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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Maybe it just ain't so 

Note to the reader: this is the first of a series of blogs concerning differences between what we accept as true, and what is indicated by the facts we know so far.

Gene power

A local blogger posits that specific races demonstrate behaviors that are defined by genes, thus taking a firm position in the nature-nurture debate. He attributes assaults by one ethnic group on another group to differences in their chromosomes. (Note that ethnic group, a loose grouping based on customs and appearance, is different from “race” which is defined anthropologically.)

Very, very few people living today have “pure racial genetics. So one must assume the blogger believes that somewhere in the mixed racial genetics of ethnic groups is an “assault those different from me” gene.

Jumping genes

In the 1960s in the U.S. it was the lighter-skinned that predominated in assaults, now it’s the darker-toned. So the “assault gene” must have “jumped” between ethnic groups. We use viruses to carry genetic information in our crops; “assault and murdergenes might be viral-transported, too.

Further, assaults on women and even rape is common and perhaps endemic in Muslim nations right now. Since the same populations avow hatred of Jews, can we surmise that there’s a "Muslim gene" that triggers brain proteins for hatred of both women and Jews? What happens to converts? Is there a virus that picks up the gene and carries it to new believers? Was the blogger exposed to this virus?

Gullibility is genetic 

California government encourages drivers to use public transportation and to drive fuel-efficient cars to save the environment – and our own money. We started doing so, and the state missed out on the fuel taxes for the gallons we saved. It responded by increasing the per-gallon tax, to “balance it out.”

Perhaps the state knows of a gullible gene that is spreading among the taxpayers. That gene may be carried from taxpayer to taxpayer by a “green” virus.

So is stupidity

The State is applying for exceptions to rules that require teachers to teach students to read, do basic math and use English in simple sentences. Maybe it expects the changing demographics in California to activate a “stupid” gene. It apparently doesn't believe teachers can overcome genetic “nature” with the “nurture” of teaching.

The Department of Education seems to be agreeing, then, with that blogger. It agrees that genes are destiny, and genes explain everything.

Is rudeness genetic

Maybe we can attribute the rudeness demonstrated by some speakers at City Council meetings, and more recently at the Meet the Mayor event, to a chromosomal abnormality. After all, both the rude and the well-mannered visitors were light-skinned and looked ethnically similar. It must be a hidden gene.

A better explanation than genes

An easier explanation, though, is one recommended by the “Occam’s razor” concept. That is, the simplest explanation that can be found is the most likely to be correct.*

Let’s propose, then, that crude, rude, and abusive behavior is grown in cultural groups. That is, for rude and abusive behavior nurture triumphs over nature. Abusiveness is learned.

Does it explain the phenomena

Endemic rape in Egypt, hatred of Jews in Muslim countries (and presidential advisers' offices), assaults on lighter-skinned neighbors, and rude and sarcastic comments at Council meetings are taught.

That seems more believable. It’s what your mother taught you that makes you a jerk, not the chromosomes she gave you. This brings up the question, “should we care?”

Why care when we have good TV shows

Ignoring what the Nazi groups were teaching led to the Holocaust, WWII, and a multitude of horrors. Ignoring what our children are and aren't taught leaves their futures hostage to current education fads. Ignoring what our legislators are doing gives us the government ignorant people deserve. Yes, we should care.

Is it fixable? Yup. Easy? Nope.

Teaching will correct behaviors

If random assault and rape are taught, they can be eradicated by teaching. But what if our teachers aren't allowed to teach even basic “readin’ writin’ and ‘rithmetic?” Will politically-correct instructors be able to teach our children to think critically in the 21st Century world?

Critical Thinking is often politically incorrect, so the answer is; probably not. It’s up to parents, then.

Behavior back home

Which brings us back to the Costa Mesa “rude-ites; what did their mothers teach them?

It apparently wasn't either manners or critical thinking. Maybe the mothers should be blamed for raising such self- absorbed, simplistic children.

Or, maybe it’s time for the rude children to grow up--or at least to shut up.

What else are we missing

And it’s time to look critically at what we accept. It’s time to teach decency and honor, and it’s time to stand up for what we know is right. It’s time to stand up for patriotism, manners, religious beliefs – and individual integrity.

We didn't get here that way

The United States did not grow from a British colony into the greatest nation in the world because she had “Political Correctness” police. We didn't become great because our government took care of us. 

The United States flourished because our citizens stood for, and stood up for, what is right, as best we know it.

Stand up together before we all fall down -- hard

It’s time for parents – and for all citizens in Costa Mesa – to stand up for what we know is right. Even if what we know to be right isn't politically correct.

*Formally, Occam's razor states that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected.

1 comment:

  1. Dear CM Politics and Personalities,

    Thank you for addressing the “genes are destiny” foolishness.

    I have read the blogger you mention. Over the years I found myself agreeing with many of his comments on our local politics and his ideas to improve our city.

    He could be an effective advocate for our city: he is against crime and blight and often speaks about irresponsible use of taxpayers' dollars. Hard to argue with that. He is very articulate when he speaks at city council meetings and shows lots of passion. No complaint here.

    However, I have to reject the concept that DNA predetermines one's actions, I believe our actions follow the decisions and the choices we make.

    Whenever a Black commits a crime, it isn’t his DNA robbing or raping someone. He made a bad decision and should suffer the consequences. If his DNA compelled him to attack a White person he’d be guilt-free. That’s as rational as saying that he was compelled by the stars to rob that drugstore.

    This blogger is his own worst enemy. His good ideas about improving the Westside pale beside his illogical diatribe about racial genetics. He wants to be taken seriously but it’s hard to entertain even a good idea from someone who preaches that genetics causes violent crime.

    His insight and passion to improve Costa Mesa is wasted. His ideas are often good but not taken seriously because the idea came from him.

    He would do himself and our city the most good if he concentrated on improving our city and left the illogical claptrap for Clan meetings.