Biological determinism

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Criminal_brains.jpg
A 1920s display comparing brain types to criminality.

Biological determinism is the hypothesis that biological factors such as an organism's individual genes (as opposed to social or environmental factors) completely determine how a system behaves or changes over time.

Consider certain human behaviors, such as having a particular sexual orientation, committing murder, or writing poetry. A biological determinist would look only at innate factors, such as genetic makeup, in deciding whether or not a given person would exhibit these behaviors. They would ignore non-innate factors, such as social customs and expectations, education, and physical environment.

Very few scientists would wholly support the strong thesis of biological determinism. However, some may believe that biological factors primarily determine a system in normal environments. Biological determinism is used to explain basic insticts such as chicks following thier mother or babies crying for food. Proponents of this more limited position are nonetheless frequently charged with supporting biological determinism.

Biological determinism is the opposite of social determinism.

See also

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