How much of this statement "if you take out all the cultural and environmental factors, people will just follow their biology" is true?
Q: How much of this statement "if you take out all the cultural and environmental factors, people will just follow their biology" is true?A: It’s a tricky one. Here’s why.Biology has culture in it.Culture is: information. Culture is: knowledge.ie Don’t take my word for this, read these 2 x books:All Life Is Problem Solving (Popper 1999)which shows how all plants and all animals [not just: humanimals] have knowledge.Also read:Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Harari 2015)which shows (or, recaps) how, organisms are algorithms.(Algorithms are: recipes, or instructions, or formulae: eg IF [this happens] THEN [do that])…Systems Theory makes all this clear• Organisms are systems. Systems have algorithms in them. Systems are made of energy, information and matter.More here, if of interest:On Systems Theory and EvolutionStoryAlity #70 • Key Concepts in Systems Theory, Cybernetics & EvolutionStoryAlity #70B • The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision (Capra & Luisi 2014)StoryAlity #70C • Systems Philosophy (Laszlo 1972)StoryAlity #70C2 • General Systems Theory: Problems, Perspectives, Practice (Skyttner 2005)StoryAlity #70D • The Evolving Self (Csikszentmihalyi 1993)StoryAlity #70E • On Human Nature • and Evolutionary PsychologySo, back to the question:Q: How much of this statement "if you take out all the cultural and environmental factors, people will just follow their biology" is true?I don’t have a definitive answer but, I know this - the trouble is, you can’t “take out” all the cultural factors…? (I guess you mean `learned/absorbed• culture?)You could maybe try and give the organism amnesia - and, see what happens?(eg Whack it on the head, maybe…?Some Anecdata: I fell off my pushbike at great speed at age 15, and then had amnesia, for about half an hour. (- It was actually, kinda fun…? Though I don’t recommend it. Results May Vary.)At first, I wasn’t sure what my accent was supposed to be, nor what my “default personality” was supposed to be like. ie - How do you “act natural” if you don’t even know, what that is-?! etc.The solution I used at the time was: just copy the people who are in front of you. (This is what babies do, after all, when they learn how to interact, and it works. They `do science’: ie Expectation [ie - “I guess, if this organism in front of me is doing this stuff, I can get away with that too”] and then, they do: Trial and Error.)ie If you exactly copy folks [even when you have amnesia], they can freak out. (Or, can misunderstand - and can think you’re making fun of them, or something. It wasn’t that in my case, I just wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do next, so I just copied whatever the other visible lifeforms did. Gestures, postures, movements, repeated the words they said, and stuff. Using the same intonations and all that.)Anyway - to get a really good answer - I suggest: read up, on case-studies of amnesia, ie Where the mental “hard drive” gets wiped, for a while. See, if: they just “follow their biology”.(But, What would that even mean? Do you just mean: eating, sleeping, and fighting if threatened, and fornicating if sexually-aroused by something? …or, What?)Guess, to do research on this properly, you could give someone amnesia, (seems unethical, but still) and maybe lock them in an empty room (with no writing or patterns on the walls), and not interact or communicate with them, and see what happens. (But no communicating, otherwise they might absorb some more: culture. ie Information. ie Knowledge.)Actually this would probably be pretty scary and stressful for the subject. They may assume they died, and this is what happens after you die: you just get locked in a white room forever, or something.But - yeah, organisms (ie systems) come pre-programmed, with a whole bunch of algorithms (instincts, etc). See Chomsky’s Universal Grammar, etc. And all that stuff is information (ie culture)Anyway - it’s a terrific question!I have a chapter in a new encyclopedia (2022), on `what culture is’:The Holon/Parton Structure of the Meme, or The Unit of Culture