Genes Versus Environment—Which is More Important? Tapping into this and Other Philosophical Evolutionary Questions

Human development isn’t as simple as genes plus environment. Just because we have certain genes doesn’t mean they are expressed—our early experiences in life can determine whether certain genes are turned “on” or “off,” according to Harvard. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, a scientist, researcher, writer, and educator, amongst other titles, has dived into this topic and other philosophical topics about human nature and evolution in his most recent publication.
Who are we and how did we come to be in existence? These are just some of the questions Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther seeks to answer in his 2022 publication Our Genes. This is only the start for Winther. As an experienced professor and accomplished publisher, he has written about topics including race and human genomic variation, remapping race, and varying views on evolution. Ultimately, by delving into these topics, he hopes to use population genetics and the philosophy of science to improve human communication and sustainable thinking.
So, how can we use such overarching philosophical questions to better improve the human race? Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Professor in the Humanities Division at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of Our Genes, provides insight into the “how” and “why” of humanity.

“Who are we? Who are you? Where do we come from as a species? Where might we be going? How did you come to be in body and mind? What is more important genes or the environment? How or how do they interact? These were questions. These are the questions that motivated me and inspired me to write my most recent book, Our Genes.

The subtitle of that book is a philosophical perspective on human evolutionary genomics. I wanted to start with the science of population genetics and with the methodology of statistics and ask philosophical and more general questions that might shed light on the philosophy of science and on how we can use science to understand ourselves better, to communicate with others, and to think more sustainably about where we’re going.”

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