Re: Adaptationism's Lessons (was Re: Evolution, "adaptation")

Len Piotrowski (
Tue, 17 Sep 1996 13:28:10 GMT

In article <51l3v4$> (Robert Snower) writes:


> (Paul Gallagher) wrote:

>>It does not follow that Bryant is right that there is a gene for
>>jealousy. Most genetic determinists are genetic reductionists and
>>cultural functionalists. It does not follow that even if genetic
>>reductionism and cultural functionalism are correct(and tractable), genetic
>>determinism is correct (and tractable).

>>By the way, has there been a heritability study for jealousy?

>There is no gene for "jealousy." There might be a gene, or genes, for
>an instance of jealousy, or instances of jealousy. There are no genes
>for abstract concepts, including "altruism," or "selfishness."

>Best wishes. R. Snower

Do I take your second sentence ("There might be a gene, or genes, for
an instance of jealousy, or instances of jealousy.") to mean there might be
a gene or genes behind structures, mechanisms, processes, and integrating
operations that are involved in some social situation mutually definable by
the participants as manifesting jealousy? If this is so, then this same set of
system properties (including the social interaction) are implicated in the
expression of other abstract concepts, including altruism and selfishness,
without any "task-specific" brain mechanism determined by the ancestral
functional adaptiveness of a particular genetic loci behind each and every one.