Biology and Culture

John McCreery (jlm@TWICS.COM)
Sat, 20 Jul 1996 10:50:23 +0900

>Snower replies:
>>"Transcending" and "ignoring" are completely different. Please see my
>>comment on imaginary numbers. We can't ignore the biological component.
>True enough, and precisely the reason why the attempt of socio-cultural
>anthropology to ignore biology ultimately led to indefensible arguments.
>D. Read

Is not the issue, then,how to integrate biology and culture in meaningful
ways? Sociobiological explanations tend to be straight-line extrapolations
in which biology is seen as *determining* behavior; they fail to account
for cultural variation. Cultural explanations tend to take human biology as
a constant and thus fail in the opposite direction. The noise generated by
the great debates over race, language and culture obscures the
all-too-obvious fact that human bodies are varied and constantly changing
in response to aging, nutrition, exercise,disease and accident as well as
deliberate modification.

John McCreery
3-206 Mitsusawa HT, 25-2 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku
Yokohama 220, JAPAN

"And the Lord said unto Cyrus, 'Shall the clay say to him who moldest it,
what makest thou? Let the potsherd of the earth speak to the potsherd of
the earth." --An anthropologist's credo