Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Warrior Gene and Genetic Determinism

This article is one of many contributing to an intense debate about a controversial scientific publication associating "warrior-like" or aggressive tendencies (including alcoholism) among the Maori with their genes. Not only has this "finding" been criticized as downright bad science, it has also been passionately discussed as a seed of scientifically justified racism. Most of the early articles associated with this finding overlooked the socioeconomic factors (of which there are many) that are much more clearly responsible for some of the complicated social and familial issues that have been statistically prominent among the often oppressed Maori communities of New Zealand and Australia. This is a crucial example of the risks associated with the dispersal of genomic information in the technological age and reminds us of the importance of very carefully considering the social implications of the research published in the field of primate genetics/genomics.


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