Systematic Political Science


Behavioral Genetics:  Weltanschauungs of Natural Law, Crime and Identity

Dallas F. Bell, Jr. 

1. Introduction

Genetics is a branch of biology that deals with the science of heredity and variation of organisms.  In the 1800s, Gregor Mendel sought to understand mechanisms of inheritance.  Over 3,000 years earlier, Moses recorded that Adam had begat a son (c. 3811 B.C.) in his own likeness and image (Gen. 5:3).  Moses also wrote that the father of Israel, Jacob, selectively bred cattle, sheep and goats (Gen. 30:31-43). Around 61 A.D., the New Testament writer, James, noted that a fig tree can not bear olives (James 3:12).  For thousands of years, people have known that animal and plant life produce the same animals and plant life.  This means a kind or species produces the same kind or species with variations within its genetic parameters (Gen. 1:11-31). 

Mendel observed that inheritance occurs from traits called genes.  All life has cells that contain genes molecularly structured in DNA.  DNA is composed of a chain of nucleotides.  Genetic information is contained along the sequence of the DNA chain.  Each cell contains a complete copy of that species' DNA, called a genome. 

Genes express their function through the production of proteins.  Proteins are complex molecules responsible for most functions in the cell.  Proteins are chains of amino acids, basically, where the DNA sequence of a gene is used to produce a specific protein sequence.  Each group of three nucleotides in the sequence, called a cordon, corresponds to one of twenty possible amino acids in proteins.  That correspondence is often referred to as the genetic code.   

Chromosomes are arranged linearly along the chain of DNA sequence.  Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes in each cell.  This is two fewer chromosomes (one pair) when compared to chimpanzees.  Before 2002, Darwinian evolutionists commonly claimed that humans differed genetically from chimpanzees by only one or two per cent and that chimpanzees were relatives of humans.  This is much like saying that the metallic element of gold (Au has 79 electrons, 118 neutrons and 79 protons) evolved from the metallic element of lead (Pb has 82 electron, 125 neutrons and 82 protons) because of the similarity of its makeup.  Since the genome project's completion of mapping the genetic sequence of humans in 2001 and the beginning of sequencing chimpanzee DNA, the recognized differences have increased to around 4.8%.[1]   

Each gene contains hundreds or thousands of bases.  This means the seemingly small differences in humans and chimpanzees is enough to change the amino acid sequence of 83% of the proteins generated by the 231 genes on the chromosomes.  Major differences in the structure of over 20% of the proteins have also been discovered. Thus, these differences discovered by geneticists are greater than expected. [2] Those differences have caused some people to question their Darwinian theological faith that produces their epistemological weltanschauung (German; meaning world view), especially the core belief of a chimpanzee and human common descent. 

Reginald Punnett (1875-1967) introduced a convenient method for analysis of small numbers of unlinked genes.  The Punnett square displays the male parent's genetic input along the top (AB, Ab, aB, ab) and the female parent's genetic input down the left side (AB, Ab, aB, ab).  The intersection of the vertical columns and horizontal rows indicate the square with the predicted phenotype of each combination.  For example, a fig does not have the inherited genetic code to become an olive species or any other species than a fig like its parents.  However, a fig can vary within inherited options such as pigment etc.  This natural selection operates like a decision-making matrix where the possible outcome is limited to the parts of its construction.   

The field of genetics includes new disciplines that may be known by different names or by differing parameters until one name and parameter emerges to become widely academically accepted.  Biogenetics, gene splicing or genetic engineering is one such field.  Those descriptive terms are applied to the manipulation of genes generally beyond that organism's natural process.  This involves the isolation, manipulation and reintroduction of DNA into cells in order to introduce new characteristics into the organism. 

Another field is neurogenetics pioneered by Seymour Benzer (1921- ).  Broadly defined, neurogenetics is the science of studying how genes control development and function of the nervous system and the brain, and thus influence behavior.  Benzer realized that to differentiate between the behavioral effects of nature and nurture, the environment needs to be constant and the genes altered.  He used Drosophila (fruit flies) for their relative ease to study the sleep patterns or circadian rhythm.   The fruit flies were exposed to mutagenic poison to generate the mutation of genes.  Normal flies arose around daybreak every 24 hours but the mutated flies arose at random times indicating the lack of an innate rhythm.  This seemed to show that the internal clock of fruit flies was genetic. 

For the purposes of this paper the genetics focus is on the field of behavioral genetics.  Behavioral genetics studies the role of genetics in animal behavior.  Of specific emphasis in systematic political science are the genetic causes for behavioral effects in humans. 

2. Behavioral Genetics

Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, is credited with being the first to study heredity and human behavior systematically.  Galton's controversial work in 1869 titled Hereditary Genius sought to separate the genetic from the environmental to show the inheritance of intellect and talent. 

Human genetics determines the genes of what we are, such as having 10 fingers etc.  Heritability is what causes variations, such as having 12 fingers etc.  An estimate of heritability of a trait attempts to indicate how much of a variance of that trait is due to genetic differences.  This number is characterized by a decimal .xx.  Monozygotic (MZ) twins, called identical twins, are derived from the same single cell and are an exact genotype.  IQ testing for correlation has indicated a .84 and .88 similarity of MZ twins raised together and a similarity of .75 for MZ twins raised apart.  Dizygotic (DZ) twins, called fraternal twins, are derived from two different eggs.  DZ twins average sharing 50% of their genes and have shown a correlation of .54 when growing up together and a .46 correlation when raised separately.  Given that unrelated children have a correlation of .17, it would seem overwhelming that the genetic component has a direct influence on IQ scores.[3] 

Genetic differences can lead to phenotypic differences causing differences in the environment which then can affect the phenotype.  That reality often causes the misconception that heritability is not very causal to behavior and environment is most causal to behavior.[4] 

There are two categories of behavioral genetics.  The first is the study of the relationship between predetermined behavior and the physical realm of natural law (NLP).  The second is the study of the relationship between behavior with choice or freewill and the nonphysical realm of natural law (NLF). 

2.1. NLP

The relationship between human behavior and NLP is predetermined.  It has already been demonstrated that IQ gives the problem solving ability for a lifetime, unless that potential is unnaturally altered.  Like IQ, left-handedness and right-handedness may have a genetic component.  In 2002, C. Francks et al. performed a genomewide quantitative trait locus (QTL) linkage analysis using a continuous measure of relative hand skill (PegQ) rather than treating handedness (2p12-q22) as a categorical state.  A QTL on the chromosome 2p12-p11.2 yielded strong evidence for linkage to PegQ and another suggestive QTL on 17p11-q23 was also identified.   

Relative hand skill appears to be a multifactorial phenotype with a heterogeneous background but nevertheless is amenable to QTL-based gene mapping approaches.  C. Francks et al. (2003) found non-right-handedness to be moderately associated with schizophrenia.  Both traits are often accompanied by abnormalities of asymmetrical brain morphology or function.  

Unlike Down's syndrome where there is an extra chromosome that decreases IQ, most traits involving behavior have a complex genetic basis.  A variety of genetic and environmental factors are involved in the development of any trait which makes the product of modeling and simulation to be in probabilities of outcomes.  Shyness may develop into social phobias, alcoholism and determine types of occupations that are accommodating to abilities.  Having a genetic variance does not necessarily mean that a particular trait will develop.  Genes may turn on or turn off and factors may exist to keep it turned off.  The protein encoded by a gene may also be modified so that it can behave normally.  Unfortunately, disorders such as Huntington's disease have a specific mutation that confers the certainty of developing the disorder. 

Behavioral genetics that predisposes behavior toward reacting to physical natural law without choice or freewill is a growing field with many a pitfall or créé de cur.  For example, a 2003 paper by authors with Darwinian world views claimed that cannibalism shaped the prion gene for all people as evidenced by the disease of New Guinea cannibals (the Fore linguistic group).  A few years later the paper was disproved.  (Violations of natural law such as cannibalism must be logically acceptable behavior by evolutionists. Deut. 28:53-58; 2 Kings 6:28-29.)  Another example in 2003, Darwinian evolutionists Z. Zhang et al. determined that the sequences of DNA that seem to be nonfunctioning, called pseudogenes, are genomic rubbish.  R. Wiedersheim (1895) inaccurately noted that more than eighty human organs were not functional and were rubbish.  Scientists did not understand organs then nor may they understand genes today. 

2.2. NLF

The relationship between human behavior and NLF involves choice.  The NLF or Decalogue (La, 1, 2, 3, 4, Lb, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) and their subsets have historically proven their behavioral options to be a choice. Although, the environment may trigger behavior and/or there may be a proclivity toward noncompliance with NLF.  If the proclivity for noncompliance is true then it is reasonable that there might be a proclivity toward compliance with NLF.   

Human choice is evidenced by observing the same people at times that elect to steal and not to steal.  Other examples are lying, adultery, murder etc.  An environmental trigger may cause someone that is hungry to steal when they would not otherwise consider the option.(Prov. 6:30-31; 30:9)  There may be proclivities toward alcoholism or the use of mind altering drugs.  The intellect can be used to prevent a situation that would enhance the likelihood of those destructive behaviors.  Adultery or sexual deviancy may be proclivities, but acting on them would still be a choice to violate NLF.  All healthy adult married males will at some point lust toward a woman that is not their wife.  Those same males have the intellect to not act on that proclivity.(Job 31:1)  Wives should have the expectation that their husbands will be loyal to them and not act on adulterous tendencies.  Their children should also have the expectation that their parents be loyal to each other. 

If a proclivity such as adultery is fed by dominating the neurons with pornographic input the point will eventually be surpassed that allows the intellect to have resistance to compulsively acting on the tendency.(1 Cor. 15:33)  In 2006, Zhang Zhihe exposed sexually disinterested male pandas in a zoo to audio and visual mating of pandas.  They began acting out the so-called panda porn by mating.  Even nonhumans can be triggered to behave toward a proclivity.  Proclivities such as overeating or yawning can be influenced by the power of suggestion. 

People that comply with NLF and people that choose not to comply with NLF form the institutions of families, churches, businesses and governments.  Those institutions increase the societal efficiency of effort to pursue the hierarchy of common individual human needs.  The rejection of La, 1 and Lb endanger the compliance with other attributes, e.g. love and justice or even truth itself.  The controversial subject of behavioral genetics of the relationship between NLF and choice may be modeled and simulated. 

3. Crime and Identity

3.1. Crime

Historically, crime has been considered to be human behavior that is not compliant with NLF.  People with a world view of acceptable noncompliance with NLF, such as cannibalism, logically do not consider their lack of compliance with NLF as criminal behavior worthy of either judgment or punishment by societal law.  In the late 19th and 20th centuries, theories relied on now discredited beliefs that criminals were hereditarily inferior and of low IQs.  In the 1960s and 1970s, men with an extra Y chromosome (XYY) were wrongly thought to be prone to violence.[5] 

There seems to be a growing consensus that crime is not completely genetically or not completely environmentally influenced.[6]  However, concordance between MZ twins for property crime (1 Cor.6:9-10) has generally been greater than for DZ twins.  Property crime for adopted individuals increased significantly when a biological parent was convicted.  Males exhibit more property crime behavior than females.  Opposite sex DZ twins are less similar than same sex DZ twins.[7]  As demonstrated in section 2.2 of this paper, freewill exists and allows the resistance of the tendency to not comply with NLF. 

3.2. Identity

In logic, true identity can be defined as the relation that holds only between a thing and itself.  So all x and y (x = y) is true iff x is the same as y.  Finite humans use this logic to identify others and themselves.  Young school children may identify someone as tall or short.  In reality no one is equal to tallness or shortness.  Those identities are relational to the qualities of other individuals and may be rejected or accepted depending on the world view. 

The world view of the infinite God of the first cause of all that exists guarantees an eternal change and identity.(Heb. 9:22-28)  This change comes when that God is accepted.(John 3:16)  Then His NLF (Decalogue) will be desired to be complied with and that identity will be superimposed over the past criminal identity or sinful nature.(Rom. 6:1-2, 14)  Sin and therefore death is inherited.(Rom. 5:12)  Samuel was an ancient Hebrew judge who was not sinful, but his biological sons took bribes as judges to pervert judgment.(1 Sam. 8:1-5)  Mankind's eternal identities are relational to God and then to His NLF.  Humans have a choice as to which world view and identity they will accept.  Either the world view of the infinite God will be accepted or another authority and standard must be epistemologically adopted. 

Governments are beginning to collect DNA to identify citizens for later oppression.  Businesses and governments are collecting data on individuals, such as credit card information, to form identities for controlling and manipulating those people.(Rev. 13:11-18)  It must be remembered that the eternal identity can not be stolen. 

4. Conclusion

Progress in the field of behavioral genetics is exciting and challenging.(Prov. 8:12)  The more knowledge man gains from science, the more reinforcement there will be of a weltanschauung compatible with the infinite God of the first cause and His laws.(Rom. 7:5-25)  All finite humans have proclivities (Rom. 3:23), but also have a choice to follow them to destruction or resist them.(Heb. 12:4)  That idea is in itself a world view and hopefully worth emulating.  God is good (1 John 4:8,16) and just (Ps. 89:14).  God's election for saving grace is real.(Matt. 24:22, 31)  God is not willing that any should perish, but that all people come to repentance.(2 Peter 3:9)  He will ultimately love whom He elects.(Rom. 9:11-24)  Mankind does not have an epistemological choice to have no world view and the world view each person accepts will determine each person's behavior. 

References  (A partial list.) 

[1]  Britten, R.J. (2002).  Divergence between samples of chimpanzee and human DNA sequence is 5%, counting indels.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99:  13633-16335.

[2]  Fujiyama, A. et al. (2002).  Construction and Analysis of a Human-Chimpanzee Comparative Clone Map.  Science 295: 131-134.  Asao Fujiyama is a consortium member at the Japanese National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo.  His comments on the surprise of human and chimpanzee chromosome differences were recorded in 26 May 2004 by the New Scientist.

[3]  Loehlin, J.C., Lindzey, G., Spuhler, J.N. (1975). Race differences in intelligence.  San Francisco:  W.H. Freeman.

Segal, N.L. (1991-2003) Writings on MZ and DZ twins.

Herrnstein, R.J., Murray, C. (1994).  The Bell Curve.  New York: Free Press.

[4]  Sesardic, N.  (2003)  Philsophy of Science, Vol. 70, pages 1002-1014.

[5]  Wikin, H.A. et al.(1977).  Criminality, aggression, and intelligence among XYY and XXY men. New York, Gardner Press.

[6]  Jones, O.D. (2006).  Behavioral Genetics and Crime, in Context.  Comments by Owen Jones were made at the Duke University Law School and in a subsequent paper.

[7]  Baker, L.A., et al. (2006).  A paper titled Behavioral Genetics:  The Science of Antisocial Behavior. 

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