Re: Modifying the Body

Tibor Benke (benke@SFU.CA)
Sun, 21 Jul 1996 02:46:03 -0700

At 4:27 p.m. 7/19/96 R. Snower
wrote quoting Read and others:

>At 07:39 AM 7/19/96 +0000, Dwight W. Read wrote:
>Snower continues:
>>> By means of culturally based
>>>innovation, Homo sapiens was enabled to transcend his genetic limitations,
>>>to develop a very highly differentiated society. I believe this is fairly
>>>standard sociobiology.
>>I'm not sure this is "standard sociobiology" (unless the phrase "standard
>>sociobiology" was intended to refer only to Snower's previous comment about
>>social insects); it certainly is the standard assumption of socio-cultural
>>anthropology and served as the reason for ignoring the biological component
>>when looking at the organization of human societies.
>>D. Read
>"Transcending" and "ignoring" are completely different. Please see my
>comment on imaginary numbers. We can't ignore the biological component.

This topic is a perenial one on this list. Seems to me the problem is not
with cultural/social anthropology or biology, but with the refusal of
biology as a science to admit that it is socially constructed and projects
aspects of the social structure onto 'nature', I think the problem will be
resolved when due consideration is given in the 'hard' sciences to their
own fallibility. In short, if some social anthropoogists are unwilling to
rely on the ideas we get from the Darwinian paradigm, it maybe that they
are not stubborn, merely cautious. It may behoove the more socio-biology
oriented collegues to pay some attention to the sociology of knowledge and
seriously weigh its implications.

Tibor Benke
Graduate Student (Master's Programme)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby,B.C. Canada