Culture is not genetic; it is entirely environmental.
Culture is not entirely environmental. Genetic makeup significantly influences and changes culture. In our culture, we restrict the reproduction of sexual mature men and women who are mentally very disadvantaged. This cultural fact changes the future gene pool of our society. In Australia we also employ medical techniques to enable normally sterile people to reproduce. So, again our culture changes the genetic makeup of our society.
Another example is that in China, the culture in the eighties was to encourage single child families; this resulted in many female babies being disposed of, with the result that there are now more native males in China than females. The fact there are more males than females in China has changed the culture of finding a sexual partner in that country.
I happily accept that culture affects genes, Airzone, which is what all your examples point to. And you don’t have to point to exceptional or isolated cases to show this. In the mainstream of all or almost all societies are conventions and sometimes even laws about who we may or may not marry. This clearly affects the genetic inheritance of those societies.
But the claim that I am objecting to is that genes affect culture. This is true only to the very limited extent that a particular genetic fact may evoke a particular cultural response – e.g. if you are a woman, in many societies you cannot be a priest. But the genetic fact doesn’t dictate
the response, as is shown by the fact that there are other societies in which women can be priests, yet others in which only women can be priests, and still others where there are no priests at all. There’s no sense, therefore, in which this particular aspect of a society’s culture is determined by genes. We might speculate about why different societies have different rules about priesthood, but the different is not determined by the differing genetic inheritances of those societies.
If culture is entirely environmental then if a female child was brought up entirely by males, only experiencing male culture, that that child would adopt the male culture, and her genetic makeup would be irrelevant? If we tried it with an animal, the animal wouldn't adopt our culture either.
No. A female child reared by males will be treated by the males as a female, whateve rtreatment that may mean in her culture, and so she will learn that she is a female, will regard herself as a female and will experience and learn the implications – in her culture – of femaleness.
If she were reared by people – male or female – who thought she was a male, and who treated her as a male, she would indeed adopt male culture and function as a male. (Until, that is, her physiological development made it plain that she was a female, whereupon the way she was viewed and treated by others would change, and she would probably suffer a severe identity crisis.)
And to return to the actual question, I seem to have drifted off topic a little, it is possible to differentiate the characteristics of a race and another race. It is not ethical generally to exploit these differences for one's gain. I meet many people from Japan and South America. Apart from appearance, I can state that the majority of Japanese are much quieter and more respectful than the South Americans who have a much stronger sense of fun, laughter, in your face'dness and rhythm. This is due to their genetic makeup (rhythm, music appreciation and artistic ability is not gained from environment - I speak based on experience here) and culture.
There’s no evidence at all, on a societal level, that things like rhythm, music appreciation or artistic ability are genetically determined.
This may be true for individuals. There, for example, an inherited, and probably genetic, disorder which affects gross motor skills and leaves those affected unable to dance in time, to catch a thrown ball, etc. I have it myself, and have passed it to my daughter. But it occurs in all ethnic groups at more or less the same rate. And, even without identifiable factors like this, we all know that some people are naturally good dancers and some aren’t. It’s possible
, but by no means a certainty or even a likelihood, that this is due to as yet unidentified genetic factors.
But this doesn’t account for differences in rhythm, artistic ability, etc, between different ethnic groups.
We also know that different ethnic groups can adopt one another’s cultures, and in fact historically this has been extremely common. To the extent that culture is genetically determined, it should be impossible. Conversely, we know that groups which are genetically indistinguishable can develop markedly different – and sometimes antagonistic - cultures
Of course, a person from Japan can have more rhythm than a person from South America. One cannot define an individual's characteristics by race, one can only make generalisations which do not always apply.
Indeed. But what is missing from your argument is any evidence at all that the general
cultural differences between Japanese and South American people are genetically determined, or indeed any reason at all for thinking that this is so.
As I think I have mentioned before, ideally we should treat everyone as a unique individual and every decision as a unique decision, but we do not have the time or knowledge to do so and so we must make some assumptions based upon prior experience. In my case, I treat Japanese and South Americans differently because I expect the South Americans to be more in my face and the Japanese to be more respectful and be reluctant to tell me if they do not understand something. So, I dig deeper with the Japanese. I don't believe this is racism because it is not for my benefit, but it is me treating different races differently.
Yes, but on the basis of their differing cultures, not their differing genes. Race is, in fact, a cultural construct. Japanese and South American people are of different races not because they have differing genes – there genes may in fact be very similar – but because we have chosen to treat them as being of different races. What leads us to do that is the cultural differences between them. (Mostly. Prejudice occasionally enters into it.) But we have no reason to think that these are genetically determined, and a good deal of reason to think that they aren’t.