Quiet-List 1997

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Re: Agression: nature or nurture

Albtor@aol.com wrote:

> Since all characteristics are an interaction of our
> inherited potentials and environmental experiences, and since it is
> easier
> after the child is born to work on the environmental, learning
> experiences,
> we should focus on instilling cooperative, sociable behaviors.  That
> is if we
> believe in the cooperative spirit!   Arline

Agreed, if is at possible to "instill" socially acceptable behavior in
people who believe that anti-social behavior is the real deal.

Recently I have been reading studies that point to genes as the cause
many different types of behavior. Alcoholism, schizophrenia, mania,
sociopaths and psychopaths, ADD, ulcers, hernias, even the tendency
towards ordinary every day depression has its roots in enzymes that are
regulated by little bits of genetic code.

Take noise for example. Why does noise affect people over 40 the most?
Because at the age of 40, or thereabouts, a whole freight train load of
genes "turn on." And if you choose not to "believe in" the changes that
occur at this time, then take my word for it: it's time to wake up and
smell the Ginseng. How each of us deals with stress, for instance, is
primarily determined by whether our DNA has the ability to turn on
certain instructions for the manufacture of particular "anti-stress
hormones." Maybe in the distant past there was some kind of survival
advantage to experiencing shock at loud noises. Who knows. All I know is
that modern genetic research is finding that genes do a lot more than
anyone ever imagined, just a few years ago; and that they are finding
genes that "turn off and turn on" periodically for unknown reasons and
with unknown affects.

It is pure speculation on my part to suggest there may be some genetic
link to the phenomenon of Boom Cars or that this is a result of an
Oedipal archetype, but the tendency toward aggression is also
genetically predetermined. This is not to say that someone with a
certain kind of genetic malfunction will be a certifiable sociopath, but
rather that the range of behavior available to this person tends to be
sociopathic, even if the environment tries to condition this person
against sociopathic behavior. It's not black and white, that's for sure.

Here's another fact. We are mostly bags of water: soup, actually.
Chemicals constantly bombard us from our environment and affect us in
ways we cannot imagine. Our genes tell our bodies how to react to all
these chemicals and also to other stimulus. These are autonomic
responses, such as our response to noise, and no amount of
psychological/operant conditioning can make a person exceed their
possible range of autonomic responses. "Chemical pollution" of all kinds
might make us and our young more "at risk" of developing anti-social
behavior, or less able to handle the stress of stewing in our own

Maybe it's time to start making "soma" to cancel out all those nasty old


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