Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SoDifferent?

We (i.e., us humans) are about 90% genetically identical to our cats.

Humans are about 98% genetically similar to other primates.

We humans are 99.5% exactly alike, genetically speaking.  

Yet we seem so different.  What makes us so different, if it's not the genetic code?

Our world views, our behaviors, our habits are not the function of our genes.  They are the function of the social environments in which we were raised (or have chosen for ourselves) and the cultures which reared us (or those we have aligned ourselves with).  These effect producers are known as our phenome (as opposed to our genome).  

Seligman (2002) asserts that virtually every society on the planet holds dear these fundamental tenets:  Wisdom/Knowledge, Courage, Love/Humanity, Justice, Temperance, and Spirituality/Transcendence.  All are effects of phenotype, rather than genotype.  Stated differently, Seligman's list of commonly held "virtues" are all the result of conscious decision making on our part, collectively and individually.  

The bottom line is that we (humans, that is) are FAR more alike than we are different, both in genotype AND in phenotype.  

So why all the discord?

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