Quotations about



The debate about the relative importance of 'nature' and 'nurture' is the most important, the longest-running, and the most fraught of all those debates in psychology that occasionally appear resoluble. (The important and ongoing debate about how the mind is related to the body is almost as heated, but that debate usually appears entirely non-resoluble {see Quotes IV}.)

Until the proof, in 1945, of the scale of the Nazi Holocaust, belief in the importance of 'nature' had enjoyed a century of acceptance in the West. In the late nineteenth-century, traditional Christian approaches to improving people and society were unable to cope with the new problems of urban life-rising crime, conspicuous squalor, sexual diseases and child prostitution. After the First World War, nation-states were increasingly expected by their enlarged electorates to do battle with their own social problems just as they had battled with each other militarily on an unprecedented scale, and to use science in peace as they had in war. Two particular strategies seemed possible. One was to control alcohol consumption by increased taxation or by outright prohibition. The other was to prevent the recurrence of similar social problems in future generations by introducing society's problem-cases to sterilization, castration, contraception or abortion-if not to the sexual restraint long urged unavailingly by the churches. This second, futuristic route to 'improvement' presumed problems like mental subnormality {the 'learning difficulties' of today}, schizophrenia, criminality and alcoholism to be substantially inherited.

By 1945, it was clear for all to see that both these major efforts toward 'improvement' had been tried and had failed horrifically. In the USA, the 'prohibition era' had yielded more crime, alcoholism and drug-taking than before-together with a corruption of, and public mistrust for the police: laws restricting alcohol consumption had led to illicit brewing and retail, which in turn desensitized many moderate drinkers to engaging in crime. In Nazi Germany, the initial proposals for 'race hygiene' via eugenics had been quickly discarded in favour of euthanasia for the mentally and physically handicapped and state-orchestrated terror for objectors in general and for the Jews in particular. Finally, in 1941, as the armies of the Third Reich poured through Poland into Russia and the 'concentration' and slave-labour camps filled up, the Holocaust was set in motion. Now, quite regardless of health, educational attainment or IQ (the testing of which had been banned by Hitler in 1937, apparently to prevent the above-average IQ's of the Jews from being advertised), five million Jews, gypsies and homosexuals lost their lives to racial fanaticism.

After 1945, it became almost a matter of faith in psychology that important aspects of human personality, intelligence and rationality were mainly matters of 'nurture' rather than 'nature'; that 'improvements' were to be sought in education, training or psychotherapy, or by alterations in social conditions-especially for poorer families; and that psychology would follow the path outlined by Russian and American behaviourism. {See QUOTES XX re 'psycho-social engineering'; and QUOTES X re the eventual Head Start programmes that aimed to raise intelligence itself.} However, by 1970, behaviourism-with its stress on the importance of learning and on the apparent discovery of effective 'conditioning' procedures-had itself taken some hard knocks in academic circles. These came partly from the growing recognition that 'conditioning' could not account for the phenomena of human language and symbol-using intelligence; partly from the increasing success of amelioration of mental illness by drugs; partly from failures of behaviour therapy to bite reliably on many 'unwanted habits' (especially on sexual fixations and on alcohol- and nicotine-consumption); and partly from direct empirical investigation of the role of 'nature' in human intellect, in personality differences, and even in social attitudes.

There are in fact three 'nature vs nurture' issues rather than just one. They concern what is innate, what is inherited, and what is important.

(i) What is innate to the species-in this case, homo sapiens? What features of human behaviour and experience arise from the genes that we all share and without most of which a human child is unlikely to be born? Obvious possibilities are that language (or at least a certain capacity for language) is innate to Man; ditto bipedalism-conferring the major evolutionary advantage that we can carry things easily. But what about the sex-role division of labour -so general a feature of human cultures historically, but now under challenge {see QUOTES XXII}? Proving innateness (versus dependence on learning) of a largely species-specific characteristic-like birdsong-may seem easy enough: we 'simply' rear a bird without exposing it to conspecifics or their song. But we can hardly carry out the same experiment with human children today -though the feat was attempted by one or two rulers of the past (e.g. the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, who was curious to see whether children reared in isolation would end up speaking Hebrew, or whether the Almighty might have graced some other language with His approval). Today there is much discussion of 'sociobiological' ideas as to how we evolved (perhaps as 'aquatic apes'?) and as to what is innate (altruism?, love of our own kith and kin?, inter-racial antipathy?); but to prove points decisively in either the 'nature' or 'nurture' direction is hard work; and such matters are so important that many people are properly reluctant to change their minds without decisive proof. {The suggestion of the Nobel-Prize-winning German ethologist, Konrad Lorenz (1962, Aggression: the So-called Evil), that human aggression is not only innate but actually 'desirable' (at least, intrinsic to distinctively human patterns of sociality) still remains the outstandingly controversial claim of ethology and sociobiology-though Freud, too, thought we all had a 'death wish' of some kind that was normally channelled away from the self, towards external targets.} Altogether, precise attributions of important, universal human features to 'either' nature or nurture looks quite unlikely. The incest taboo is an obvious example: it will be maintained 'naturally' in so far as societies are not so riven with internal strife as to put a premium on the special co-operation that will occur between the genetically similar offspring of incestuous unions; and it is also maintained by religious injunction and folk memory. Again, the human sex-role division of labour has been well-nigh universal and thus a clear candidate to be thought 'innate'. Yet some obviously think this may change if females continue to have access to physical force (whether via the gun, labour-saving devices, or the police), can delay or abjure pregnancy and child-rearing, and can rely on their nation states to fund the education, health-care and even child-care of their own children while they themselves go out to work. {For presentation of modern nativist claims see e.g. M.Ridley, 1993, The Red Queen and M.S.Gazzaniga, 1994, Nature's Mind.}

(ii) Which differences between us are inherited genetically from our parents? Which characters 'breed true'-with people being more similar to each other according our estimates of the number of genes they share? With which traits can it be said that a 'eugenics' programme would be likely to have some degree of at least technical success? With this matter there are three obvious main lines of systematic inquiry.

(a) We can look at genetically similar (or even identical people (monozygotic (MZ) twins)) who grow up in different environments, thus allowing us to learn whether environmental differences, between families, contribute to final observable ('phenotypic') differences in behaviour and personality.

(b) We can look at children who are genetically unrelated (by population standards) and who grow up in the same family environment-as when adoptive children grow up alongside genetically unrelated children of similar age.

(c) We can look at pairs of children who share the same environment, but who differ in their degree of genetic similarity-as do MZ and DZ (dizygotic, 'fraternal') twins. We ask whether, with environment similar for the twins making up each pair, the greater within-pair genetic similarity (of the MZ's) makes for greater within-pair phenotypic similarity {as measured by intra-class correlation coefficient}.

Of course there are variants on all these methods. For example, in the 1990's there are many half-siblings who grow up largely apart, for example. More importantly, each method has its own limitations. Adoptive children may have been selected by agencies in the past as especially 'suited' to the families to which they were assigned: thus a brown-eyed child might not be assigned to blue-eyed adoptive parents, and a child of a well educated biological mother might be sent to a relatively bookish home. Investigators have tried variously to allow for, circumvent or neglect such methodological problems. In particular, careful attention is essential to the genotypic, phenotypic and environmental ranges across which any particular study has been conducted: relatively few adoptees are adopted into the extremes of the range of human environments, for example; and twin studies using volunteers will usually under-represent pairs carrying genes for relatively low levels of IQ In recent years there has been an enormous increase in high-quality psychogenetic work in many Western countries. Interpretations remain contested in some quarters (e.g. L.J.Kamin, 1984, Science; C.R.Brand, 1987, Nature); but a certain amount of fresh practical advice on child-rearing and education can be offered on the basis of the emerging research picture (Brand, 1989, in D.Anderson, Full Circle).

(iii) How do people come to differ as much as they do? How does phenotypic population variance arise? Is it largely accounted by 'broadly heritable', or genetic factors? Importantly, this question is different from the last two, for not all genetic variance is inherited. The best known example of this is the case of eye-colour in homo sapiens: two brown-eyed parents can have a blue-eyed child if each of them carries the 'recessive' gene for blue eyes as well as the 'dominant' gene for brown eyes. Interaction between genetic factors (epistasis) is another purely genetic phenomenon that will not make for marked parent-child or sibling-sibling similarity: if a certain combination of genes is crucial to a character, within-family resemblances will be modest, since genes segregate in the process of transmission. Tracing such minimally transmissible effects is much harder; and, when they are found, they may somewhat upset the interpretation of other studies: for example, outstanding phenotypic similarity in MZ twin-pairs may reflect epistasis as much as 'narrowly heritable' genetic variance. Lastly, we come to entirely non-transmissible genetic effects -as when genes mutate or when chromosomes are damaged or appear in triplicate. (For example: 'Fragile X' and 'Down's syndrome' are often the causes of mental retardation in children from families having no general propensity to produce lower-IQ children). The way ahead to the identification of further such genetic effects is highly technical and even then serendipitous; but at present it is widely believed by geneticists (and by some people who are anxious about the prospect of a 'new eugenics') that many further gene-phenotype links will be discovered as the human genome is mapped in its entirety (see e.g. D.J.KEVLES and L.HOOD, 1992, The Code of Codes, Harvard University Press). It would be nice to be able to say that whatever features of personality, intellect, psychopathology etc. cannot be attributed to genetic features must clearly be put down to 'the environment', and vice versa. However, psychologists long ago decided that matters were not so simple, and modern work provides ways of firming up this hunch.

Initially, saying that 'nature and nurture interact'-perhaps 'inextricably' -to yield human outcomes did little more than draw a veil over the failure of environmentalist theories to prove their main case. To talk of genetic-environmental interaction was more to obfuscate than to clarify. Strictly speaking, G x E interaction occurs when an environmental difference multiplies with a genetic value in determining phenotypic outcome: for example, a good violin level attained by a child will probably reflect not just 'genes for musical ability' and 'a good violin teacher', but their interaction or multiplication-there will probably be little attainment to show for having one but not the other. Is such G x E interaction a powerful influence in human affairs? Well, if there is a lot of it around, it should mean that MZ twins will be especially similar only when they grow up in similar environments: and this phenomenon is not readily apparent across the range of psychometric test-score 'phenotypes'. However, many other things have been alluded to under the heading of 'interaction effects' by non-specialists; and the most compelling of these is the idea that a child's development occurs as it 'interacts with the environment'. Since virtually all children quite literally 'interact with the environment' (with the important exception of grossly handicapped children), it is not immediately obvious how this observation is supposed to enable us to account for eventual differences between children. But in recent years, several techniques have come on stream for identifying various forms of what is properly called genetic-environmental covariation (G,E COV). Theoretically there are three types of G,E COV that may help produce full population variance:

(1) Genotype and environment may be correlated by certain types of children being born into certain types of environment-as with children having genes for high-IQ [if there are such genes, of course] being born into environments that are themselves [correctly] judged by modern educators and social workers to be more likely to boost development.

(2) Parents, educators, etc., may decide to supply a certain type of environment to a certain type of child-smiles for a pretty girl, punishment for a cheeky boy, violins for children who seem interested and prove themselves capable, etc.

(3) Lastly, the genotype itself may lead its possessor to active selection of particular environment-as the child itself comes of an age to choose its toys, treats, friends, hobbies, school subjects etc.

These last two types of G,E COV can usefully be called 'transaction' with the environment: the point is that G has yielded, passively or actively, a changed environment (whether by selection or creation) that, in its turn, will normally be expected to influence the child further. If such 'transactions' occur, perhaps especially of type (iii), then we could expect that children will diverge as they grow up unless they are genetically identical. And this is just what has seemed to happen in the few studies that have looked for the effect: at around seven years, DZ twins are almost as similar as MZ twins; but by adolescence the DZ's have diverged while the MZ twins have remained as similar as they were. What seems to happen is that the environment is not, as behaviourists could make it for their laboratory animals, a truly independent variable operating from outwith the 'organism'. Quite the contrary: environmental differences between us are largely under our own control after childhood, and psychological divergence seems to follow in line with genetic differences that may not have expressed themselves at all until such environmental opportunities arise. Classical environmentalists would wish us all exposed to a limited diet of systematically improving arrangements. They would perhaps wish all children to be exposed to the standard British primary 'school' with its staff trained in sociology and Piagetianism. By contrast, the 'transactionist' will look especially at whether the environment provides variety and choice for children, and at whether the environment is responsive to the highly individual pressures from growing children for intellectual and emotional development beyond the levels that individual children have already reached. {For further coverage of the need to differentiate treatments according to individuals, see QUOTES XX and XXIX.}

Such are some of the main arguments, methods and types of finding that are brought to bear on 'nature-and-nurture' issues today. In general, enormous progress in the direction of agreement amongst experts has occurred in recent years, with few simple social-environmentalist claims being left on the table-except those concerning extreme environments that are seldom encountered in the West. This would once have seemed a pessimistic thing to say; but it is no longer so. With years of slight achievement for social-environmentalist techniques behind us {see QUOTES X and XX}, and with gene replacement therapy said to be just around the corner, probably the happiest thing that victims of psychological ill health or 'learning difficulties' could be told would be that their grandchildren, at least, would be spared their condition. Whether people will be any more responsible about the 'new eugenics' than the old will remain to be seen. It is always possible that powerful new environmental variables-not seen so far in the twentieth century -will come into play and yield variance between people that would quite dwarf the human differences that result perhaps mainly from genetic differences today. Such overwhelmingly powerful environmental features would presumably resemble those associated historically with religion and associated pressures for strict socialization-an environmental pressure for which the twentieth-century West professed little use. More likely, increasing provision of equal opportunity and choice-now available to children in their own homes thanks to the proliferation of TV channels-will mean that the intellectual and personality differences that remain in future populations will be increasingly of genetic origin. High heritabilities will thus be a major testimony to the achievement of equal opportunities for all.

{Further coverage of nature/nurture issues will be found in QUOTES X (about intelligence), QUOTES XIV-XVIII (about personal propensities), XXI-XXIV (about group differences), XXVII (about 'equality') and XXVIII (about 'freedom').}

The Nature vs Nurture ideological problem

"Doubtless we all feel a repugnance to assigning so little efficacy to environmental forces as the facts of this study seem to demand; but common opinion also feels a repugnance to believing that the mental resemblances of twins, however caused, are as great as the physical resemblances."

E.L.THORNDIKE, 1905, in J.M.Cattell & F.J.E.Woodbridge, Archives of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 1. New York : Science Press.

"In 1948, [in Russia] the Communist Party Central Committee officially repudiated the entire science of genetics. Soviet academics were obliged to teach the pre-Darwinian doctrine that acquired characteristics can be transmitted to one's heirs.... It was not until the mid-sixties that Lysenko's scientific nonsense was formally repudiated by Soviet authorities."

Daniel SELIGMAN, 1992, A Question of Intelligence: the IQ Debate in America. New York : Carol (Birch Lane).

"Wherever the theory of inheritance of human behaviour exists there is also the possibility of the emergence of fascism." E.BELL & J.SERAMKI, 1964, The Social Foundation for Human Behavior.

"Glorification of the 'natural' is part of the ideology which protects an unnatural society in its struggle against liberation."

Herbert MARCUSE.

"The very suggestion that differences in personality and intellect between individuals might depend substantially on genetic differences nowadays causes outrage in many quarters, especially when it is suggested that statistical differences between ethnic groups or the sexes may be so influenced."

M.LOCKWOOD, 1985, Nature.

"....we must suspect those who continue to espouse theories of individual differences in personality which centre on family environment and cultural influences, of motives other than scientific."

N.MARTIN & Rosemary JARDINE, 1986, in S. & Celia Modgil, Hans Eysenck: Consensus and Controversy. Brighton : Falmer.

"....caring left-wing ideologues have it in for Darwin to a man. After all, his theory holds that people differ from one another! Worse, the differences give some people an unfair advantage over others, and these advantages can be inherited by their children - in flat contradiction to the requirements of equality, social justice, and the abolition of hereditary privilege. Such a wicked theory cannot possibly be true, or if it is it shouldn't be."

David JONES, 1986, 'Believe it or not....' The Times, 11 xii.

"Psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists in the early part of this century largely rejected what they took to be a Darwinian construction of man. They insisted that human behaviour could be understood only through culture and the principles of learning theory. They were impatient to utilize new techniques in order to change conditions - and consequently the nature of man."

Robert J. RICHARDS, 1987, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior. University of Chicago Press.

"Despite intellectual acknowledgment of the essential duality of the origins of high ability, most individual researchers are emotionally - sometimes passionately - attached to the defence of one extreme."

J.SLOBODA, 1993, 'Weighing of the talents'. Nature 362, 11 iii.

"Even in the age of the human genome project, there are many who react with animosity and even outrage to the proposition that our genes play a major role in the development of specifically human behavioral traits."

P.MARLER, 1995, Contemporary Psychology 40.

"On the one side are the pervasive views of sociologists and political scientists who believe socio-economic factors are the "master variable." They have allies in anthropology, where "culture" is considered the key shaper of behavior, among behavioral psychologists who believe that human nature answers only to environmental conditions, and among social workers and liberal political reformers. On the other side are differential psychologists who believe that tested intelligence is a good candidate for the "master variable." They have allies in the growing number of geneticists, sociobiologists, evolutionary psychologists and neuroscientists who share the conviction that inherited factors must be brought more into the picture. Children in a family, raised in the same environment by and large, often turn out quite differently. Genes matter."

R.A.GORDON, 1995, Planning for Higher Education 23.

"Scientists are going to discover many subtle genetic factors in the makeup of human beings. Those discoveries will challenge the basic concepts of equality on which our society is based."

David Baltimore (Nobel Prize winner in medicine and microbiology), 1983, to R.Reeves, Kansas City Times, 7 iv.

Nativist proposals about humanity in general

"The moral philosophy of the eighteenth century was richly sociobiological, especially that in Scotland, where Adam Smith, Ferguson, Millar, and Kames, among others, located the source of every significant pattern of behavior in some passion, drive, or instinct. Altruism, Smith thought, was the innate drive in man that made society possible, just as the "instinct" to truck or barter, to buy or sell, was the true source of the economic system."

R.NESBIT, 1982, Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary. Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press.

"William James was one of the first writers, and was the most forceful, in urging that instinct was at the root of a good deal more of man's behaviour than was commonly admitted.... [One] classification which has been popularized by Tansley's The New Psychology, is that into ego-instincts [e], herd-instincts[h], and sex-instincts [s], corresponding to self-preservation (and aggrandisement), tribal preservation, and racial preservation respectively.... [By contrast, Thorndike provides] an enumeration of one specific situation after another, with the specifically instinctive response in each case.... Between these two extremes is a list like that of McDougall....:

Corresponding primary emotion [Tansley]

e Flight, Concealment or Immobility Fear

e Pugnacity Anger

e Repulsion Disgust

e Submission Subjection

e Self-assertion Elation

e Curiosity Wonder

s Parental Instinct Tender Emotion

s Reproductive Instincts )

e Acquisition ) the emotions

e Feeding ) corresponding to which

h Gregariousness ) are not so definitely

e Construction ) named by McDougall.

Godfrey H. THOMSON, 1924, Instinct, Intelligence and Character.

London : George Allen & Unwin.

"My own suggestion is that a central part of what we call 'learning' is actually better understood as the growth of cognitive structures along an internally directed course under the triggering and partially shaping effect of the environment.... Innate factors permit the organism to transcend experience, reaching a higher level of complexity that does not reflect the limited and degenerate environment. We may usefully think of the language faculty, the number faculty, and others, as 'mental organs'."

Noam CHOMSKY, 1980, Rules and Representations. Oxford : Blackwell.

"Intelligence is structured according to innate tendencies or propensities, presumably with a material correlate in the brain.... The basic Aristotelian premises of logic, like the law of the excluded middle, are common to all peoples.... The same is true also of morality, despite cultural differences. The Love Commandment, for instance ["Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"] appears again and again in widely varying cultures. Humans really do think alike.... There is every reason to think that our morality was conferred by biological causes."

M.RUSE, 1986, to NATO Conference on 'The evolutionary biology of intelligence', Poppi, Italy.

"A long-standing dogma in this century's social science has been that the nature of human beings is that they have no nature, except perhaps a few highly domain-general learning mechanisms. Evidence that such a view is empirically untenable has been accumulating over the past decade (D.Brown, 1991, Human Universals). [Intricate, domain-dedicated machinery,] coupled with the social, cultural and ecological inputs that reliably activate them [may be hypothesized for]:

childhood fears of loud noises, darkness, snakes, spiders and strangers;

characteristic emotions such as anger, envy, passion and love;

characteristic facial expressions such as those showing happiness and disgust;

competition for limited resources;

specific mate preferences; classification of kin; love of kin;

play; deceit; concepts of property; enduring reciprocal alliances or friendships;

retaliation and revenge; sanctions for crimes against the group;

rites of passage; concepts of self;

concepts of intentions, beliefs and desires as part of a theory of mind;

status differentiation; status seeking; prestige criteria;

humor; gender terminology; sexual attraction; sexual jealousy;

sexual modesty; toolmaking; tool use; tools for toolmaking;

weapon making; weapon use; coalitions that use weapons for war;

collective identities; cooking; coyness; crying; and probably hundreds more (see Brown, 1991)."

W. T. DEKAY & D.M.BUSS, 1992, Current Directions in Psychological Science 1.

"Although behaviourists eschewed any appeal to the mental as being irremediably unscientific, contemporary psychology....is based firmly on the causal efficacy of beliefs and desires. Moreover, what underpins this mentalism is a version of Cartesian rationalism that ascribes massive innate cognitive structure to the neonate."

Neil SMITH, 1994, 'Chomsky's revolution'. Nature 367, 10 ii 1994.

"Much of what we ascribe to human nature is no more than a reaction to the restraints put upon us by our civilization."

Frank BOAS (social anthropologist), 1928, introducing Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa. New York : William Morrow.

The importance of evolution {For more sociobiological proposals, see QUOTES XVIII.}

"....evolution can properly be defined as a natural process in time, self-varying and self-transforming and generating increasing complexity and variety during its transformations; and this is precisely what has been going on for all time in all the universe. It operates everywhere and in all periods, but is divisible into a series of three sectors or successive phases:

the inorganic or cosmic;

the organic or biological; and

the human or psychosocial.

Each phase operates by a different main mechanism, has a different scale and a different type of change, and produces a different type of result.... The critical threshold between the inorganic and the biological phase was crossed when matter and the organisms built from it became self-reproducing; that between the biological and the psychosocial when the mind and the organisations generated by it became self-reproducing in their turn....

In general, we must bring home to the general public the possibility of real genetic improvement, the burden it could lift off human shoulders, the hope it could kindle in human hearts. We must make people understand that social and cultural amelioration are not enough. If they are not to turn into temporary palliatives or degenerate into mere environmental tinkering, they must be combined with genetic amelioration, or at least with the hope of it in the future."

Sir Julian HUXLEY, 1962, The Eugenics Review 54.

"In a very real sense the organism effectively transcends physical laws - even while obeying them.... The necessary information [for behavioural novelty to occur is] present, but unexpressed in the constituents. The epigenetic building of a structure is not a creation, it is a revelation."

J.MONOD, 1972, Chance and Necessity.

"By the very achievements of his mind, man has eliminated all those selecting factors which have made that mind. It is only to be expected that humaneness will presently begin to decay, culturally and genetically; and it is not surprising at all the symptoms of this decay become progressively more apparent on all sides."

Konrad LORENZ, 1976.

"The notion that we could dispense altogether with the concept of human nature is fashionable but it is not, I think, actually an intelligible one at all.... [Even Marx, arguing against Bentham,] remarks, 'To know what is useful for a dog, one must study dog nature.... Applying this to man, he that would criticise all human acts, movements, relations etc. by the principle of utility, must first deal with human nature in general, and then with human nature modified in each historical epoch."

Mary MIDGLEY, 1984, Wickedness. London : Ark.

"....very many people still make pre-evolutionary assumptions about human uniqueness, a uniqueness that supposedly separates us in kind as well as in degree from our simian ancestors.... (For the rightist position, see Scruton, 1986; for the leftist position, see Lewontin, Rose and Kamin, 1984; for a good, middle-of-the-road position, taken by a well-known philosopher, see Rorty, 1979.).... it is suggested [by 'pre-evolutionists'] that there is something morally and politically unsavoury about the ideas (if not the very personalities) of those who would claim that our evolutionary past is relevant to an understanding of our cultural present. Terms like "reductionism" and "genetic determinism" are bandied about....

Intelligence is structured according to innate tendencies or propensities, presumably with a material correlate in the brain.... The basic Aristotelian premises of logic, like the law of the excluded middle, are common to all peoples.... The same is true also of morality, despite cultural differences. The Love Commandment, for instance ["Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"] appears again and again in widely varying cultures. Humans really do think alike.... There is every reason to think that our morality was conferred by biological causes."

M.RUSE, 1986, to NATO Conference on 'The evolutionary biology of intelligence', Poppi, Italy.

"The outstanding feature of human and primate puberty is the extremely long interval between birth and the onset of sexual maturity. The teleological explanation for such a prolonged reproductive hiatus, in which physical growth is stretched out to a very low rate, is to accommodate the maturation of the large brain and to optimise the opportunities for the transmission of learning and language from one generation to the next. These attributes have enabled man to inherit acquired as well as genetic characteristics. This exogenetic heredity and cultural selection are the key to the success of man in mastering the environment and achieving supremacy over other species (R.V.Short, 1976, Proc.Roy.Soc.London). The critical mechanism on which this strategy of deferred reproduction is based is the brain-mediated inhibition which restrains the hypothalamic drive to the reproductive axis. The limits of variability in the prolonged juvenile period are genetically determined. Within these limits, however, the onset of puberty can be advanced or delayed by factors such as nutrition, energy demands, body size and social interaction."

F.C.W.WU, 1988, in P.Diggory et al., Natural Human Fertility: Social and Biological Determinants. Basingstoke, Hants : Macmillan.

"Social practices are concept-dependent; but, contrary to the hermeneutical tradition in social science, they are not exhausted by their conceptual aspect. They always have a material dimension. This is an important consideration, as reflection on the prevalence and impact of the phenomena of hunger, homelessness and war upon so much of human history shows.... The two crude philosophical distinctions, between mind and body and reasons and causes, have done untold damage here. Thus the social structure is embedded in, conditioned by and in turn efficacious on the rest of nature, the ecosphere. At an epistemological level, this means that reasons, and social forms generally, must be causes (as well as effects)."

Roy BHASKAR, 1989, Reclaiming Reality. London : Verso.

"In an intriguing psychological profile of Frank Lloyd Wright's houses, Hildebrand (1991) uses prospect-refuge theory to explain the consistent appeal of Wright's architecture. According to Hildebrand, Wright's houses have a basic motif that mixes the drama of discovery with a strong sense of hominess. Unexpected views and refuge opportunities abound, from the front gate through the backyard of a Wright house. An internal, contained fireplace with a lowered ceiling and glass doors or windows opposite gives a strong sense of refuge, balanced by the opportunity to see out and survey the surrounding environment.... Wright's consistent use of changes in ceiling elevation and the placement of major living spaces directly under the roof both open up the space visually and create the comfortable sensation of living under a tree canopy. The sense of refuge and protection that one feels under a spreading tree canopy is certainly consistent with an evolutionary approach to aesthetics."

G.H.ORIANS & Judith H.HEERWAGEN, 1992, 'Evolved responses to landscapes.' In J.H.Barkow, Leda Cosmides & J.Tooby, The Adapted Mind. New York : Oxford University Press.

"[There are two ways in which male 'monogamous' birds] decrease the odds that their mate will be fertilized by another male. One is mate guarding, in which males follow their mates closely during the fertile period, and another is frequent copulation, in which males displace the sperm of interlopers with their own sperm." M.KIRKPATRICK, 1992, reviewing Sperm Competition in Birds. Nature 357, 7 v.

"....fitness is....thought to be comprised of three major components: fertility, survival, and generation time (Morton, 1982, Outline of Genetic Epidemiology). Thus, in addition to how many offspring a person has, there is the consideration of how many of these offspring reach the age of fertility and yield offspring themselves, as well as how early in life one group of offspring achieve sexual maturity compared to another group. It is important to be explicit about this: fitness is in essence a longitudinal concept."

J.W.GILGER, 1995, Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive 14.

Reservations about the importance and value of evolution theory.

"[A Victorian lady, on hearing Darwin's theory of evolution, exclaimed] "I pray that it is not true; but, if it is true, I pray that it does not become widely known.""

R.LEAKEY & R.LEWIN, Origins. New York : E.P.Dutton.

"....I cannot accept the wedding-cake view of levels of explanation in psychology with culture balancing on the top. Why should we talk as if 'a dose of social psychology' should be added on to a supposedly more basic set of biological mechanisms? After all, socio-cultural influences begin at birth."

R.S.HALLAM, 1985, Bulletin of the British Psychol. Socy. 38.

"Chimps, endearingly close to us though they clearly are (indeed, they share more than 99% of their DNA with us), can tell us very little about the genesis of Mozart's Requiem, the Sistine Chapel or Paradise Lost."

Pierre L. van den BERGHE, 1987, in D.N.Jackson & J.P.Rushton, Scientific Excellence. London : Sage.

"Darwin pointed to the importance of biological nature as the basis of society, although it is more difficult to work out the precise connection between human nature and the different forms of human culture. A strong hold on Darwinian theory certainly acts as an effective antidote to the relativism which suggests that each society must be understood in its own terms, and that there is nothing in common between societies separated by time and space. [Thus] some modern neo-Darwinians are....inclined to explain morality wholly in evolutionary terms. Such an exercise is misconceived. Human reason, as a capacity, may be the product of evolution; but it is sufficiently flexible and free-ranging to detach itself from the direction of our natural inclinations. It can even sit in judgement on them. Certainly, evolutionary theory is more adept at dealing with the origin of our natural sympathies and aversions, our likes and dislikes, than in explaining the operation of human reason. Since it is itself the product of the latter, it is wise not to over-reach itself."

Roger TRIGG, 1988, Ideas of Human Nature. Oxford : Blackwell.

"In the past, psychologists have tried to "account for" human behavior through reductions to underlying biological mechanisms. This Newtonian ideal has not worked, and modern science is pulling away from the efficient-cause bias on which such reductionism ultimately rests.... The author proposes that we distinguish between two realms of explanation - the BIOS and the LOGOS.... It can be recognised that the BIOS is necessary for behaving organism to exist, and thereby to take part in the LOGOS. The LOGOS relies on formal and final causation via patternings and orderings of meaningful relations." J.F.RYCHLAK, 1988, to 24th International Congress of Psychology in Sydney (S450).

"[Julian Huxley, one of the fathers of genetic and eugenic thought in Britain, and the first Secretary General of UNESCO,] was well aware that man was not 'just another animal' and that human culture added a totally different dimension to the human experience. Some of this is because culture itself provides innumerable new and diverse environments which must act as selective agents. But much more important is the release culture provides from solely biological processes and the speed with which cultural change, as compared with biological evolution can occur. Further, in a sense that has no equivalence in any other organism, human beings can control their own destiny, since they can totally determine natural environments and create cultural environments to their will."

G.A.HARRISON, 1989, in M.Keynes et al., Evolutionary Studies. London : The Eugenics Society.

"It is of little, if any, scientific advance to argue that something is innate or has a 'biological basis', or to imply that this imposes some necessary constraints on our minds. What has been put in us, biologically, through natural selection, may be creative, inventive and liberating, rather than constraining."

Ken RICHARDSON, 1989, Understanding Psychology. Milton Keynes : Open University Press.

"We are beginning to escape from the Cartesian chains in Western thought, by looking at the mind as "what the brain does". (By "Cartesian chains", I mean the implied "mind/body" dualism....) Once this Copernican Revolution is made in Western thought - I shall not say philosophy - many conceptual problems may find their solutions, not least in coming to terms with dyslexia, schizophrenia, and many other human problems."

Robin FRANCIS (Society of Dyslexians, Marlborough), 1989, correspondence in Encounter 73, ix/x.

"As the primitive had spiritualized nature, so the psychiatrist now animalizes man. It seems that when we try to explain the human condition, we - human beings - have a hard time finding a happy medium between making too much or too little of intentionality: when we are culturally underdeveloped, we treat objects as agents; when we are culturally developed, we treat agents as objects. Thus, the primitive tries to understand Nature in terms of human nature, while the psychiatrist tries to understand human nature in terms of Nature. In our roles as modern scientists, we have corrected the savage's mistake. Who will correct the psychiatrist's mistake, and ours for supporting it?"

Thomas SZASZ, 1987, Insanity: the Idea and Its Consequences. New York : Wiley DePublisher.

"We, that is our brains, are separate and independent enough from our genes to rebel against them." R.DAWKINS, 1989, The Selfish Gene (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

"There is a priori reason to expect that embryos will resemble in formal pattern embryos of ancestral forms more closely than the formal patterns of adults will resemble those of ancestral adults. This is far from what Haeckel and Herbert Spencer dreamed of in their notion that embryology would have to follow the pathways of phylogeny. The present phrasing is more negative: Deviation from the beginning of the pathway is more difficult (less probable) than deviation from later stages."

G.BATESON, 1979.

"To say there is a program in DNA that constructs the organism is to use a misleading shorthand or to fail to understand the problem. It is like saying that all you need to know of how to understand high-temperature superconductors is what they are made of and where the atoms are relative to one another. Try that on a physicist.... Organisms are large-scale physical systems that grow and develop, run, fly, produce leaves and flowers and generate patterns of relationships with each other. 'Some of them even love and write poetry. Genes do none of these things, and neither do molecules."

B.GOODWIN, 1995, 'Neo-Darwinism has failed as an evolutionary theory.' Times Higher Educational Supplement, 19 v, p. 18.

Empiricist proposals

"Man is par excellence an animal that learns. It is far more important to be able to learn than to have learned. Progress in evolution is like finding the centre of the maze. It is better for each generation to re-enter the maze with the power of learning than to start at the point, possibly in a blind alley, at which the previous generation finished. Inheriting acquired characters would involve blind alleys."

Godfrey H. THOMSON, 1924, Instinct, Intelligence and Character. London : George Allen & Unwin.

"Visual experience is essential for the establishment of the cerebral cortical circuitry that allows normal binocular vision. For example, the pattern of right-eye, left-eye dominance columns is permanently altered by simply closing an eye of a young primate [D.H.Hubel et al., 1977]."

D.J.SIMONS & P.W.LAND, 1987, Nature, 16 iv.

"The human brain probably contains more than 10-to-the-fourteenth synapses, and there are simply not enough genes to account for this complexity."

J.-P.CHANGEUX. Reported in Science, 11 vii 1986.

"I do not believe that violence is an innate characteristic of humankind, merely an unfortunate adaptation of certain circumstances." R.LEAKEY, 1992, in R.Leakey & R.Lewin, Origins Reconsidered: in Search of What Makes us Human. London : Little, Brown & Co.

The importance of history, society and culture.

"[The] sum of productive forces, capital funds, and social forms of intercourse, which every individual and generation finds in existence as something given, is the real basis of what the philosophers have conceived as the 'substance' and 'essence' of man."

Karl MARX, German Ideology.

"History....is driven by necessity, creating from authority that dies a new authority; from routine broken by war, a new routine; a new illusion of finality, of stability, in which minds are caught by their own realised dreams."

Joyce CARY, 1947, The Drunken Sailor.

"Like the cabbage it so much resembles, the homo sapiens brain, having arisen within the framework of human culture, would not be viable outside of it."

Clifford GEERTZ, 1962, in I.M.Scher, Theories of the Mind. New York : Free Press of Glencoe.

"Man is biologically predestined to construct and to inhabit a world with others. This world becomes for him the dominant and definitive reality. Its limits are set by nature; but, once constructed, this world acts back upon nature. In the dialectic between nature and the socially constructed world, the human organism itself is transformed. In this same dialectic, man produces reality and thereby produces himself."

P.L.BERGER & T.LUCKMANN, 1966, The Social Construction of Reality. Garden City, New York : Doubleday.

"Men without culture would be monstrosities with some useful instincts, few identifiable feelings, and no intelligence."

Clifford GEERTZ (anthropologist), 1980. Cited in L.A.Machado, The Right to be Intelligent. New York : Pergamon.

"The study of the historical past....is predicated on the assumption that there does not exist a uniform human nature which is the same everywhere and at all times, that human nature is in continuous change, and that the intelligibility and coherence of human activity are to be sought, not behind or above this ceaseless changing, but in the very change itself.... After a century and more of discussion which now seems in large part otiose, it ought to have become clear to us that what scientists - basing themselves on the always provisional assumptions and hypotheses of their various sciences - may say, for example, about the physics and chemistry of the human body will not settle questions worth raising about conduct, or resolve moral dilemmas, or still feelings of spiritual inadequacy or dissatisfaction. If the case had been otherwise, religion would long ago have been banished to the remote and superstitious parts of the globe....

[The] metaphor of structure and superstructure is quite inappropriate for the historian, who will be at a loss how to decide if one particular event belongs to the structure, and another to the superstructure. Is Lenin's leadership of the Bolshevik revolution superstructural? Is Cleopatra's nose structural? If changes in the price of gold are structural in sixteenth-century Europe, are they also structural in the twentieth-century world - and if not, why not?....

the key to history....lies in history itself, and to try and go behind history is impossible, indeed meaningless. History is the record of human actions - those actions which constitute man's nature, and by doing which man makes or constitutes himself, provides himself with an identity and a personality."

E.KEDOURIE, 1985, The Crossman Confessions and Other Essays. London : Mansell.

"....the "reality" of most of us is constituted roughly into two spheres: that of nature and that of human affairs, the former more likely to be structured in the paradigmatic mode of logic and science, the latter in the mode of story and narrative. The latter is centered around the drama of human intentions and their vicissitudes; the first around the equally compelling, equally natural idea of causation.... we manipulate or operate physically upon that which is in the domain of cause and effect; but we interact or try to communicate with those who seem governed by intentions. Or, as the Navy adage had it, "salute it if it moves, otherwise paint it"."

J.BRUNER, 1986, Actual Minds, Possible Worlds. Harvard U.P.

"Self generally is the product of relations with others, and both master statuses [e.g. age, sex, class and race] and personal traits can be viewed as thoroughly interactional in source and expression."

Sheldon STRYKER, 1987, in K.Yardley & T.Honess, Self and

Identity: Psychosocial Perspectives. Chichester : Wiley DePublisher.

"Mr Jasper Conran [dress designer], dressed like a nineteenth-century courtier, told us [in pursuit of his thesis that 'fashion is everything'] that fashion looked forward, was the outward manifestation of change, a symbol of development and, above all, 'a clue to life'. Without fashion, we learned, 'there can be no survival'." Peter HILLMORE, 1988, The Observer 5 vi. (Reporting a debate at the Oxford Union as to whether 'Fashion is full of sound and fury, signifying everything'. - The motion was lost, 209-to-345.)

"....if we now find ourselves experiencing ourselves as self-contained, self-controlled individuals, owing nothing to others for our nature as such, we need not presume that this is a fixed or 'natural' state of affairs. Rather, it is a form of historically dependent intelligibility requiring for its continued sustenance a set of shared understandings. It is a moment in a still ongoing historical process and may be reconstituted as understandings change." J.SHOTTER & K.GERGEN, 1989, Texts of Identity. London : Sage.

"Western mathematics - the secret weapon of cultural imperialism - is a product of cultural history."

Alan BISHOP (Cambridge University), 1990, Race and Class. (Quoted in Freedom Research, xi 1990.)

Some reservations about the importance of culture etc.

"Most cultural fads and fashions are fairly absurd. More absurd than most are fashions which, like those of today [i.e. Beatlemania] are largely set from 'below'. Professors, writers, intellectuals, bishops, all take care to be discreetly 'with it', fully conversant and in sympathy with all that wells and throbs up from the slums beneath them."

Editorial, Daily Telegraph, 6 x 1963.

"We cannot avoid being struck by the enormous disparity between knowledge and experience - in the case of language, between the generative grammar that expresses the linguistic competence of the native speaker and the meagre and degenerate data [to which he is exposed] on the basis of which he has constructed this grammar for himself."

N.CHOMSKY, 1968, Language and Mind. New York : Harcourt, Brace & World.

"It would be wrong to suppose that civilization developed wherever the environment was genial, and failed to develop where it was not....[Maya] culture reached its climax in that particular part of their extensive territory in which the environment was least favourable.... The Sumerians found no Garden of Eden awaiting them in Mesopotamia and the adjoining territory at the head of the Persian Gulf, but literally made their environment out of unpromising material by constructing an elaborate system of canals for the drainage and watering of their lands. A very large number of Aztecs and members of several other Middle American tribes lived and made their gardens on artificial islands that they themselves constructed with their hands.... It is true that less cultured tribes may be pushed aside into exceptionally unfavourable environments, but the idea that environment determines culture, whether at the pre-civilized or civilized state, is untenable."

J. R. BAKER, 1974, Race. Oxford University Press.

"Although adaptation of an organism to its environment is the chief process directing biological evolution, with the evolution of intelligence organisms became more and more independent of their environments, by modifying the environments according to their needs. This process culminated in the evolution of mankind, which can be understood only as a result of the interaction of two kinds of evolution, the biological and the cultural.... Cultural evolution, however, being the emergent result of the evolution of mind, cannot dispense with biological preconditions; it builds on biological facts and faculties."

M.A.HOFMAN, 1986, to NATO Conference on 'The evolutionary biology of intelligence', Poppi, Italy.

"Jerome Bruner {see above} is to psychology what the Bishop of Durham is to the Church of England: genes, IQ tests and conditioned reflexes are relegated to the past by Bruner just as the Right Reverend David Jenkins urges the modern faithful to dispense with unduly literal, 'cultist' and 'idolatrous' beliefs in the Virgin Birth and 'conjuring tricks with bones'. Bruner is a higher type of environmentalist - the type that disdains the messy effort of trying to prove that environmentalism is actually true. To Bruner, the major realities of the human condition are quite obviously products of ourselves, our languages and our 'speech acts': any heritability estimates, even if they came out at zero, could only sully this great a priori truth....

Bruner's perverse detachment of the human superstructure from its infrastructure does human nature a double disservice. It is not just that we are cut off from our biology and from the guidance of our evolutionary history - serving to weed out the more inane 'constructions of reality' as this history surely does. Worse than that, Bruner's ideas about the human superstructure are narrowly cognitive, rejoicing as they do in the transcendent possibilities only of 'mind'....

Bruner may be right in principle - that different 'cultures' might conceivably 'construct their own realities'; but he is largely wrong in practice.... If we are to believe Bruner, our natural, human constructiveness should have generated, world-wide, at least a few languages and social systems that defy inter-translation and mutual comprehension. In fact, there is no such phenomenon."

C.R.BRAND, 1987, Behaviour Research & Therapy 25.

"....the social structure is [arguably] not at all the gossamer affair that it is sometimes portrayed to be. It has strengths which are all the greater because they are unseen. It may seem odd to claim that faith in a religion, or a code of conduct in science, in the English common law, or the United States constitution rests on habits of mind with a genetic base to them. But, however much it may go against the grain of modern thinking to admit that some of the triumphs of human reason are buttressed by semi-automatic forces, at least it has to be accepted that the triumphs are likely to be more stable if they are."

Michael YOUNG, 1988, The Metranomic Society. London : Thames & Hudson. (Extract in New Society 84, 27 v 1988.)

"It is easy to mistake what we are and may be. Culture makes up our evolutionary deficit; it may also intoxicate us, shower us with false promises. The culture of the Enlightenment has done this, not only bemusing us with false, deterministic, theoretical systems; but in its dying convulsions throwing up voluntarist nightmares like those of Jean-Paul Sartre.... For David Levy (Political Order), the trick seems to be to grasp simultaneously that there are parts of our nature which - like our need for friendship, family and law - cannot be transcended, while at the same time the transformative powers of modern technology have reduced nature to the status of a comparable and perishable institution."

Dennis O'KEEFFE, 1989, Encounter 73.

"Shakespeare's Antonio, in The Tempest, says that the idea of "conscience" is meaningless to him, since, unlike a chilblain, he cannot feel it: "I feel not / This deity in my bosom"....

It is often assumed today, especially by post-structuralists, that the mind does not exist as a creative agency; that there is instead a tabula rasa which reflects in miniature the linguistic and social assumptions current in the individual's environment."

Meg Harris WILLIAMS, 1990, Encounter 74, v.

"In an investigation of the representation of colors by normally sighted, color-blind and totally blind individuals (Shepard & Cooper, 1992, Psychological Science 3), Lynn Cooper and I found evidence that....contradicts the central tenet of the British empiricist philosophers - that everything that each individual knows must have first entered through that individual's own sensory experience. We asked the individuals with the different types of normal and anomalous color vision to judge the similarities among saturated hues under two conditions: (a) when pairs of those hues were actually presented (as colored papers), and (b) when the pairs of hues were merely named (e.g. "red" compared with "orange"). We applied multidimensional scaling to the resulting similarity data for each type of individual and for each of the two conditions of presentation. Most striking were the results for the red-green color-blind individuals (protans and deutans). As expected, when the colors were actually presented to these individuals, multidimensional scaling yielded a degenerate version of Newton's color circle with the red and green sides of the circle collapsed together. Significantly, however, when only the names of the colors were presented, multidimensional scaling yielded the standard, nondegenerated color circle obtained from color-normal individuals."

R.N.SHEPARD, 1992, in J.H.Barkow, Leda Cosmides & J.Tooby, The Adapted Mind. New York : Oxford University Press.

"Civilized man conceals from himself the extent of his subordination to nature. The grandeur of culture, the consolation of religion absorb his attention and win his faith. But let nature shrug, and all is ruin."

Camille PAGLIA, 1992, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"Taking account of all Russell's (1994, Psychol. Bull. 115) qualms, my analysis shows that the evidence from both literate and preliterate cultures is overwhelming in support of a universality in facial expressions.... There were six [samples] of subjects with minimal outside contact [from the Sadong, the Bahinemo, the South Fore and the Dani]....Significant agreement for at least some facial expression of emotion was obtained in five of the six studies.... In criticizing these studies, Russell set a standard by which all research done outside the confines of the laboratory would be discredited."

P.EKMAN, 1994, Psychological Bulletin 115.

A plague on both your houses!

"....Individual Psychology diverges from the theory of determinism: no experience is in itself a cause of success or failure. We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences - the so-called trauma - but instead make out of them whatever suits our purposes. We are not determined by our experiences but are self-determined by the meaning we give to them; and when we take particular experiences as the basis for our future life we are almost certain to be misguided to some degree."

Alfred ADLER, 1931, What Life Could Mean To You. Oxford : Oneworld, 1992.

"Psychology today includes an important school for which man is nothing other than a brute, e.g. B.F.Skinner's behavioralism; another in which the fact that man is an animal practically disappears, e.g. Jacques Lacan's existential analysis; and various incoherent mixtures, e.g. Freud's psychoanalytic theory, which wants to found itself on biology and at the same time to account for spiritual phenomena, to the detriment of both."

Allan BLOOM, 1987, The Closing of the American Mind. New York : Simon & Schuster.


"Man's brain lives in the twentieth century, [but] the heart of most men lives still in the Stone Age."

Erich FROMM, 1941, Escape from Freedom.

"Man is biologically predestined to construct and to inhabit a world with others. This world becomes for him the dominant and definitive reality. Its limits are set by nature; but, once constructed, this world acts back upon nature. In the dialectic between nature and the socially constructed world, the human organism itself is transformed. In this same dialectic, man produces reality and thereby produces himself."

P.L.BERGER & T.LUCKMANN, 1966, The Social Construction of Reality. Garden City, New York : Doubleday.

"Man is a biosocial animal, and much of our trouble in making psychology into a science has been the mutual antagonism of those who would only look at the social, or only at the biological side, sometimes not even paying lip-service to those aspects they disregarded."

H.J.EYSENCK, 1979.


"I suspect....Eysenck believes in the priority of the biological. So strong is that belief that he inadvertently belies his biosocial credo: '...the biological aspects are prior in point of time and inescapable...' But surely the social nature of man has as long a history as the biological and is equally inescapable? Some four million years ago, as now, a human or humanoid baby, we must assume, was also dependent on a mother's care, and had to learn how to find food and relate to other people. A non-social, purely biological human organism is inconceivable. Social learning theory has therefore as much {and} as little claim to priority as a biologically anchored theory." Marie JAHODA, 1984, British Journal of Psychology 75. (Reviewing a chapter by Eysenck in Annals of Theoretical Psychology.)


"A manifest gap in the Eysenckian school of thought, and one which has sometimes made it distasteful to others, is its lack of concern with those aspects of the psychology of Man-feelings, ideas, motives and other experiential data-which many believe to be the essence of 'personality'."

G.CLARIDGE, 1986, in S. & Celia Modgil, Hans Eysenck:

Consensus and Controversy. Brighton : Falmer.

"Although adaptation of an organism to its environment is the chief process directing biological evolution, with the evolution of intelligence organisms became more and more independent of their environments, by modifying the environments according to their needs. This process culminated in the evolution of mankind, which can be understood only as a result of the interaction of two kinds of evolution, the biological and the cultural.... Cultural evolution, however, being the emergent result of the evolution of mind, cannot dispense with biological preconditions; it builds on biological facts and faculties."

M.A.HOFMAN, 1986, to NATO Conference on 'The evolutionary

biology of intelligence', Poppi, Italy.

"Sackett (1968) demonstrated that, despite their sexual ineptitude, male rhesus monkeys who had been reared in isolation still showed signs of being sexually aroused by the sight of female peers. This suggested that a heterosexual orientation per se was not disrupted by social isolation, but merely the social skills needed to express it."

Lee ELLIS & M. Ashley AMES, 1987, Psychological Bulletin 101.

"Both G.H.Mead and J.B.Watson accepted Darwin, and so they accepted that there was both continuity and discontinuity [between man and other species]. It makes a dramatic difference to one's model of man, however, depending upon where the stress falls.... Language, after all, is a species-specific form of behaviour. The social psychology of Mead is more firmly grounded in evolutionary biology than is the behaviourism of either Watson or Skinner."

Robin FARR, 1987, Presidential address to the British

Psychological Society, Bulletin of the B.P.S. 40.

"[I advocate] a holistic recognition that biology and culture interpenetrate in an inextricable manner."

Stephen Jay GOULD, 1987, An Urchin in the Storm. New York : Norton.

"[Wilfred Thesiger, My Kenya Days] is critical of the Adamsons (of Born Free fame) for having turned the lions which they reared into potential man-eaters, because 'the lions had inevitably lost their instinctive apprehension of human beings due to their close association with them and since as cubs they had never been taught to hunt.' Thesiger's point was proved when one of George Adamson's lions, having mauled a friend's son, then killed his cook and was shot by Adamson while it was carrying off the corpse." S. COURTAULD, 1994, The Spectator, 23 iv.

"....the Durkheimian view favoured by the social sciences (the individual's behaviour is dictated by society via the processes of enculturation during childhood) and that of evolutionary biology (society is the creation of individuals) [might be] simply opposite sides of the same ontogenetic coin. Of course, the individual's behaviour is dictated by its upbringing, with many of its behavioural rules instilled by society during childhood. But the fact that these rules exist does not mean to say that they have always existed in that form: societies do change and when they change they invariably do so at the behest of individuals. Social rules as we see them now may thus be the outcome of long periods of social negotiation in a past that we cannot see and which have long been forgotten. This does not mean that ideologies may not be important in driving social change or that cultural institutions are not limited in the number of forms they can take by internal structural coherence. Such ideas have received considerable attention from evolutionary biologists [examples include Dawkins' (1977) analysis of memes and Boyd and Richerson's (1985) models of cultural evolution]. But it does mean that there may be grounds for reinterpreting the relationship between Durkheim and Darwin as one of differences in time-frame or perspective rather than one of epistemology."

R.I.M.DUNBAR, 1995, in R.Dunbar, Human Reproductive Decisions: Biological and Social Perspectives. London : St Martin's Press (in association with the Galton Institute).

Psychogenetic methods for tracing human individual differences to 'nature vs nurture'

"[King James IV of Scotland] put a dumb woman in Inchkeith, and gave to her two young children, and furnished them with life's necessities for nourishment-meat, drink, fire, candles and clothes and with all other necessities to man or woman-wishing by this means to know what language the children would speak when they came to lawful age. Some say they spoke good Hebrew, but as to myself I know nothing except what I have been told."

PITSCOTTIE, 16th Century Scottish chronicler. Quoted by R.Grieve, 'Isolation experiments on children's language.' In George W.G.Montgomery, Language for the Eye: an Anthology of Deaf Writing and Publishing. Edinburgh, Donaldson's College : Scottish Workshop Publications.

"Enough has been said [here] to prove that an extremely close personal resemblance frequently exists between twins of the same sex. and that, although the resemblance usually diminishes as they grow into manhood and womanhood, some cases occur in which the resemblance is lessened in a hardly perceptible degree."

Francis GALTON, 1875, 'The history of twins, as a criterion of the relative powers of nature and nurture.' Fraser's Magazine 92.

{It was not realize till the 1920's that there are two types of twin, monozygotic and dizygotic.}

"The interaction of nature and circumstances is very close, and it is impossible to separate them with precision.... We need not, however, be hypercritical about distinctions; we know that the bulk of the respective provinces of nature and nurture are totally different, although the frontier between them may be uncertain, and we are perfectly justified in attempting to appraise their relative importance."

Francis GALTON, 1883, Inquiries into Human Faculty and its

Development. London : Dent, 1907.

"It is true that a key assumption of the ordinary twin method is that identical twins and fraternal twins experience approximately comparable trait-relevant environmental influences. Considerable evidence suggests that this assumption is valid (Bouchard, 1984, in S.W.Fox, Individuality and Determinism); but such technical and often indirect evidence will rarely persuade confirmed environmentalists. It is important, however, to point out that if the environmental explanation were true there would have to be sizeable correlations between similarity in the treatment of twins and similarity in their personalities. The evidence available suggests the contrary (R.Nichols, 1978, Homo 29)."

T.J.BOUCHARD, 1987, in S. & Celia Modgil, Arthur Jensen:

Consensus and Controversy. Brighton : Falmer.

"Plomin's group [of psychogeneticists, in Pennsylvania] employs a technique called allelic association which uses large samples of unrelated individuals at the two extremes of the IQ range and analyses DNA markers in or close to genes having products of prima facie neurological relevance (such as dopamine receptor protein and neurofilament protein)."

J.SLOBODA, 1993, Nature 362, 11 iii.

"....our main conclusion after some years of work on this problem is that mathematical estimates of heritability tell us almost nothing about anything important."

C.JENCKS, 1972, Inequality. New York : Basic Books.

"....in the absence of experimental controls in which genetically identical individuals are assigned at conception to different random environments, the confounding effects of the environment (intra-uterine and external) with the genotype can never be eliminated." K.RICHARDSON & J.M.BYNNER, 1984, International Journal of Psychology 19.

"Am I precluding the study of human behavior genetics? Not at all....I {merely} believe that the realm of the possible is far more circumscribed than has been recognized in the current largely worthless literature being produced by the careerists (Plomin, 1989, 1990; Bouchard et al., 1990). The task of a scientifically sound human behavior genetics is challenging but not impossible of execution. It will involve studying the behavioral consequences of known genes."

J.HIRSCH, 1990, Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive 10.

"It amazes me how many graduate students and even colleagues think that giving a psychological test to monozygotic and dizygotic twins makes one a geneticist. The number of naive estimates of from twin correlations published in the literature with no mention whatsoever of profound methodological problems is symptomatic of the malaise."

D.WAHLSTEN, 1990, Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive 10.

"[Burn & Goodship found that of one MZ twin, by the process of inactivation of the surplus X chromosome] had an excess of the mother's X, the other was just as likely to have only the father's, or some of the mother's and some of the father's, or all of the mother's-it didn't seem to matter. Yet the MZ girls as a group showed more skewing than DZ girls. "Whatever causes identical twinning, these studies show that even though identical twins share the same genes, a genetic trait does not have to be shared," Burn says. "The English language is misleading in calling these twins identical-perhaps we should use the German term eineiige, 'one-egg'." ....A few identical twins are so different that they don't resemble each other any more closely than ordinary siblings. Some researchers suspect that certain differences, particularly in behavior, result from their separating early in embryogenesis, and therefore coming to term in separate placentas."

Lawrence WRIGHT, 1995, 'Double mystery.'

New Yorker, 7 viii, 44-62.

"Donald Hebb doubted the possibility of estimating heritability at all, and compared the effort to sort our the relative contributions of heredity and environment to obviously absurd efforts to sort out which is more important in deciding the size of a field-its length or breadth.... We must re-phrase Hebb: given a large number of rectangular fields, which is more influential in affecting differences in size between them - length or width, and is there any interaction between the two? That is a question which is quite easy to answer, using the statistical techniques known as analysis of variance;.... it is certainly not nonsensical or unanswerable."

H.J.EYSENCK, 1981.

"[Steven Rose, in his letter on 'The Burt business' says] the heritability of human traits cannot be determined because humans cannot be selectively bred. On the contrary, virtually every textbook on human genetics describes procedures for heritability estimation. Half of the articles in the most recent issue of Genetic Epidemiology, the premier international journal devoted exclusively to analytical methods in human genetics, report heritability estimates or describe methods for heritability estimation."

Thomas J. BOUCHARD et al., 1993, Times Literary Supplement, 19 ii.

"[In 160 same-sex Croatian twin pairs, aged 15-19], intraclass correlations for monozygotic and dizygotic twins were, respectively,

.75 and .44 for visualization;

.58 and .33 for spatial orientation;

.67 and .41 for word fluency; and

.74 and .41 for vocabulary."

D.BRATKO (University of Zagreb), 1995, from the abstract of an address to International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, meeting in Warsaw.

"From the first few months of life, 40 per cent of babies fail to show much reaction to novel stimuli, such as unfamiliar speech and colourful moving mobiles. At the other extreme, there are 20 per cent of young infants who are highly reactive, showing fretful behaviour and thrashing limb movements to these stimuli. Such early classifications turn out to be powerful predictors of uninhibited/inhibited behaviour in later childhood."

Kerry SIMS, 1995, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 22 xii.

(Reviewing J.Kagan, Galen's Prophecy: Temperament in Human Nature.)

Hereditarian proposals about differences

A little background:

"My dear Adele,

I am four years old and I can read any English book. I can say all the Latin Substantives and Adjectives and active verbs besides 52 lines of Latin poetry. I can cast up any Sum in addition and can multiply by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, , 10 . I can also say the pence table. I read French a little and I know the Clock."

Francis Galton (aged 4, to his sister and tutor, Adele).In

K.PEARSON, The Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton, Vol. I.

"I am the family face; Flesh perishes, I live on, Projecting trait and trace, Through time to times anon, And leaping from place to place Over oblivion. The years-heired feature that can In curve and voice and eye Despise the human span Of durance - that is I; The eternal thing in man, That heeds no call to die." Thomas HARDY, 'Heredity'.

"I propose to show that a man's natural abilities are derived by inheritance, under exactly the same limitations as are the form and physical features of the whole organic world.... ...I have no patience with the hypothesis occasionally expressed, and often implied, especially in tales written to teach children to be good, that babies are born pretty much alike.... It is in the most unqualified way that I object to pretensions of natural equality. The experiences of the nursery, the school, the University, and of professional careers, are a chain of proofs to the contrary."

Francis GALTON, 1869, Hereditary Genius. London : Macmillan.

"I propose to show that a man's natural abilities are derived by inheritance, under exactly the same limitations as are the form and physical features of the whole organic world."

GALTON, 1869, Hereditary Genius.

"It has now been demonstrated that.... a single gene is sufficient to account for a wide range of facts about human asymmetries for speech and handedness."

Marian ANNETT, 1978.

"It would seem natural to suppose that, as we grew older, the differences in our vocations [in business and the clergy] would have increased the divergence in our characters. On the contrary, we think that for the last few years we have been growing more alike."

Statement to Galton by his monozygotic twin nephews.

Cited by R.E.Fancher, 1985, History of Psychology Newsletter 17.

"If ever there were an exemplar of inborn mathematical ability it would be Srinirasa Ramanujan, a poor, uneducated Indian, born 100 years ago, who was one of the greatest and most unusual mathematical geniuses who ever lived.... Although his family was of the middle class [in India of the 1890's], he was actually very poor. Ramanujan, his brother and his parents lived in a one-room adobe home. His entire mathematical education seems to have been gleaned from only two [not particularly good] books.... In 1909, when he was 22, he married a nine-year-old, Srimatni Janki, and took a clerical position in the Madras Port Trust Office to support her and his mother, who lived with the young couple. While he worked as a clerk, Ramanujan [poured out] math results, using excess wrapping paper from the office to scribble down his formulas. He was so obsessed with his mathematics, in fact, that he did not want to stop to eat.... [His wife} and Ramanujan's mother used to feed Ramanujan at mealtimes so that he would be free to continue writing while he ate.... Carlos Moreno, of the City University of New York, says that Ramanujan's work in the area of number theory is exactly what physicists need when they work on the 26-dimensional mathematical models of string theory.... It can at least be argued that, for Ramanujan, a formal education was almost beside the point."

Gina KOLATA, 1987, Science 236, 19 vi.

"Gedda (1960) reported that, in 351 sets of twins, 94 per cent of monozygotic (identical) twins agreed in their degree of participation in sport, whereas only 15 per cent of dizygotes did so."

J.RADFORD, 1990, Child Prodigies and Early Achievers.

New York : Free Press.

"On the traditional theory [of 'blended inheritance'], as Galton saw, the real difficulty was, not so much to understand why brilliant fathers beget brilliant children or why feebleminded parents should have feebleminded offspring, but rather to explain how such exceptional individuals could have emerged in the first place. Galton therefore, who by an odd coincidence was born in the same year as Mendel, proposed to substitute a hypothesis of particulate inheritance for blended inheritance.... Both for believers in blended inheritance and for those who reject any notion of innate mental difference, one of the most baffling results of school surveys is the occurrence, not only of extremely dull children in the families of the well-to-do professional classes, but also of extremely bright children in families where the dullness of the parents and their total lack of culture would, one might imagine, have doomed their offspring to hopeless failure. With the Mendelian hypothesis, these anomalies are just what we should anticipate." Sir Cyril BURT, circa 1970, in C.James, Modern Concepts of Intelligence. 94, Chatsworth Road, Croydon : R.S.Reid.

"Human geneticists, psychologists and scientists in other fields have established that all psychological traits, including intelligence, mental illness, homosexuality, musical ability and talent, and criminality, possess a significant genetic component."

Marian VAN COURT & S.B.SAETZ, 1985,

Politics and the Life Sciences 4.

"For monozygotic twins [in a sample of 3,807 twin pairs in Australia], the correlation coefficients for the binary trait of "ever-smoking" (males .50, females .60) were significantly greater than for dizygotic twins (males .37, females .31)." M.C.HANNAH, J.L.HOPPER & J.D.MATHEWS, 1985 American Journal of Human Genetics 37.

"....it is now generally agreed that at least half of the total variance in personality traits is due to genetic causes, and indeed their contribution may be even larger than that."


Personality and Individual Differences. New York : Plenum.

"Leadership, traditionalism and obedience to authority - the sorts of values on which empires are built - are traits largely inherited from our parents, according to a radical new study from the University of Minnesota that has shattered the widespread belief that such values are learned."

Report in The Irish Times, 8 xii 1986.

"Like others who have studied twins reared apart, we have been impressed by the remarkable similarity of most MZ-apart co-twins - not just in those dimensions of aptitude, personality, or interest that we are able to measure (e.g. degree of superstitiousness), but in idiographic traits that cannot be measured in the usual sense of that term. Examples include aspects of personal style, forms of expressive behaviour, pace and tempo of speech and movement, reaction to stress and excitement, postures unconsciously adopted while standing or sitting, specific fears (e.g. heights, confined spaces), focal interests (e.g. working with dogs, making guns), unusual habitual behaviors (e.g. giggling, obsessively counting things, leaving love notes about the house, and pretending to sneeze while on crowded elevators."

T.J.BOUCHARD (Univ. Minnesota) et al., 1986, in A.Demirjian,

Human Growth: a Multidisciplinary Review. London : Taylor & Francis.

"The results from the classical twin study method of comparing MZ and DZ intraclass correlations, and those from the newer, model-fitting approaches, are in good agreement in assigning approximately 50% of the twins' variance in altruism, empathy, nurturance, aggressiveness, and assertiveness to additive genetic influence."

J.P.RUSHTON et al., 1986,

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50.

"Identical twin brothers re-wrote the RAF's history books yesterday when they shared a coveted honour awarded to trainee officers. Flying Officers Egryn and Niall Huskisson, aged 21, won the Sword of Merit after superiors at Cranwell College, the RAF's officer training college in Lincolnshire, rated them equally highly. It was the first time in the RAF's 69-year history that the prize had been awarded to two people." The Times, 30 i 1987.

"In this report, we apply a recently developed multiple regression analysis to data collected from a sample of 64 pairs of identical twins and 55 pairs of fraternal twins [mean age of all twins = 12.7 years] in which at least one member of the pair is reading-disabled, and present [perhaps the first definitive] evidence for a significant genetic aetiology."

J.C.DEFRIES, D.W.FULKER & M.C.LaBUDA, 1987, Nature 329, 8 x.

"The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart is an eight-year-old research program which focuses on identical and fraternal twins reared apart from very early in life.... [Our] results, unlike findings from the majority of previous twin studies, are based on samples of mature adults, and very strongly support the hypothesis that both personality development and the development of mental abilities are significantly governed by a chronogenetic system [which] results in convergent development even in the face of environmental forces that would be expected to result in divergent development."

T.J.BOUCHARD, Jr., 1988, to 24th International Congress of

Psychology, in Sydney (Abstract F563).

"The Queen has always maintained that, from the earliest age, all her four children had distinguishably different personalities. Charles was always sweet-natured and thoughtful.... There was always a hint of restraint, even withdrawal, unlike his outgoing sister, who always did the waving when they were in a car together."

'Spectrum' feature, The Times, 5 ix 1988.

"My mother always said to me: 'You know, if you had a decent father you could have been a lawyer'."

Walter MATTHAU, quoted in The Observer, 4 ix 1988.

"Results for [the latent phenotypes of] Extraversion, Neuroticism and Lie Scales [yielded] broad heritability estimates of 51, 47 and 16% (for males) and 53, 51 and 46% (for females).... No evidence was found for heritable influences on the Psychoticism latent phenotype...."


Personality and Individual Differences 10.

"A unique recent study of MZ and DZ twins raised together and apart....has confirmed the typical heritability of .50 across diverse traits, including....aggression, behavioral restraint and traditional morality." J.P.RUSHTON, 1989, Journal of Research in Personality 23.

"Just as I inherited God-given talents in terms of co-ordination, eye for a ball, and sporting flair, they have been accompanied in my genes by traits of character, and these, too, shape my approach to cricket."

David Gower (Captain of the English cricket team), 1989,

interviewed by H.McILVANNEY, The Observer, 21 v.

"....virtually all human traits have a genetic and biological basis, which is partly responsible for individual differences in these traits. This holds for height, lung capacity, shoe size, sperm count, intelligence, compulsivity, criminality, and numerous other characteristics, including substance abuse."

L.MILLER, 1990, Journal of Substance Abuse.

"There is a moderate genetic influence on all aspects of tobacco dependence, and light and heavy smoking may be influenced by different genes. These are the conclusions of a study from the United States based on data from the National Research Council's twin registry [which yielded information on 4,775 pairs of twins].... One of the strongest genetic effects was in light smokers, and this was found to be different from the inherited predisposition to the severe dependence of heavy smokers."

Medical Monitor, 27 xi 1992.

"The intraclass correlation for MZA pairs {i.e. for pairs of monozygotic twins reared apart} is the best single estimate of broad-sense heritability, assuming that selective placement and other types of correlated environments are unimportant [for the trait in question}. [In our sample, using the 46 MZA pairs from Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA) (average age at testing 66)], the MZA intraclass correlation (residualized for age and gender) was .78 for the first principal component {of mental abilities, i.e. the g factor}.... Resemblance of SATSA twins reared apart for cognitive abilities is independent of age at separation, degree of separation, and the number of years separated {most commonly eleven years, beginning by the first birthday}. {67 MZT pairs (monozygotic pairs reared together) showed an intraclass correlation of .80.} Heritability is estimated to be about 80% for the first principal component, which can be viewed as a measure of general cognitive ability....

Finding genetic influence for general cognitive ability is greater in mid-life and late life than in earlier years is particularly interesting for two reasons. First, this finding is contrary to assumptions that environmental influences become proportionally more important for individual differences during the life course. Second, it fits with a general prediction made in developmental behavioral genetics: When heritability changes during development, it increases (Plomin, 1986, Development, Genetics and Psychology). In the case of cognitive abilities, this increase appears to reach a plateau in mid-life.

Also of interest is the finding of nonadditive genetic variance. {For the Swedish DZA (fraternal reared-apart) twins were correlated at only .32; and DZT pairs correlated only .22.} Although genetic influence on cognitive abilities has been assumed to be additive, evidence for nonadditive genetic variance on IQ has recently been reported (Chipuer et al., 1990, Intelligence 14).... A preponderance of nonadditive variance suggests that the phenotype may have been subjected to natural selection." N.L.PEDERSEN, R.PLOMIN, J.R.NESSELROADE & G.E.McCLEARN, 1992, 'A quantitative genetic analysis of cognitive abilities during the second half of the life span'. Psychological Science 3.

"....heritabilities of about .40 to .50 are ubiquitous for virtually all traits measured with ordinary psychological tests.... Intelligence is an exception as it yields higher heritabilities."

T.J.BOUCHARD, Jr., 1993, 'Genetic and environmental influences on adult personality: evaluating the evidence.' In J.Hettema & I.J.Deary, Foundations of Personality. Dordrecht : Kluwer.

"Genetic analysis of data from 2,680 adult Australian twin pairs demonstrated significant genetic contributions to variation in scores on the Harm Avoidance, Novelty Seeking, and Reward Dependence scales of Cloninger's Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, accounting for between 54% and 61% of the stable variation in these traits."

A.C.HEATH, C.R.CLONINGER & N.G.MARTIN, 1994, Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 66.

"Heritabilities range from about 40% to 50% for personality, vocational interests, scholastic achievement and general intelligence."

R.PLOMIN et al., 1994, Science 264, 17 vi.

"Multivariate analyses of specific cognitive abilities suggest that genetic influences on all specific cognitive abilities overlap to a surprising degree (Pedersen et al., 1994/5, Intelligence).... Multivariate analyses also indicate that genetic effects on scholastic achievement overlap completely with genetic effects on general cognitive ability (Thompson et al., 1991, Psychol. Science 2).... Research with diverse twin and adoption designs has found genetic influence on parenting, childhood accidents, television viewing, classroom environments, peer groups, social support, work environments, life events, divorce, exposure to drugs, education and socioeconomic status."

R.PLOMIN et al., 1994, Science 264, 17 vi.

"The Germanic peoples (the Germans, Dutch, Flemings, Anglo-Saxons, Franks, Lombards, Scandinavians, Goths, Burgundians and Vandals) who founded so many of the modern states of Europe following the demise of the Roman Empire, carried the concept of heredity to its logical conclusion in their virtually unique system of kinship. Unlike their kinsmen, the Greeks, Italics, Celts, Slavs and East Balts, they did not organize themselves in patrilineal clans and phratries which recognized only their father's kinfolk, but saw kinship in fully genetic terms. The Germanic "kindred" comprised all the individual's relatives on both the paternal and the maternal sides, assessing the degree of closeness according to their actual genetic relationship. This was a quite different system from the concept of patrilineal or matrilineal clans so widespread amongst other peoples of the world."

R.PEARSON 1996, Heredity and Humanity: Race, Eugenics and Modern Science. Washington, DC : Scott-Townsend.

"Of all vulgar modes of escaping from the consideration of the social and moral influences on the human mind, the most vulgar is that of attributing the diversities of human conduct and character to inherent original natural differences."

John Stuart MILL, 1848, Principles of Political Economy.

"There is not one jot or tittle of evidence of any genetic basis for any behavioral trait, except schizophrenia-whether it be intelligence or nastiness or aggressiveness. And given the finite resources which support scientists in their playgrounds, it is a waste of taxpayers' money to study IQ heredity or other genetic components of human personality."

R.C.Lewontin, 1976, reported in Times, 26 x. Cited by

R.Travis Osborne, 1980, Twins: Black and White. Foundation

for Human Understanding: Alexandria, VA ; Athens, GA.

"For all we know, the heritability [of IQ] may be zero or fifty per cent.... The great importance attached by [genetic] determinists to the demonstration of heritability is a consequence of their erroneous belief that heritability means unchangeability."

S.ROSE, L.KAMIN & R.LEWONTIN, 1984, Not in Our Genes.

Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"Until the advent of modern psychology it was almost universally denied that parents could have anything to do with the emotional disturbances seen in their children; "bad" children were just "bad" seeds and had to be beaten brutally to have the "badness" knocked out of them. Such an attitude is characteristic of a hate culture."

Reuben FINE, 1985, The Meaning of Love in Human Experience.

New York : Wiley DePublisher.

"Research into the personalities of monozygotic and dizygotic twins (e.g. H.H.Goldsmith & I.I.Gottesman, 1981, Child Development 52) yields moderate estimates of the heritability of "extroversion", "anxiety", "persistence" and "fearfulness". However, because twin data are used, even these moderate heritabilities are likely to be overestimates. This evidence that personality traits owe little to inheritance probably goes against popular belief."

R.McHENRY, 1986, in R. Harré & R.Lamb, The Dictionary of

Developmental and Educational Psychology. Oxford : Blackwell.

"Evidence that monozygotic twins are more similar than dizygotic twins in their views of the death penalty, white superiority, and water fluoridation (N.G.Martin et al., 1986, Proc.Nat.Acad.Sci. USA 83) hardly demonstrates that these traits are genetically determined. That genetically identical individuals should develop similar personae is not surprising. Convergence in the personal views of monozygotic twins might be fostered by the treatment they receive from their parents, teachers and peers; by the manner in which their phenotypic resemblance influences their interactions with one another; and quite possibly by some similarity in temperament that may indeed by genetically influenced. Beyond this, any claim that the development or acquisition of opinions....is genetically specified....or that variation in these traits is overwhelmingly attributable to additive genetic effects is preposterous!" B.WALDMAN, 1989, Behavioral & Brain Sciences 12.

"....modern studies of randomly sampled homosexuals (via AIDS research programmes) show little more concordance for identical (25%) than for fraternal (25%) twins (King & McDonald, 1992, British J. Psychiatry 160)."

C.R.BRAND, 1993, Behaviour Research & Therapy 160.

"Somehow it always seems that the crummier the test, the higher the heritability it produces."

Peter Schönemann (Purdue University), 1994. Reported by C.Mann, 1994, 'Behavioral genetics in transition', Science 264, 17 vi.

"Behavior genetics is another way for a violent, racist society to say people's problems are their own fault, because they carry 'bad' genes."

P.Breggin (Center for the Study of Psychiatry, Bethesda), 1994, to C.Mann, 1994, 'Behavioral genetics in transition', Science 264, 17 vi.

(Social-)Environmentalist proposals about differences

"Helvetius (1758 De L'Esprit) maintained that men were wholly the product of their environment, and infinitely malleable by education."

L.S.HEARNSHAW, 1987, The Shaping of Modern Psychology.

London : Routledge.

"All the men we meet with, nine parts out of ten, or perhaps ninety-nine out of a hundred, are what they are, good or evil, by their education."


"The difference between the most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature as from habit, custom and education."

Adam SMITH, The Wealth of Nations.

"Many of the causes inducing intellectual derangement....have their origin not in individual passions or feelings, but in the state of society at large; and the more artificial, i.e. civilised, society is, the more do these causes multiply and extensively operate."

George Burrows, 1828. Cited in G.ROSEN, Madness in Society.

New York ; Harper & Row, 1969.

"If education cannot do everything, there is little it cannot do."

John Stuart MILL, 1848, Principles of Political Economy.

"We believe that the 80% of [the population that are normally two-handed persons, i.e. ambidextrous,] are made one-handed SOLELY by the pressure of early influences and training, in which nurses, mothers, teachers and an uncompromising prejudice unite their misdirected forces with a determination and persistency that Mrs Grundy herself has never approached."

J.JACKSON, 1905, Ambidexterity.

"The sentiments of an adult are compounded of a kernel of instinct surrounded by a vast husk of education."

Bertrand RUSSELL, 1928.

"There are inheritable differences in structure, but we no longer believe in inherited capacities.... Give me a dozen healthy infants, and my own world to bring them up in, and I'll guarantee to train any one of them to become any type of specialist I might select-doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant chief, and even beggar-man or thief."

J.B.WATSON, 1931, Behaviourism.

London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.

"All personality traits are acquired and maintained through learning."

G.W.KISKER, 1977, The Disorganized Personality, 3rd edn.

New York : McGraw Hill.

"Genes and glands are obviously important, but social learning also has a dramatic role. Imagine the enormous differences that would be found in the personalities of twins with identical genetic endowments if they were raised apart in two different families or, even more striking, in two totally different cultures. Through social learning, vast differences develop among people in their reactions to most of the stimuli they face in daily life."

Walter MISCHEL, 1981, Introduction to Personality.

New York : Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

"Among the 97 neglected or abused children, 44 had become criminal, alcoholic, mentally ill or had died before reaching age 35; and 53 showed none of these signs of being damaged."

J.McCORD, 1983, Child Abuse and Neglect 7.

"Nothing is abnormal or unacceptable and everything can be understood in terms of early experience."

Judy COOPER, 1985, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society.

"[I advocate] a holistic recognition that biology and culture interpenetrate in an inextricable manner."

Stephen Jay GOULD, 1987, An Urchin in the Storm.

New York : Norton.

"America's new Secretary of State, James Baker III, had an upbringing that would be painfully familiar to a survivor of an old-style English public school. His father, James Baker II, used to douse his only son with cold water if he slept past 7a.m..... Baker's work habits today-like Margaret Thatcher, he lives and breathes his job-are a product of his father's hard-driving style; his younger sister is said to have been so unhinged by the prodding that she became "unhinged" and spent three decades in and out of mental homes."

'Profile of James Baker', Sunday Times, 26 ii 1989.

"Nearly 52% of [prominent twentieth-century psychologists] were found to have been either first-borns or only children, a figure significantly higher than one would have expected given the number of siblings [median = 2] present in their families.... Intelligence tests were devised and refined by two only children (Binet and Stern), and then made mathematically sophisticated by two first-borns (Thurstone and Burt)."

W.S.TERRY, 1989, The Psychological Record 39.

"....younger children [especially] and children from lower social classes are more susceptible to the influence of TV commercials than other children."

A. FURNHAM, 1993, Reaching for the Counter. London :

Social Affairs Unit. (Quoting research by E. de Bens & P. Vanderbruaence, 1992, TV Advertising and Children.)

"Galton followed up cases of great mental similarity between twins, and also great dissimilarity, which not infrequently occurs. If home identity were the cause of the similarity, one would expect twins brought up in different homes frequently to show dissimilar mentalities. But in fact, in Galton's data, twins brought up in the one home were often as dissimilar as were those brought up in different homes (having been separated at or near birth). Their similarity appeared to be independent of the environment....

Dr [Kate] Gordon (see Elderton, Biometrika, 1923) tested the intelligence of over 200 pairs of siblings, all 400 of whom had lived for ten years and more, not in their separate homes, but in three orphanages in California. Here there is no home environment tending to make brother and sister both better, or both worse, than the average. The common orphanage environment could not make brother and sister resemble each other any more than it made any boy resemble any girl inmate. But the siblings still showed a strong mental similarity in their departure from the average, with a correlation of .52 practically identical with that found for home-dwelling siblings."

Godfrey H. THOMSON, 1924, Instinct, Intelligence and Character.

London : George Allen & Unwin.

"....inequality is recreated anew in each generation, even among people who start life in essentially identical circumstances."

C.JENCKS, 1972, Inequality. Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"By and large, the more significant the question is, the less capable is sociology of giving an answer. And that inability has a great deal to do with the partially indeterminate, or self-determined character of human behavior."

Pierre Van den BERGHE, 1975, Man in Society.

"Whenever social explanations are offered for mental disorder, the possibility has to be faced that the latter phenomena are so largely determined by genetic, intra-uterine or birth-related factors that little room is left for the influence of interpersonal events.... It has to be admitted that, despite all the clinical and research activity in this area, there is as yet little incontrovertible proof of there being social causes of mental disorder."

J.ORFORD, 1976, The Social Psychology of Mental Disorder.

Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"At least half of the children born into a disadvantaged home do not repeat the pattern of disadvantage in the next generation."

Michael RUTTER and Nicola MADGE, 1976, Cycles of Disadvantage.

London : Heinemann.

"It is not so much the genetic psychometrist who oversimplifies the situation as it is the environmentalist, who attempts to explain all phenotypic variations in terms of a single variable of stimulation versus deprived environment." P.E.VERNON, 1979.

"The most challenging fact from twin-family studies of the past quarter of a century is that the results provide no evidence that shared environmental factors influence personality development. This is not a bias of the twin method itself, since the same analyses applied to IQ provide, indeed demand, that a significant proportion of the variance be attributed to common environmental effects."

R.ROSE, 1982, Science.

"Our data suggest....that newspapers have no power to mould the political attitudes of their own readers."

W.L.MILLER et al., 1982, British Journal of Political Science.

"No environmental factor has been shown to produce [schizophrenic] illness with even moderate probability in anyone unrelated to an index case."

H.FREEMAN, 1983, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 8 iv.

"If....high socio-economic status, a stimulating home environment, and bright parents all contribute to genius, then every child in a given family should have the same shot at success. But how many people have heard of the siblings of Bach, Rembrandt, Cervantes, Descartes, Darwin, Gandhi, or Sun Yat-sen?"

D.K.SIMONTON, 1984, Genius, Creativity and Leadership.

Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press.

"....any sort of normal human environment is all you need to do a perfectly good job of rearing an infant.... Any parent of more than one child knows darn well how different those children are. I don't think most parents believe that they really shape a child's future dramatically."

Sandra Scarr (developmental psychologist and psychogeneticist),

interviewed in Psychology Today, v 1984.

"Both {post-Freudian} psychoanalysis and behaviourism suffered from extreme environmentalism - in particular, social environmentalism - and long remained dismissive of evidence that major psychiatric ailments were of partly genetic and individual origin and were remediable primarily by chemical treatments."

C.R.BRAND, 1985, The Listener, 19 ix.

"All personality dimensions, irrespective of the questionnaire from which they are derived, show that about half the variation [amongst testees] is due to additive genetic effects (more if test unreliability is taken into account) and the remainder to specific within-family environmental variance.... In practical terms, we have a situation where parents exert no general effects over personality development in [all] their children."

David A. HAY, 1985, Essentials of Behaviour Genetics. Oxford : Blackwell.

"....shared experiences involved in growing up in the same family do not make family members more similar to one another."

R.PLOMIN, 1986, Journal of Personality 54.

"In a study of 573 pairs of adult twins, 50% of the variance on each scale ['altruism', 'empathy', 'nurturance', 'aggressiveness' and 'assertiveness'] was found to be associated with genetic effects, virtually 0% with the twins' common environment, and the remaining 50% with each twin's specific environment."

J.P.RUSHTON et al., 1986,

Journal of Personality & Social Psychology.

"The harder you look at the facts, the more ephemeral appears the connection between diet and disease." J.ADAMS, 1987, New Scientist 1543, 15 i.

"We don't direct the ordinary man's opinion. We reflect it." Lord NORTHCLIFFE, 1989, The Rise and Fall of Fleet Street. London : Hutchinson.

"Although the environment plays a substantial role in the genesis of individual differences, it seems that the most important environmental effects serve to differentiate members of the same family. That is, the main sources of environmental variation in personality are of an "accidental" rather than "cultural" kind."


Genes, Culture and Personality. London : Academic.

"Genes seem to continue actively contributing to intellectual variation at least into early adulthood, whereas the effect of shared family environment appears to be largely inertial after early childhood."

J.C.LOEHLIN, J.M.HORN & L.WILLERMAN, 1989, Child Development 60.

"Gillian [Blyton], now Mrs Donald Baverstock, has recalled blissful hours with her mother [Enid Blyton, the children's writer] - country walks, picking wild flowers, witty stories. "All those sunsets and birdsongs she wrote about genuinely meant a lot to her, and these she gave to me." {By contrast,} Imogen [Enid Blyton's other daughter] was different: unable to appreciate what she had to give. But where does the fault lie? Some children are easy to like, others less so. The child Imogen was sullen, sour and rebellious, suspicious, defensive and "downright rude", unlike her outgoing sister. "I was horrible," she says. "It's a relief to be able to say it."" Valerie GROVE, 1989, Sunday Times, 26 ii.

"One belief that is distinctive of the twentieth century is that it is your childhood that makes you what you are. I don't really go along with that."

David HARE (British left-wing playwright), 1989, interviewed by

Sue Lawley, 'Desert Island Disks'. BBC Radio IV (UK), 3 iii.

"As Bloch (1977, Man 12) says, it is the "professional malpractice of anthropologists to exaggerate the exotic character of other cultures." Nor is the most damaging aspect of this dynamic the professionally cultivated credulousness about the claim of wonders in remote parts of the world, which has led anthropologists routinely to embrace, perpetuate and defend not only gross errors (see Freeman, 1983, on Mead and Samoa; Suggs, 1971, on Linton and the Marquesa) but also obvious hoaxes (e.g. Castaneda's UCLA dissertation on Don Juan; or the gentle "Tasaday", which were manufactured by officials of the Marcos regime)." The most scientifically damaging aspect of this value system has been that it leads anthropologists to actively reject conceptual frameworks that identify meaningful dimensions of cross-cultural uniformity in favor of alternative vantage points from which cultures appear maximally differentiated.... Other sciences select frameworks by how much regularity these frameworks allow them to uncover. In contrast, most anthropologists are disposed to select their frameworks so as to bring out the maximum in particularity, contingency and variability (e.g. how are the people they study unique?)."

John TOOBY & Leda COSMIDES, 1992, in J.H.Barkow, L.Cosmides & J.Tooby, The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. New York : Oxford University Press.

"....the concept of "learning" has, for the social sciences, served the same function that the concept of "protoplasm" did for so long in biology. ....[eventually] "protoplasm" turned out to be a heterogeneous collection of incredibly intricate functionally organized structures and processes-a set of evolved adaptations, in the form of microscopic molecular machinery such as mitochondria, chloroplasts, the Krebs cycle, DNA transcription, RNA translation, and so on."

John TOOBY & Leda COSMIDES, 1992, in J.H.Barkow, L.Cosmides & J.Tooby, The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. New York : Oxford University Press.

"I have studied young artists who at age 20 all described their early lives as harmonious and happy. Then at age 40, when we interviewed them again, those who had been fairly successful still said in retrospect that they had had a harmonious home life, but those who had gone through a hard time and had become alcoholics or drug addicts all blamed their parents."

M.CSIKSZENTMIHALYI, 1993, in Ciba Foundation Symposium 178, The Origins and Development of High Ability. Chichester : Wiley-Interscience.

"[Brigitte] Bardot was given some stunning attributes by her Maker, progressed from adolescent model to star very quickly, and was so gorgeous that she attracted the Svengali interest of Roger Vadim.... Jeffrey Robinson [Bardot - Two Lives] gives numerous and grim examples of the price Bardot paid for her fame, including living under almost constant siege from tourists and admirers when in St Tropez. A fragile creature under the provocative exterior, there have been a number of suicide attempts."

Hugo VICKERS, 1994, The Spectator, 27 viii.

"Sandra Scarr concedes that parents can have important effects on children's motivation and self-esteem, but she insists that, beyond a certain minimum level of nurturing, they have little measurable impact on intelligence, interests and personality."

Lawrence WRIGHT, 1995, 'Double mystery.'

New Yorker, 7 viii, 44-62.

"[George Washington Carver] was born during the American Civil War, the son of Mary, a Negro slave.... ....largely self-educated, he finally achieved his Bachelor of Science degree at the age of 32, specializing in mycology (the study of fungus growths).... He changed the agricultural and eating habits of the South; he created single-handed a pattern of growing food, harvesting and cooing it which was to lift Negroes (and whites too!) out of the abject state of poverty to which they had been condemned by their own ignorance.... ....he was one of the first scientists to work in the field of synthetics, and is credited with creating the science of chemurgy-'agricultural chemistry'. The American peanut industry is based on his work. ....His death [in 1943] was mourned all over the USA ....His father dead before he was born; his mother abducted while he was a baby; born a Negro slave in the deep South, weak and ailing; growing up in a poverty-stricken house with hardly any books, with the white people who brought him up not far from illiterate; denied schooling because of his colour, having to piece together the rudiments of an education while constantly hungry, and having to earn every penny he spent by performing the most menial jobs imaginable, exposed all the time to recurring traumas because of his colour; troubled by a severe stammer assumed to have been brought on by his early abduction....this kind of handicap is practically unknown today."

H.J.EYSENCK, 1995, Genius: the Natural History of Creativity. Cambridge University Press.


"What I have been telling my students about autism being caused by the failure of parents to reinforce their children properly is obviously wrong. Now that I know some parents of autistic children personally, I can see that you are correct. Autism is a biological disorder, and the parents are not the cause of it." Ivar LOVAAS, 1964, in conversation with Bernard Rimland, Director of the American Institute for Child Behavior Research. Autism Research Review International 1.

"The idea that autism - a condition in which children are unresponsive and unable to communicate - is a result of a mother's failure to bond to her infant has fallen out of favour in the United States.... Family studies provide compelling evidence for genetic involvement in the disorder: the [concordance] rate is 50 per cent higher than expected among siblings, and higher still among twins; as many as 25 per cent of parents of autistic children have a language disorder; and 15 per cent of their siblings have some kind of learning disability."

N.HENESON, 1987, New Scientist, 8 i.

Parental deprivation

"The death of either a parent or an older brother was experienced in childhood by 51% of the [U.S.] Presidents and 45% of the [British] Prime Ministers. This occurred to 22% of the Nobel Laureates and 41% of Roe's sample of eminent scientists.... Compared to the average of 8% in the general population experiencing early parental deaths, the percentages for adult criminals [32%], adult psychiatric patients (especially depressives) [27%], and eminent adults [28%] are high and quite close to one another."

R.S.ALBERT, 1980. Reprinted in R.S.Albert, Genius and Eminence.

New York : Pergamon.

"My father and mother were dead [they had died of diphtheria around his third year of life] and I used to wonder what sort of people they had been.... Throughout the greater part of my childhood, the most important hours of my day were those I spent alone in the garden, and the most vivid part of my existence was solitary.... Throughout my childhood I had an increasing sense of loneliness, and of despair of meeting anyone with whom I could talk. Nature and books and (later) mathematics saved me from complete despondency.... There was a footpath leading across the fields to New Southgate, and I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more about mathematics."

Bertrand RUSSELL. Cited by B.-A.SCHARFSTEIN, 1980, The

Philosophers. Oxford : Blackwell.

"Churchill, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth I, Edgar Allan Poe, and Martin Luther all suffered from maternal deprivation.... the more you study formulae for maternal success, the more you tend to conclude that human achievement is a lottery."

Mary KENNY, 1983, Sunday Telegraph.

"The evidence suggests that, on the whole, humans are remarkably and gratifyingly resilient."

S.H.WOLKIND, 1982, reviewing Maternal Deprivation Re-assessed.

"One of the most persistent pieces of folk-lore is that children suffer if mother goes out to work. Maladjustment and delinquency are the effects most commonly predicted. Yet research evidence so far has not supported such predictions."

Margaret B. SUTHERLAND, 1989, Biology and Society 6. (Reviewing A.E. & A.V.Gottfried (eds), Maternal Employment and Children's Development.)

"[Virginia, the mother of U.S. President Bill Clinton] was widowed six months before Clinton was born....Her travelling salesman husband, William Blyth, was killed in a car crash.... [Clinton] was left with grandparents while [his mother] went to New Orleans to pursue a degree in nursing so she could raise her family. Then in 1950 she married second husband, Roger Clinton, a car dealer and the man whose name Bill adopted. He turned out to be a drunkard who often used his fists on his wife after a bender. When Bill was 14, and already on the way to his 6ft.2in., he stood up to his bullying stepfather. [His mother says] "It went to forming Bill's character because he had to be the man of the house in many ways." ....In 1968, Virginia was again widowed when Roger died from cancer. She married a hairdresser a year later, but this third husband died in 1974 from diabetes."

Allan HALL, 1992, The Sun, 5 xi.

""[D.C.Rowe, 1994, The Limits of Family Background, Guildford Press] selected two groups of children under 11: the parents of one group had been convicted of child abuse or neglect; in the other the parents had no such convictions. The groups were carefully matched for age, sex, race and social class. Some twenty years later....26% of the abused or neglected group had been arrested for juvenile delinquency; [but so had] 17% of the non-abused group.... Even the claim that for normal development the infant must form a close bond with a mother or mother substitute is now in doubt. The children of the kibbutzim formed no such bonds but grew up to be normal adults."

Stuart SUTHERLAND, 1994, The Observer, 4 ix.

"....Eisenstadt (1978, Amer.Psychologist) studied 699 famous historical figures and found that one in four had lost at least one parent before the age of 10. By the age of 15 the loss had exceeded 34%, and 45% before the age of twenty. These losses almost certainly exceed those suffered by the average citizen of those times.... [by the twentieth century] death of mother or both parents by the age of 15 was three times more frequent in the sample of eminent people than in the general population."

H.J.EYSENCK, 1995, Genius: the Natural History of Creativity. Cambridge University Press.

Sibling rivalry

"At the age of seven, wee Sam Coleridge head a fist-fight with his big brother Frank. Furious at being punched hard in the face, Sam grabbed a kitchen knife and would have stabbed Frank had his mother not appeared to save the situation. Terrified of his mother, Sam ran to a river about a mile from his native Ottery St Mary and fell asleep by the water's edge. At five in the morning he woke up too weak to move and might have died had he not be discovered by an old fox-hunting squire. This incident haunted Coleridge's imagination so strongly that, as late as 1828 (he died in 1834) he wrote a fragment about "a little child/ In place so silent and so wild.""

Alan BOLD, 1996, Glasgow Herald, 20 i.

'Life stresses' and disasters

"[A seventy-year-old victim of encephalitis lethargica] has survived the pressures of an almost life-long, character-deforming disease; of a strong cerebral stimulant; and of confinement in a chronic hospital from which very few patients emerge alive. Deeply rooted in reality, she has triumphantly survived illness, intoxication, isolation and institutionalization, and has remained what she always was-a totally human, a prime, human being."

O.W.SACKS, 1973, Awakenings. Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"The impact of stress on personality characteristics may, it seems, not normally be very great."

Sheila M. CHOWN, 1983, Psychology Survey 4.

"....of great interest is the account by Elder of the life histories of women, first seen in their early thirties at the time of the great depression, and followed up after forty years. Those badly hit economically in the depression appear to have survived the vicissitudes they have had to face in later life rather better than those less deprived in the depression. Elder concluded that 'the depression years were an apprenticeship in learning to cope with the inevitable losses of old age'."

Sheila M. CHOWN, 1984, British Journal of Psychology 75.

"Both laypersons and social scientists typically assume that psychological well-being or happiness is a response to objective circumstances or events.... Responses from the General Well-being Schedule were examined for 4,942 men and women surveyed in a follow-up [after ten years] of a national sample. Results showed substantial stability for well-being scales [test-retest r's being around .45] for the total group and for demographically defined sub-groups; and stability coefficients were as high for those who had experienced changes in marital or employment status or State of residence as for those who had not."


British Journal of Psychology 78.

"There are methodological difficulties in assessing the psychological impact of civil disorder and terrorism. But, as well as can be judged from community surveys, hospital admissions and referral data, psychotropic drug usage, suicide and attempted suicide rates, and from assessment of the actual victims of violence, [Northern Irish] society has not 'broken down', nor has the [psychiatric] impact been judged considerable." P.S.CURRAN (Mater Infirmorum Hospital, Belfast), 1988, British Journal of Psychiatry 153.

"In a ten-year follow-up of a national probability sample, widowed men and women showed little or no difference from married individuals on measures of self-rated health, activities of daily living, social network size, extraversion, openness to experience, psychological well-being or depression."

P.T.COSTA et al., 1991, in E.M.Cummings et al.,

Life-Span Developmental Psychology. Hillsdale, NJ : Erlbaum.

"Man is not merely the sum of his masks. Behind the shifting face of personality is a hard nugget of self, a genetic gift. I believe only some master principle of heredity, defying liberal theories of environmentalism, can account for the profusion of human types, often manifested within a single family. The self is malleable but elastic, snapping back to its original shape like a rubber band."

Camille PAGLIA, 1992, Sex, Art, and American Culture.

New York : Random House (Vintage Books).

"Forty per cent of all patients diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder drink heavily (Wilson, 1988, Behav.Res.&Ther.), and their symptoms subside when they abstain."

S.J.COHEN (Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry), 1994, British Medical Journal 309, p.873.

"When the Beirut hostages emerged, they surprised everyone by their good humour. McCarthy, Waite, Sutherland, Keenan and Anderson seemed not merely sane but practically radiating health and happiness. How did they do it? After four sets of memoirs, it still seems a mystery."

Alasdair PALMER, 1994, The Spectator, 7 v.

"Although there was psychological impairment in some of the Jewish survivors, this book {Dorit Whiteman's The Uprooted: A Hitler Legacy - Voices of Those Who Escaped before the Final Solution, New York, Plenum} gives added testimony to the phenomenal adaptability and restorative power of the human mind and body."

Leslie BERGER, 1995, Contemporary Psychology 40.

"Twenty-three survivors of the Jupiter cruise ship disaster completed the Impact of Events Scale.... [The ship sank off Athens, October 1988, after a collision, and four deaths resulted.] ....greater early intrusion [of ideas, thoughts and images] was associated with later symptom scores ....other work has shown that dysfunctional thinking is activated is activated by stressful life events for those with a prior history of depression (Miranda, 1992, Cognitive Therapy & Research 16). It is suggested, therefore, that prior depressive personality might be important in moderating the relationship between early intrusion and later symptoms in so far as it is a marker of dysfunctional or negativistic thinking. ....other research has shown more guilt-provoking causal attributions to be associated with intrusion."

S.JOSEPH et al., 1995, Behaviour Research & Therapy 33.

"Helmreich spent more than six years travelling the United States listening to the personal stories of hundreds of [Holocaust] survivors.... What emerges is a picture that is sharply different from the stereotypical image of survivors as people who are chronically depressed, anxious or fearful."

Publisher's announcement for W.B.Helmreich, 1995, Against All Odds: Holocaust Survivors and the Successful Lives they made in America.

New Brunswick, NJ : Transaction.

"....by the 1960's, interest on [Greta Garbo's] investments was in the six-figure ballpark; at any time, she could have liquidated or dipped into those holdings, though the thought of doing so threw her into a state. Her anxieties, as always, concerned her finances and her health. Although both were in good condition, her increasing wealth was matched by increasing anomie."

Barry PARIS, 1995, Garbo. London : Sidgwick & Jackson.

Other genetic factors (e.g. epistasis [gene-gene interaction])

"It has now been demonstrated that.... a single gene is sufficient to account for a wide range of facts about human asymmetries for speech and handedness."

Marian ANNETT, 1978.

"Reliable psychiatric diagnoses, new mathematical models, and recombinant DNA technology have followed hard upon one another in the past decade to make psychiatric genetics not only respectable, but suddenly big business. Huntington's disease and narcolepsy have been tracked down on the genome and, even as this review is being written, reports are emerging {though they turned out to be over-optimistic} of the genes for manic-depressive psychosis on Chromosome 11, Tourette syndrome on Chromosome 18 and Alzheimer's disease on Chromosome 21."

S.LEWIS, 1987, British Journal of Psychiatry 151.

New York : Plenum.

"Professor Lubs and his colleagues (Child Development 57) studied sixteen families in which the number of cases of dyslexia strongly suggested inheritance, and analysed the chromosomes of the people involved. They concluded that the pattern of occurrence of one third of cases was so strongly linked to what appeared to be an abnormal gene situated on Chromosome 15 that the odds in favour of the abnormality being the prime cause of the condition were overwhelming.... The fact that a single gene can influence and even partially control the development of a complete function such as reading implies that other brain functions may be similarly controlled."

J.NEWELL, 1987, The Times 21 i.

"'Friendliness' is a vague concept, but recent research at the University of Zurich and at Cambridge suggests that people can agree on which cats are more friendly (Animal Behaviour 34). And, it seems, friendly cats often had the same fathers - even though offspring and sire never met."

Reported in New Society 1543, 15 i 1987.

"[Tourette Syndrome (TS)] is one of the most common single-gene disorders affecting men . In most patients, the disorder starts with attention deficiency and hyperactivity, followed some two or more years later by the development of motor and vocal tics. Many patients require special education because of letter, number, or word reversal, poor reading ability, and poor retention of material read. This applies even to those with a form of the disorder too mild to need treatment. It is estimated that, among children who are not economically disadvantaged, 10 to 30 per cent of conduct disorder may be due to the presence of the TS gene."

John TIMSON, 1988, Biology and Society.

(Summarising a report by D.E.Comings et al., 1987,

Amer.J.Hum.Genetics 41.)

"Eye-movement dysfunctions, detectable during smooth pursuit but not during saccadic movements, occur in a majority of schizophrenics and in about 45% of their first degree relatives.... [My evidence is that] when considered together, schizophrenia and eye-movement dysfunctions can be accounted for by a single autosomal dominant gene."

P.S.HOLZMAN (University of Harvard), 1988, to 24th International

Congress of Psychology, in Sydney (Abstract S 661).

"Scientists are homing in on the faulty genes that predispose millions to mental and emotional misery. Schizophrenia, manic depression, Alzheimer's disease, even alcoholism-all are giving up their genetic secrets."

Robin McKIE, 1989, The Observer (The World), 4 vi.

"We are just beginning to realise the importance of genomic imprinting (e.g. Monk, 1987, Nature 328), a form of very early modulation of gene activity that holds true for the life of that individual, but is erased between generations. The same gene of identical DNA sequence and position can be imprinted differently depending on whether it is transmitted by a male or a female."

Editorial, Biology & Society 6, ix.

"[K.Blum and E.Noble, J.Amer.Medical Ass. 263] have found a gene long believed tied to addiction in the brains of more than three-fourths of a sample of thirty-five deceased alcoholics....The gene may work by interfering with cells' receptivity to dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure. Individuals with the disorder might consume alcohol because they have no normal access to 'feeling good'."

Brain/Mind Bulletin 15, vi 1990.

Los Angeles, Box 42211.

"A pair of British MZA's [monozygotic twins reared apart] who had met for the first time as adults just a month previously, both firmly refused in their separate interviews to express opinions on controversial topics; since long before they discovered each other's existence, each had resolutely avoided controversy. Another pair were both habitual gigglers, although each had been raised by adoptive parents whom they described as undemonstrative and dour, and neither had known anyone who laughed as freely as she did until finally she met her twin. Both members of another pair independently reported that they refrained from voting in political elections on the principle that they did not feel themselves well enough informed to make wise choices. A pair of male MZA's at their first adult reunion, discovered that they both used Vademecum toothpaste, Canoe shaving lotion, Vitalis hair tonic, and Lucky Strike cigarettes. After that meeting, they exchanged birthday presents that crossed in the mail and proved to be identical choices, made independently in separate cities.....

The existence of genetic traits that are not (or are only weakly) shared by first-degree relatives would be evidence for a neglected mechanism of non-additive or configural genetic determination.....

The mammalian eye and the hominid hand with its opposable thumb are multigenic, but they are not constructed additively. If, at conception, one is short-changed on eye genes, one does not develop a smaller but otherwise normal eye.....

Traits that depend on configurations of polymorphic genes that....segregate independently will be shared by MZ twins, who share all their genes, hence all gene configurations, but are much less likely to be shared by DZ twins, siblings or parents and offspring. Such traits, although genetic, would not tend to run in families." D.T.LYKKEN et al., 1992, 'Genetic traits that may not run in families'. American Psychologist, xii.

"Bramwell (1948)....re-examined Galton's (1869) study of hereditary genius and concluded that, of all the professions studied by Galton, only judges seemed to aggregate within families. Bullough et al. (1981) compiled additional data and noted that "....creative achievement was rarely carried on in the same family beyond one generation...."

The Creative Personality Scale is a 30-items measure of trait creativity that was essentially derived through empirical keying using data from more than 1,700 persons, many of whom were architects, mathematicians, research scientists and graduate students. {High scorers say they tend to be relatively resourceful, insightful, individualistic, reflective and intelligent.}.... [Our correlation for monozygotic twins reared apart] is moderately high (.54), whereas the dizygotic-twin-reared apart correlation is low and not significantly different from zero. This finding is consistent with the notion that creativity if an emergenic trait."

N.G.WALLER et al., 1992/3, Psychological Inquiry.

"Studies of twins provide strong evidence for the heritability of manic-depressive illness. If an identical twin has manic-depressive illness, the other twin has a 70 to 100 percent chance of also having the disease; if the other twin is fraternal, the chances are considerably lower (approximately 20 percent)."

Kay R. JAMISON, 1995, 'Manic-depressive illness and creativity.'

Scientific American 272, ii, 47-51.

"Intraclass correlations for peer reports (not corrected for lack of consensus among judges) were between .31 (agreeableness) and .48 (openness) in the MZ group [701 pairs] and between -.02 (neuroticism) and .28 (openness) in the DZ [263 pairs]."

A.ANGLEITNER, R.RIEMANN & J.STRELAU, 1995, to International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, meeting in Warsaw.

"[Separated at birth and reunited thirty-nine years later,] each of the Jim twins, as [these MZ's were called] was six feet tall and weighed a hundred and eighty pounds; they looked as much alike as any other identical pair. At their reunion, they discovered that each had been married twice, first to a woman named Linda and then to a woman named Betty. Jim Lewis had named his firstborn child James Alan, and Jim Springer had named his James Allen. In childhood, each twin had owned a dog named Toy. They had enjoyed family vacations on the same beach in Florida and had worked part time in law enforcement. They shared a taste for Miller Lite beer and Salem cigarettes."

Lawrence WRIGHT, 1995, 'Double mystery.' New Yorker, 7 viii, 44-62.

"[Tom Bouchard's MZ 'Jim twins'] were thirty-nine when reunited. Both had earlier married women named Linda, then got divorced, then married women named Betty. Both had served as sheriff's deputies in their respective Ohio towns. Without ever seeing each other, both had vacationed at the same beach resort on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Both liked working with wood and had similar basement workshops....Each had built a circumarboreal; bench around a tree in his yard....In each case the bench was painted white. Both Jims drank Miller Lite, chain-smoked Salems, liked stock-car racing, and did not like baseball....On many different measures, Bouchard later reported their test scores were about as close as those you would expect from the same individual taking a test twice."

Daniel SELIGMAN, 1992, A Question of Intelligence:

the IQ Debate in America. New York : Carol (Birch Lane).

"....when there are epistatic fitness interactions [between genes], sexual reproduction can actually slow down evolutionary progress, by breaking up co-adapted groups of genes as soon as they arise.... Because sexual reproduction is almost universal, I wonder whether epistatic interactions can be as widespread as is sometimes thought."

J.M.SMITH, 1987, Nature 329.

Nature-Nurture Interaction

"....paradoxically enough, the influence of a good environment is most conspicuous where the influence of a good heredity is most conspicuous."

C.BURT, 1943, British Journal of Educational Psychology 13.

"....any characteristic develops as a complex interaction between genes and environment. Many of the ancient nature-nurture debates were thus futile. But there is still the question - separate from that of an individual's determinants - of how the differences between individuals are determined by either set of factors."

Chris BRAND & Halla BELOFF, 1972,

British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 13.

"....genetic and environmental factors interact and cannot be considered to be independent of each other."

M.RUTTER, 1975.

"....the interaction between heredity and environment is so continuous, intricate, variable, cumulative and specific that no general statement can be made about their relative contributions."

S.H.STOTT, 1983.

"The concept of interaction between biological and psychosocial variables seems to be one of the most frequently praised ideas in psychology...."

K.UNGER, 1984, Science.

"[According to L.Sugarman, (Lifespan Development) we clearly cannot ever hope to quantify all the intensively interacting variables that are operative in development. So we are entitled to work in terms of global metaphors: "frameworks of description". This seems an interestingly retrograde move. In the older sciences, relief from the dilemma of infinite chains of causal influence came with common sense. Although the total number of potential sources of variance in any observed phenomenon are enormous, most have inconsequential effects and may even cancel each other out."

P.M.A.RABBITT, 1987, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 13 i.

"....it is a lot easier to talk about G x E interaction than it is to find it."

R.PLOMIN, 1990, Behavioral & Brain Sciences.

"If interactions {between genetic and environmental factors} were rampant, evolution (at least in sexual species) would be impossible."

T.J.CROW, 1990, Behavioral & Brain Sciences.

"Currently researchers in biogenetics find no compelling reasons to include interactions in their models."

D.K.DETTERMAN, 1990, Behavioral & Brain Sciences.

Nature-Nurture Covariation and Transaction

"Circumstances certainly make men, but Marx also believed that 'men make circumstances'."

Roger TRIGG, 1988, Ideas of Human Nature.

Oxford : Blackwell.

"A person is the product of his environment. His behaviour, in turn, shapes the environment and, thus, the individual is able to modify the conditions under which he lives."

F.KANFER, c. 1965, Behavioural Self-Management.

"Bell (1968) was among the first to indicate that the basic model of socialization - the actions of parents on the child - might be found wanting. Empirical studies suggested that congenital contributors to child behaviour activate parental repertoires of response.... the correlations between parent and child behaviour could thus be plausibly interpreted as indicating the effects of children on their parents. Such views were important in urging that the infant or young child was not merely a recipient of stimuli, but played a part in its own development."

Ann M. and A.D.B.CLARKE, 1986,

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

"....infants [themselves] control the social stimulation on which their own development depends."


"Milieu is that part of the larger environment which is being shaped by the individual and which is also being participated in and swept into the individual's consciousness, so that external environment and individual consciousness are fused into one, into what Whitehead called "mutual immanence", a phrase he owed to William James. James' view of the interaction of mind and environment breaks for once and all the hateful dualism that Descartes gave to the world. For the empiricist James, mind is no mirror, no circuited receiver, but a function, and in this respect it is like breathing, eating, walking - all functions in which the actor and the environment are in mutual immanence. The special character of milieu is that the only real environment exists in the consciousness of the actors - philosophers, artists, scholars, scientists, all - and thereby serves a catalytic function, while the consciousness of the actors is an inalienable part of the surrounding environment."

Robert NISBET, 1982, Prejudices; a Philosophical Dictionary.

Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press.

"Developmental studies in general have failed to yield much evidence of strong relationships between early environmental influences [from parents] and later personality development. These negative results are probably more comprehensible to parents than to psychoanalysts, who have been too busy in their own prolonged training to try to influence their own children. Siblings are different from the beginning [of life] and develop into what they will in spite of our best efforts to shape their behaviour. From their peers, and from the world at large, they select what they want."


"At each developmental step, our personalities and intelligence lead us into contact with experiences that match what we want, what we like, and what we are interested in. We ignore things that we think are boring or too difficult or too easy."

Sandra Scarr, interviewed in Psychology Today, v 1984.

"The Colorado Adoption Project was designed to give a straightforward and definite answer to developmental psychology's most famous question: the relative influence of nature and nurture.... The basic question is whether the functioning of an adoptive child is influenced most powerfully by genetic inheritance or the environment of the adoptive home. The straightforward and somewhat surprising answer is that, in general, neither has any major identifiable effect [in early infancy].... There are many intriguing negative findings, and it may be that these are explicable in terms of limitations on genetic expression during the first years of life."

P.STRATTON, 1986, British Journal of Psychology 77.

"....the difference between an environment-personality correlation in non-adoptive and adoptive homes estimates the extent to which genetic factors mediate correlations between environmental measures and measures of personality.... The only relevant adoption study is the Colorado Adoption Project whose data for infancy suggest substantial genetic mediation of environment-personality relationships."

R.PLOMIN, 1986, Journal of Personality 54.

"Which had the most influence on me, my mother or my father? Heaven only knows, I don't think either of them had! I think I had more influence on them. Were they Conservatives? - I don't think I ever asked."

Norman Tebitt [Conservative Party Chairman], 1986.

Interviewed by John MORTIMER, The Spectator, 24 v.

"....data from three relevant adoption studies suggest that about half the relationship between environmental indices and IQ in non- adoptive homes is due to genetic similarity between parents and their children."

R.PLOMIN, 1987, in S. & Celia Modgil, Arthur Jensen: Consensus

and Controversy. Brighton : Falmer.

"What studies have revealed in recent years poses a fundamental challenge to conventional wisdom about the importance of childhood environment. It is that the environment shared by members of the same family has little or no role in producing whatever personality similarities they exhibit.... Behavioural geneticists are finding that genes account for about 50% of the variance (that is, 50% of the range found in a given study population) in most normally distributed traits. Most of the remaining differences are attributed to environmental influences unique to individuals - ranging from individual parent-child interactions to peer influences to random events. So, although the family environment may influence personality, it does so in a non-uniform and therefore unpredictable way in different individuals."

Constance HOLDEN, 1987, 'The genetics of personality'. Science 237, 7 viii.

"Several studies have shown that not only do parents influence the behavior of their offspring, but, from birth onward, offspring influence the behavior of their parents (e.g. R.Q.Bell, 1968, Psychol.Review; R.Q.Bell & L.V.Harper, 1977, Child Effects on Adults....). If so, and if the morphological appearance, mannerisms, and interests of homosexuals tend to be inverted before puberty, parents are likely to respond somewhat differently to homosexual offspring than to heterosexual offspring, even before their orientation per se is manifested.... several studies have found greater parental hostility toward homosexual boys than toward heterosexual boys, even during childhood, especially by fathers."

L.ELLIS & M.A.AMES, 1987, Psychological Bulletin 101.

"With their concept of transaction, R.S.Lazarus and S.Folkman [1984, Stress: Appraisal and Coping] emphasise a dynamic relationship between person and environment, which means that both, person and environment, are involved in a reciprocal exchange that proceeds in time. The concept of transaction seems to demand a microanalytic assessment technique that follows the unfolding person-environment step by step, i.e. as continuously as possible."

L.LAUX & Hannelore WEBER, 1987, European J. Personality 1.

"Some creatures-sea anemones-just grow in their environments; others- cockroaches-select their environments; higher animals-especially human beings-create their environments."

Norman DIXON, 1987,

Edinburgh University Psychology Department Seminar.

"....purely cultural and purely genetic theories of transmission [of human differences in reproductive characteristics, such as frequency of sexual intercourse, twinning rate, and age at first pregnancy] may be giving way to those based one gene-culture co-evolution in which epigenetic rules are hypothesized to guide individuals to learn those patterns of behavior maximally compatible with their genotypes [e.g. Rushton, Littlefield & Lumsden, 1986, Proc.Nat.Acad.Sci. USA 83]. J.P.RUSHTON & A.F BOGAERT, 1988,

Journal of Research in Personality 22.

"Our finest investigators [amongst sociologically trained social psychologists], such as Alex Inkeles, Melvin Kohn, Morris Rosenberg, Melvin Seeman and Glen Elder, have convincingly traced the influence of structural variables on personality. Yet we apologize constantly for our one-sided neglect of individual's effects on society."

R.H.TURNER, 1988, Social Psychology Quarterly 51.

"....as twins grow up, they grow apart. [Our meta-analysis of 130 twin studies] demonstrates what some developmentalists have begun to deduce: the non-shared environment {differing between different children growing up in the same family} of siblings has been a neglected source of experience in considering developmental process."

K.McCARTNEY et al., 1988, to 24th International Congress

of Psychology, Sydney (Y 46).

"Rowe and Herstand (1986 Aggressive Behavior 12) found that although same-sex siblings resemble one another in their exposure to violent programmes [on TV], it is the more aggressive sibling who (a) identifies more with aggressive characters, and (b) views the consequences of the aggression as positive." J.P.RUSHTON, 1990, Canadian Journal of Criminology 32.

"....the most important aspect of the environment of any of an organism's traits are its other traits."

Darryl T. GWYNNE, 1992, Nature 359, 3 ix. (Reviewing S.C.Stearns, The Evolution of Life Histories. Oxford University Press.)

"At last I have laid the ghost that had haunted me for 45 years. My return visit to Pangbourne College to speak to the sixth-formers went very well.... The atmosphere of the place has changed beyond all recognition since my days there, and my hosts were charming....

It is all something of a puzzle. Could it all have been as terrible as I have always remembered it or did I bring my own unhappiness to school with me at the start of every term?.... I felt comfortable and at ease and all the way home to Soho I kept wondering whether it could all have been so awful all those years ago. If it was, perhaps it was just as well if it toughened up that miserable boy who was so reluctant to stray far from his mother's apron strings"

Jeffrey BERNARD, 1993, The Spectator, 6 iii.

"....about two thirds of the reliable variance in measured personality traits is due to genetic influence.... Current thinking holds that each individual picks and chooses from a range of stimuli and events largely on the basis of his or her genotype and creates a unique set of experiences - that is, people help to create their own environments."

T.J.BOUCHARD Jr., 1994, 'Genes, environment and personality.' Science 264, 17 vi.

"The concept of genotype-environment correlation, originally proposed by Plomin et al. (1977, Psychol. Bull.) has been developed by Sandra Scarr (e.g. 1992, Child Development 63). When there is a correlation between genetic and environmental effects, it means that people are exposed to environments on the basis of their genetic propensities. For example, if intelligence is heritable, then gifted children will have, on average, intellectually gifted parents who provide them with an intellectual environment as well as genes for intelligence. Alternatively, the individual might be picked out as gifted and given special opportunities. Even if no one does anything about the individual's talent, the individual might gravitate toward intellectual environments. These three scenarios represent three types of gene-environment correlation: passive, reactive, and active, respectively..... genes influence not only the amount of television watched [Waller et al., 1990, Psychol.Science 1: rBIOL.SIBLINGS = .48; rADOPTEES = .26] but also the nurturance of parents, the nature of the peer group, the sense of well-being experienced and a host of life history events."

J. Philippe RUSHTON, 1995, Race, Evolution and Behavior: A Life History Perspective. New Brunswick, NJ : Transaction Publishers.

"Identical twins tend to have their first dates at about the same time and to date with equal frequency. Their sexual dysfunctions also tend to be very similar. They marry and begin having children at roughly the same points in their lives. The only real difference between identical twins lies in whom they choose to marry ....[although twins competing for the same mate is a staple of television talk shows]. ....[In the Minnesota study, separated MZ twins' spouses showed] a strong correlation between twins and their spouses in regard to height, physical attractiveness, education and traditionalism, but over all the twins and their spouses had too little in common to explain their selection of each other. ....twins' spouses were hardly more alike than people who were married to unrelated individuals."

Lawrence WRIGHT, 1995, 'Double mystery.' New Yorker, 7 viii, 44-62.

The genome

"Plomin's group [of psychogeneticists, in Pennsylvania] employs a technique called allelic association which uses large samples of unrelated individuals at the two extremes of the IQ range and analyses DNA markers in or close to genes having products of prima facie neurological relevance (such as dopamine receptor protein and neurofilament protein)."

J.SLOBODA, Nature 362, 11 iii.

"In the December 1 issue of Nature, Freedman and his colleagues report that they have identified and cloned the gene that, when matched, causes a severe hereditary obesity in mice. What's more, the Rockefeller group has found that humans have a very similar gene."

Aye FLAM, 1995, Science 266, 2 xii.

Some adjudications

"....human nature, which is certainly biological in its foundations [cannot] be treated as though it were wholly biological, and thus equivalent to the nature of other species. The difficulty is that the environment for human beings is not merely physical, but cultural, not merely the here and now, but historical, and culture and history become internalised in a way that renders them no longer merely environmental. They become constituent parts of the human organism, and the process of socialisation, taking place in the formative stages of childhood, moulds the developmental process in many of its psychologically most important aspects.... The significance of the influence of culture on intelligence has received a good deal of empirical support in recent years from the work of Hunt, Bruner, Cole et al., Lab, Lure and others...."

L.S.HEARNSHAW, 1979, Cyril Burt: Psychologist.

London : Hodder & Stoughton.

"....the primary source of variation in personality is chance, be it in the hazards of development and the accidental experiences of the pre- and post-natal environment, or in the random assortment and recombination of genetic loci."

L.EAVES & P.A.YOUNG, 1981.

"....in the 1980's there is a move towards a more biological perspective: the pendulum is swinging back in Hans Eysenck's favour."

A.Gale, 1982, Nature, 27 v.

"Our brains, hands and tongues have made us independent of any single features of the external world.... Thus it is our biology that makes us free."

S.ROSE, L.KAMIN & R.LEWONTIN, 1984, Not in Our Genes.

Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"We start in search of the individual, but instead of him, we will find fathers and sons, husbands and wives, members of religious congregations, employers and employees, artists and patrons, authors and readers.... The individual can only know and define himself when acting and reacting within such networks which are made, kept in repair, and modified by him and his fellow-individuals."


The Crossman Confessions and Other Essays. London : Mansell.

"What has happened here [in the work and review by L.J.Eaves, H.J.Eysenck & N.G.Martin, 1989, Genes, Culture and Personality] is that proponents of nomothetic, scientific approaches to human psychological differences are losing, at half time, by their own scrupulosity, to their classic opponents, the champions of idiographic, individuality-acknowledging approaches to personality. For the present, only IQ is left as a variable that behaves like a paradigmatic nomothetic personality trait - yielding generally greater phenotypic similarity in closer relatives. In contrast, much of the rest of adult personality now appears to emerge by magic."

C.R.BRAND, 1989, Nature 341, 7 ix.

"S.Oyama's under-recognised The Ontogeny of Information (1985, Cambridge University Press) carries out a deconstructive analysis of the gene-environment dichotomy, without feeling it necessary to appeal to exotic intellectual traditions."

John R. MORSS, 1992, Theory and Psychology 2.

"The fashion is beginning to change. The failure of liberal reforms to deliver the Great Society has cast doubts on the proposition that better nurture can deliver better nature. The failure of sociologists to find even a few of the purported (Freudian or social) causes of schizophrenia, homosexuality, sex differences in criminal tendencies and the like has undermined their credibility. And a better understanding of how genes work has made it possible for liberals who still believe in the perfectibility of man to accept genetic explanations. In at least one case-homosexuality-it is now the liberals who espouse nature and their opponents who point to nurture."

'Nature or nurture?- Old chestnut, new thoughts.'

The Economist, 26 xii 1992 / 8 i 1993.

"We know nothing about the heritability of human temperamental and intellectual traits."

Richard LEWONTIN, 1993, Biology as Ideology.

New York : HarperPerennial.

"Despite intellectual acknowledgement of the essential duality of the origins of high ability, most individual researchers are emotionally-sometimes passionately-attached to the defence of one extreme."

J.SLOBODA, 1993, 'Weighing of the talents'. Nature 362, 11 iii.

"[A curious statement, often repeated in R.Plomin & G.E.McClearn, 1993, Nature, Nurture and Psychology, American Psychological Association, is that] the battle between nature and nurture was nonsensical, and that it has been resolved by searching for a numerical solution on the lines of how much, in what circumstances, for what trait. The assumption that there were 100% hereditarians among the behavioural geneticists will not stand up. Having been in the middle of that battle, and having known many of the leading participants, I cannot think of one who would have assumed anything so obviously silly as a 100% genetic determination of any behavioural variable. The imputation that there were any 100% hereditarians is simply untrue; there were, and are, 100% environmentalists, and they carried the day for many years, largely ignoring the available evidence, or misrepresenting it. There never was a scientific argument of either-or; it was always one of how much."

H.J.EYSENCK, 1994, Personality & Individual Differences 17.

Epilogue: Emollient proposals

"I fully acknowledge the great power of education and social influences in developing the capacities of the mind, just as I acknowledge the effects of use in developing a blacksmith's muscles."

Francis GALTON, 1869, Hereditary Genius. London : Macmillan.

"[Emile Zola's] commitment to hereditary determination of "feelings, desires, passions, all human manifestations" was an integral part of a world view that was characteristic of an anti-aristocratic, anti-clerical, radical bourgeois of the Third Republic. It was....an attempt to reconcile the facts of an unequal and hierarchical society with the ideology of freedom and equality."

S.ROSE, L.KAMIN & R.LEWONTIN, 1984, Not in Our Genes.

Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"Both the Watsonians and the Freudians....attribute to the action of the environment a great deal of the formation of personality. In the Freudian theory, it is repression, mainly of the sex instinct, which is responsible. In Watson's it is association of fear (or rage, or love) with situations other than the natural stimuli which plays the major part. In both, the home life of the first two years is all important. But both admit the influence of heredity. [Watson said "Albert was extremely phlegmatic", otherwise his conditioned fear of a white rat would have been more marked.]. It is the form which hereditary forces take which is determined by the home, not the strength."

Godfrey H. THOMSON, 1924, Instinct, Intelligence and Character.

London : George Allen and Unwin.

"...Gone are the days, I hope, when students would rebel when I talked in one lecture about innate capacities and individual differences and in the next about the different way in which character is formed in different cultures systematically and how different the results were. Someone was sure to go away muttering: 'She can't have it both ways.' But, of course, we can...."

Margaret MEAD, 1972, in T.R.Williams, Introduction to Socialization.

St Louis : Mosby.

"R.G.Collingwood [the philosopher and historian of ideas]....attributes his passion for learning to his father and to himself. It was his father's doing, he writes, that he began Latin at the age of four and Greek at six, but his own that he began,

"....about the same time, to read everything that I could find about the natural sciences, especially geology, astronomy, and physics; to recognise rocks, to know the stars, and to understand the working of pumps and locks and other mechanical appliances up and down the house. It was my father who gave me lessons in ancient and modern history.... But my first lessons in what I now regard as my own subject, the history of thought, was the discovery, in a friend's house a few miles away, of a battered seventeenth-century book, wanting cover and title-page.... I was about nine when I found it....""

B.-A.SCHARFSTEIN, 1980, The Philosophers. Oxford : Blackwell.

"Self-control and even conscience seem to be much more modifiable by the influence of education than is intelligence.... [So] it seems to be the function of the teacher to form character and to find out about intelligence. In so far as he can influence the latter, he will do it through the former."

Sir Godfrey THOMSON, 1929.

"Most recent psychological evidence indicates the necessity of remembering the importance of both inherited characteristics and environmental conditions for normal development."

Fred J. SCHONELL, 1948, Backwardness in Basic Subjects.

"I accept the widely held diathesis-stress theory of mental disorder."

H.J.EYSENCK, 1977.

"Ultimately, we believe that human beings are bio-social organisms, and that work on individual differences can be most fruitfully pursued by paying attention to both these aspects of our nature." Editorial statement of the journal Personality and Individual Differences [Editor-in-Chief H.J.EYSENCK], 1980.

"....there is no contradiction between the assertion that a trait is perfectly heritable and the assertion that it can be changed radically by the environment."

S.ROSE, L.KAMIN & R.LEWONTIN, 1984, Not in Our Genes.

Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"Love-shyness is believed to be the result of a genetic-biologically rooted temperament, and of learning experiences with peers and family."

B.G.GILMARTIN, 1987, Journal of Personality 55.

"Michael Bailey of Northwestern University used advertisements in magazines to find sets of male twins [of whom at least one was gay]. Looking at 110 pairs of twins he found that if a homosexual man had an identical twin, in 52% of cases he was also gay; if he had a non-identical twin, in only 22% of cases was the twin also gay....[Whitam & Diamond found MZ's 66% concordant and DZ's 30% concordant.] {In Britain, King & McDonald, working from an AIDS clinic, with subjects who had not been collected as volunteers for twin research,} found 45 homosexuals who had twins; only eight reported that their twin was also homosexual or bisexual. However, since some of the fraternal pairs were of mixed sex, a lower concordance rate was to be expected. And the difference between the identical twins and fraternal twins still pointed in the same direction: 25% of identical twins shared their co-twin's homosexuality, compared with only 14% of fraternal ones....

Homosexual men are more likely to have elder brothers than [are] heterosexual men. As women get older, it appears that their immune systems become more likely to reject male [high-testosterone] foetuses. If gay genes are a defence, that would explain the observation. Of course, the fact that gays are more likely to have elder brothers might also be used as evidence for family structure as a cause."

The Economist, 5 xii 1992.

"The fashion is beginning to change. The failure of liberal reforms to deliver the Great Society has cast doubts on the proposition that better nurture can deliver better nature. The failure of sociologists to find even a few of the purported (Freudian or social) causes of schizophrenia, homosexuality, sex differences in criminal tendencies and the like has undermined their credibility. And a better understanding of how genes work has made it possible for liberals who still believe in the perfectibility of man to accept genetic explanations. In at least one case-homosexuality-it is now the liberals who espouse nature and their opponents who point to nurture."

'Nature or nurture?- Old chestnut, new thoughts.'

The Economist, 26 xii 1992 / 8 i 1993.

"Genetic data provide some of the best evidence we have for the importance of non-genetic influence. In addition, genetics provides the designs that allow us to look for environmental influences in a way that takes genetics into account rather than trying to ignore it, as happens in studies of regular families, whose members are of course genetically related. When we find that parents who read to their children more often have children who read better, we just can't assume that's a causal environmental association."

R.PLOMIN,1993, in Ciba Foundation Symposium 178, The Origins and Development of High Ability. Chichester : Wiley-Interscience.

"Professor Lykken {1993, J. Person. & Soc. Psychol.} questioned more than 900 pairs of twins and their spouses about their love life, with surprising results. It turns out that the partners of pairs of twins are, on average, barely more alike than any other two adults passing in the street.... Again....in most cases one twin did not particularly like (or dislike) their twin's mate; and the partners of twins did not like or dislike the [other] twin any more than someone might like the partner of a friend. "As far as we can see," says Professor Lykken, "whom people fancy and then marry is not governed by any logical rules.... At best, similarity in things like age, education, attractiveness and political leanings narrows the field of suitable candidates by about 50 per cent.""

Jerome BURNE, 1993, The Independent, 9 ii.

"....two identical twins separated at birth [both kept themselves] exceptionally clean and tidy. When asked why they did so, one replied that his adoptive mother was a model of cleanliness and tidiness, the other that he was reacting against his adoptive mother who was an absolute slob."

Stuart SUTHERLAND, 1994, The Observer, 4 ix.

"[In the film, The African Queen,] Katharine Hepburn, playing a missionary, pours Humphrey Bogart's gin into the river, and a discussion about Bogart's vulnerability to temptation ensues. 'But Missy,' he protests, 'it's just human nature.' 'Nature,' replies Hepburn, 'is what we are put into this world to rise above.'"

Marek KOHN, 1995, The Race Gallery: the Return of Racial Science. London : Jonathan Cape.


(Compiled by Chris Brand, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh)

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