Quiet-List 1997

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Re: Agression: nature or nurture

In a message dated 97-10-01 19:45:03 EDT, Bob S writes:

<< 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.>>

   Are these empirical studies which are well-controlled and
   based on sound methodology?  Or is it speculative theorizing?

   I am skeptical about genetic explanations of behavior and
   disease.  As mentioned earlier, I am inclined to suspect
   that neurological damage due to multiple vaccinations done
   to infants might account for ADD and other behavioral
   disorders observed in recent times.

<< 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." >>

  I have an alternative hypothesis.  I think that over-40s today
  are more noise-sensitive because we were raised during
  a much more quiet time, and our tolerances for noise
  were set at a much lower level.   Younger people raised
  in the midst of constant stimulation from TVs and stereos
  are far more tolerant of noise and I believe that many of
  them are even addicted to it.

  If you could restore me to an exact physical copy of
  what I was 30 years ago, I'm sure I would hate today's
  noise culture every bit as much as I do now.

  I remember at age 23 I once walked out of a club because
  the rock band was too loud.  (They were also musically inept.)
  The noise hurt my ears.  Even then I had enough sense to
  leave in the event of pain.   After that experience, I always
  avoided that particular group.   

  Was I especially sensitive to noise?   I don't think so. Maybe  
  I was just special in having more sense than some of my age-

<< It is pure speculation on my part to suggest there may be 
   some genetic  link to the phenomenon of Boom Cars >>

  What are you proposing?  A boom car gene?  Surely
  nature would not be so cruel as to inflict humanity with
  such punishment.

  What were carriers of the boom car gene doing before
  the technology emerged to support this obnoxious behavior?

  I think that the "boomers" are here because the technology
  is available and because the marketers and advertizing 
  manipulators have convinced them that they can be power-
  ful, important, and impressive if they equip their cars in
  such a way as to aggravate their elders with noise.   

  Of course, this is not to excuse the behavior of the 
  boomers.  They deserve to be punished by law, and the
  marketers of these products should be sued by states'
  attorneys general for the public health hazard they have

<< "Chemical pollution" of all kinds might make us and our 
    young more "at risk" of developing anti-social  behavior >>

  I am more friendly to this hypothesis and believe it should 
  be researched by the health and behavioral science communities.

     -- Michael Wright     
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