Affirming that there are genetic differences should not translate into affirming that we must also create policies based on these differences, at an almost eugenic level, or that racism, machismo and other isms are fueled.
This knowledge is just that, knowledge . If anything, if there are differences that produce profound inequalities, knowing these differences should allow us to correct those inequalities, not accentuate them.
Know to better legislate
If someone has a genetic propensity to do something wrong (let’s imagine that is possible), we should not excuse them, but create even more coercive measures to prevent them from being the victim of their own genetic determinism. Mutatis mutandis, finding that a race is genetically inferior on an intellectual level (for example) does not automatically mean being racist .
On the contrary: by identifying a basic problem we can better combat it, as argued by the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker in his book The Blank Slate : precisely identifying a genetic tendency can be the stimulus to monitor from the moral and legal point of view more vigorously against him.
There is no reason to think that it is more difficult to fight a genetic tendency versus an environmental one, as I explain in That was not in my genetics book :
Knowing if a particular group of people, be they black, women or any other politically sensitive division, is less capable than the rest of something also allows us to correct it more effectively. For example, girls seem less interested than boys in mathematics. Do they have less mathematical intelligence? Is it genetic? Or maybe it has to do with culture? Or maybe it is a mixture of both?
Another thing, of course, is that scientifically it is correct or incorrect to affirm that there are substantial differences between human groups, or that there is something similar to races (no, it does not exist: there is more genetic diversity between two black inhabitants of Africa than between an African and a European; we are all astonishingly mixed).
Furthermore, it is difficult to isolate genes from the environment: we are facing an indisocial jungle that results in a phenotypic variance that is altered as a function of as many dimensions as we are capable of measuring . There is always genetic influence, there is always environmental influence, and both genetic and environmental influence feed into each other in ways that we are not yet able to distinguish.
There is no embracing genetic determinism, but there is no running away from it. Nor should we do that with environmental determinism: the critique of misunderstood genetic determinism goes through the assumption of an environmental determinism so inflexible that, if true, it would also make us puppets .
If you want to delve into this and other things, you can do so in this interview about the aforementioned book: