Letter: Science giants do a good job: we're hooked and keen to learn

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The Independent Online
Colin Tudge's claim that genetic determinism "has long since been acknowledged as nonsense" is naive or disingenuous.

In the media, and in academic and government circles, crude genetic theories are put forward to explain all sorts of social problems and inequalities: diverse educational achievement; "attention deficit" in children; crime, poverty, class divisions and the oppression of women. Even "race science" is raising its ugly head again.

Far from wasting their time, scientists like Stephen Jay Gould, Steve Jones, R C Lewontin and Stephen Rose are doing a valuable service in taking up cudgels against genetic determinism.

The cruder aspects of the work of Tudge's heroes, Richard Dawkins and Matt Ridley, provide ammunition for those who want to blame everything on biology and divert attention from the need for social change.

Phil Webster

Clitheroe, Lancashire