Talk:Biological determinism

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'Logical conclusions'[edit]

Whatever gives rise to [1] #automatically# leads to the plot device of [2]. (I know 'two different planets' but the point remains) (talk) 18:16, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

I have no idea what you're talking about. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:49, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
'Being able to commit murder' leads inevitably through biological determinism to 'destroying the rest of the population.' (The capta is 'nut case' which sums up b d-ism)

Biology determines the range of possibilities within which 'an organism' can operate - but the options chosen will be determined by chance/what the organism wishes to do (probably even amoebas can get a taste for a particular food - and evolve in a specific direction as a result) or has the options to do (octopuses living in mangrove swamps may follow a parallel evolutionary path to mudskippers and evolve into insect-eating tree climbers) (talk) 14:25, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Biological Determinism verses Environmental Determinism[edit]

Concerning the terms biological determinism and environmental determinism - which both appear to be defined as contrarian absolutes -re there terms to describe B verses E or E verses B where these terms are not defined as absolutes, but each one purportedly tending to have more influence than the other. For instance is there a term for environment not having absolute dominance over biology, but having slightly more influence than biology, or biology not having absolute dominance over environment, but biology having slightly more influence than environment? Are there terms that suggest shades of gray along a spectrum, rather than absolutes as to the influence of B verses E or E verses B. SissyMendelstein (talk) 06:18, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure what is meant by "environment" in this context. If the meaning is like the "nurture" in the "nature/nurture" debate, then I know of no comparative opposite to biological determinism (i.e. that practically anything can be put down to nurture). Also, the claim that biological and social factors are both important (i.e. that it's nature and nurture), with each playing greater or lesser roles depending on the case under scrutiny isn't controversial, but seems rather to be the consensus.
If, instead, "environment" means something like "geography", then the comparison between biological determinism and geographical determinismWikipedia (think of Jared Diamond) becomes a little too much like comparing apples and oranges.
I must admit that the entire post is a bit convoluted and I can't figure out what SM is trying to get at. ScepticWombat (talk) 06:32, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I was referring to the nature/nurture debate. There seems to be different opinions about nature verses nurture concerning which is more influential. Some believe that nature (inborn genetics) has more influence over nurture (how you are raised / environment), while some believe the opposite is true that nurture has more influence than nature. I was wondering if this hot topic has been fully flushed out on this wiki? Is there a consensus on this subject based on twin studies? SissyMendelstein (talk) 04:12, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Why are we critiquing John Locke as if he were a proto-biological determinist?[edit]

He was one of the major proponents of Tabula Rasa and viewed humans as infinitely mutable by education and experience. His "state of nature" arguments weren't about human nature per se, but simply the theoretical idea of how people might need to act to survive sans social structures. Thomas Hobbes fills the roll of a enlightenment era philosopher of who thought humans behaved a certain way by their nature much better. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:13, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

+1. FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 16:16, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Biological determinism vs naturalistic fallacy[edit]

The page seems to imply that they are either the same, or that the former necessarily implies the latter, but neither is true. Biological determinism isn't a fallacy, it's a positive statement that can, and often is, falsified; and while it can be used in a naturalistic fallacy, it doesn't have to: one can believe war is natural for men and will always exist, and at the same time that it's wrong. The examples are particulary bad, they should be something like this:

  1. ) it's natural for women to take care of the children, that's why the do, always did, and likely will do in the future;
  2. ) humans aren't naturally monogamous, that's why we have relatively large penises, and why we cheat and will keep doing it;
  3. ) [no idea, it doesn't really make sense]

Notice how 1 an 2 are about what is/will be, and not what ought to be. And also how they're wrong, since not all women do child-rearing and not all men cheat. -- (talk) 00:10, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Attempted to address this concern via an edit Johnny Fiveapples (talk) 10:52, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Should we add a "see Statistical fallacies section bellow for more detail" to your edit? I believe it is the kind of mistake people often makes with these examples.--Verossimio Espagnado (talk) 01:58, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I feel that the reader will likely encounter that section at a reasonable time in the normal course of reading the page, but you may do whatever you see fit. Johnny Fiveapples (talk) 12:03, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Absolute vs Weak Biological Determinism[edit]

Reverend Black Percy raised the concern that biological determinism implies no effect on human behavior by culture, which would of course be trivially false. While I have seen bio-determinism used by some to mean this, I don't think that's a very useful way of thinking about the topic. I have added a section in the lead in an attempt to address this, but I welcome other contributions and input. Johnny Fiveapples (talk) 00:06, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

This is the top definition Google gave:

Biological determinism refers to the idea that all human behavior is innate, determined by genes, brain size, or other biological attributes. This theory stands in contrast to the notion that human behavior is determined by culture or other social forces.

I appreciate your efforts, but based on this definition, it would still appear that the earlier "harsher" summary fit the topic better.
Indeed, the definition continues:

Inherent to biological determinism is the denial of free will: individuals have no internal control over their behavior and dispositions, and thus are devoid of responsibility for their actions. Often implicit in this line of reasoning is the idea that because humans lack responsibility for determining their own lives, they are rightfully subject to the control of persons biologically determined in more socially acceptable ways. While few biologists fully believe in the idea of biological determinism, the theory has had cultural and political currency both in the shaping of human racial history and in current debates over the relative importance of our genetic qualities (i.e., nature) versus our socialization process (i.e., nurture) in determining our individual physical and behavioral characteristics.

The source also goes on to discuss the exact type of racialized social science the lead quote from our former article version opens with.
I'm sure more could be done to find compromise? Because if I had to chose just one revision, based on this definition, the former would seem more apt. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 09:51, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
Human behavior is determined by both culture and biology. I tend to think that biology sets limits to what's possible, and makes some possibilities more likely and others more costly. (And fortunately, we don't have free will either. Free will is the mantra of the punishment cult. We imagine we want it because it flatters our vanity.) - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:14, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Good post! That being said, biological determinism seems to denote a dusty, old woo concept. We should likely rollback. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:22, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
From what I can understand, biological determinism also lends itself to biological essentialism, and I'm pretty sure that's been thoroughly rejected by the scientific community (unless you're an extreme nativist, I guess). That and I'd push back against the idea that calling it pseudoscience hurts the discussion--it seems to me that failing to distinguish between the far end of the (obsolete) nature-nurture spectrum, which is what biological determinism is, and legitimate insights into how genes influence behavior does more harm than anything else. So I'd agree with Reverend Black Percy that a roll-back would be a good thing. But that's just me. (talk) 23:58, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Naturalistic fallacy and determinism, etc.[edit]

First, this definition is a non-typical conflation of determinism and the naturalistic fallacy, "a common fallacy that implies that biology does and should completely dictate human behavior or the behavior of a certain subset of humans, such as black people or males." The "and should" part is ostensibly an ideological innovation, not justified by tradition. Secondly, the declaration that some text is pseudo-scientific does not obviate the need for critical exposition. BD is not commonly defined as a pseudoscience, e.g., Wikipedia. Science applied incorrectly is not pseudoscience, but bad science. In addition, it seems there is no reference to Stephen Jay Gould, Franz Boas and Margaret Mead, leading scientists who were critics of Biological Determinism. Ariel31459 (talk) 22:12, 20 May 2019 (UTC)