Instincts and Bioprograms

Jesse S. Cook III (jcook@AWOD.COM)
Sun, 18 Aug 1996 16:14:01 -0400

On 18 August 1996, Gary D. Goodman, in replying to a posting by Ron Kephart
of 28 July 1996 (who was replying to a posting of mine of the same date) wrote:

"Personally, I like the word 'bioprogram' to refer to...what we can
generally term 'instincts' seems a useful analogous concept."

I have a few questions:

1. What does the word "bioprogram" do for us that the word "instincts" does
not? Or, as I said in my post of 28 July 1996, is it merely "a euphemism
for what some think of as a 'dirty' word"?

2. Does "bioprogram" increase our grasp of the concept? Or does it merely
confuse the concept with the concept of a computer program?

3. In what way is "bioprogram" useful? And to whom would it be useful?

In my opinion, it would be useful only to those who attempt to impress
others without enlightening them. And the anology, if it is what I think it
is, is a bad one.

Moving right along, there are a few other terms that Gary uses that puzzle
me. He says:

"The more we discover about neuromechanisms..."

What are "neuromechanisms"? Is it meant as an umbrella term? In that case,
does it include structural or functional items? That is to say, does it
cover anatomical or physiological items? Just what did you have in mind?

"...the more we start to understand the means by which behavior is initiated
or repressed...or modified via the genetic toolbox of the central nervous

What is a "genetic toolbox" and how is it related to the CNR? Or do you
mean that the entire CNR is a "genetic toolbox".

The only thing that could be called a "genetic toolbox" that I can think of
is the cell, which has all the genes and the "tools" for producing them.

"But the potentialities of the individual are those that have developed
within a socially influenced environment..."

Now, had you stopped right there, I would have nothing to say. But you
didn't. You went on:

"...for it is fairly certain for dozens--if not hundreds--of millions of
years. And the evolving culture nearly as old."

That just doesn't make any sense. If the "individual" you are referring to
is the human individual, that "individual" has only been around for about
2.5 million years. But what other "individual" could you be referring to?

Jesse S. Cook III E-Mail:
Post Office Box 40984 or
Charleston, SC 29485 USA

"Our attitude toward others is not determined by who *they* are;
it is determined by who *we* are."