occurred.

    Study “Jewish privilege”, and you will understand “White privilege”.  

    Powerful groups, with “privilege” achieve powerful things.  Thus, you will find much you can tear down both Jews and Whites for.  Of course the successful can be drawn to great good or great evil, or both.  

    First they came for the Jews……..

  • JohnEngelman

    Genetics is the main factor in determining not only ability levels, but also personality and character. As more is learned about the human genome this is becoming more obvious. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1434859917 Morton Christie

    I too have noticed that genetics as opposed to environment determines how a child will turn out as an adult in most cases. criminals breed criminals and drug addicts breed drug addicts. even if removed from their biological parents at birth and adopted by decent families, most of these adopted children grow up to be just like their biolodgical parents, even if they have never met them.