SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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6
PRELIMINARIES
IX.    The fallacy that showing a characteristic to be altered by the environment proves that it is not hereditary. . . .
It appears indeed probable, from the present state of knowledge and the trend of discovery, that the following sweeping statements will ultimately turn out to be justified: -
(1)    All characteristics of organisms may be altered by changing the genes; provided we can learn how to change the proper genes.
(2)  _ All characteristics may be altered by changing the environmental conditions under which the organism develops; provided that we learn what conditions to change and how to change them.
(3)    Any kind of change of characteristics that can be induced by altering genes, can likewise be induced (if we know how) by altering conditions. (This statement is open to more doubt than the other two; but it is likely eventually to be found correct.) . . .
X.    The fallacy that since all human characteristics are hereditary, heredity is all-important in human affairs, environment therefore unimportant. . . .
XI.    The fallacy that since all important human characteristics are environmental, therefore environment is all-important, heredity unimportant, in human affairs. (247)                                             h. s. Jennings