By Richard C. Lewontin

ISBN-10: 0887845185

ISBN-13: 9780887845185

Following within the style of Stephen Jay Gould and Peter Medawar, one of many world's major scientists examines how "pure technological know-how" is in reality formed and guided through social and political wishes and assumptions.

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Extra info for Biology As Ideology

Example text

Was 13 percent-, so the average life expectancy for the population as a whole was reduced considerably by this early death. The gravestones of people who died in the middle of the nineteenth century indicate a remarkable number of deaths at an old age. In fact, scientific medicine has done little to add years for people who have already reached their maturity. In the last 50 years, only about four months have been added to the expected life span of a person who is already 60 years old. As we all know, in modern Europe women live longer than men, but they used not to.

For example, comes from studies of identical twins raised apart. Only three such studies have been published. The first and largest set of studies was reported by Sir Cyril Burt. This was the only study that claimed no similarity between the family circumstances of the families that raised separated twins. It also claimed a heritability of 80 percent for I. Q. performance. 8 He even made up the collaborators whose names appeared with his in the publications. We need consider these claims no further.

These true-breeding inbred varieties are created by a long process of self-pollination to make each variety completely uniform genetically. A seed company will spend a certain number of years self-pollinating lines of corn until it gets uniform lines, and it will then sell to the farmer the seed that comes from crossing two of these lines. The inbred homogeneous lines themselves give rather poor yields, whereas the hybrid is superior in productivity both to the inbred lines and to the original open-pollinated population of corn from which the inbreds came.

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Biology As Ideology by Richard C. Lewontin

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