Not In Our Genes:
Biology, Ideology and Human Nature

Richard Lewontin, Steven Rose + Leon J. Kamin

Random House 1984
A book review by Danny Yee © 1992
Not In Our Genes is a brilliant attack on reductionist claims that there is a biologically determined "human nature".

Do you think the concept of "race" means anything? 85% of all human genetic variation is intra-population, 7% intra-regional and only 8% inter-regional.

Do you think that "intelligence" is inherited? It makes no sense to quantitatively divide genetic from environmental factors.

Do you think the differences between men and women are genetically and biologically ordained? Read chapter 6 and think again.

Are you worried about attempts to "fix" individuals to fit society, rather than fixing the problems with society? Read chapter 7 and be very, very afraid. (Of course the rioters in LA only rioted because they had brain lesions.)

Is society "naturally" hierarchical, with inequality an unavoidable consequence of human nature? What does cause of schizophrenia and mental illness? Are human social structures determined by human biology and evolution? If you are interested in any of these questions then you should read this book!

Not In Our Genes is also very enlightening on the relationship between ideology and science, sloppy experimental technique, and outright forgery...

Read this book!

May 1992

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%T Not In Our Genes
%S Biology, Ideology and Human Nature
%A Lewontin, Richard
%A Rose, Steven
%A Kamin, Leon J.
%I Random House
%D 1984
%O paperback, index
%G ISBN 0394728882
%P xi,322pp