Re: Zihlman and Sociobiology

Len Piotrowski (
Fri, 27 Sep 1996 19:21:24 GMT

In article <52h016$> (Bryant) writes:


>In article <52fn4v$>, Paul Gallagher <> wrote:
>>Maybe one way to show up the difficulties in genetic models of culture is to
>>remember that each gene codes for a protein. If you say culture is in our
>>genes, the mystification of the concept of gene makes that statement look
>>sensible, but if you say, culture is in the proteins that our genes make,
>>then the statement might become a little more suspect.

>You need to explain, if the capacity for culture is not "in the brain
>mechanisms" coded for by genes, just how you view culture as arising.

Whether or not the "brain mechanisms" are coded for by the genes is your
problem and is largely irrelevant for understanding what the emergent system
of social relations and social behaviors are generated from those properties.
A mechanism for social symbolic interaction amongst humans has long been
proposed and analyzed in social-psychology, a fact you conveniently ignore at
risk to your own scientific credibility.

>If you're trying to paint a picture of evolutionary psychologists saying
>that each discrete cultural practice is coded for genetically, you've
>seriously misunderstood the theories under discussion.

Take a look at your own proposals for "sugar craving genes," "jealousy craving
genes," and "rape craving genes," as examples of "behavioral traits," and
contemplate the prospect to your conduct of science if you deny ever
making a causal link to genetic loci.

>That seems
>unlikely, given your other postings.




"If you can't remember what mnemonic means, you've got a problem."
- perlstyle