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Monday, January 10, 2011 - LoW-HI RV Ranch, Deming NM

Condemned, San Antonio NM, January 30, 2010
Condemned, San Antonio NM, January 30, 2010

Tomorrow I'm outa here

It's time to get a move on. I'm beginning to develop a case of what Brian Gore calls "hitch itch" on his goin' RV Boondocking blog, and I need to get moving before I into out a rash. I want to start my trek up the Rio Grande valley to San Antonio NM. I'm getting anxious to get up there to spend a month or so photographing the Sandhill Cranes wintering at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge before they head off for their summer nesting grounds in mid February.

I delayed my departure a day from LoW-HI RV Ranch, Deming NM to put in long days yesterday and today to get some basic restructuring of this website in place. That's pretty much done and the old version of the site has been condemned.

Night camp

Site 8 - LoW-HI RV Ranch, Deming NM

Genetic Determinism and Human Nature

The "implication" that seems to worry people the most is so-called genetic determinism - the notion that if human nature was shaped by evolution, then it's fixed and we're simply stuck with it; there's nothing we can do about it. We can never change the world to be the way we want; we can never institute fairer societies - policy-making and politics are pointless.

Now, that's a complete misunderstanding. It doesn't distinguish between human nature - our evolved psychology - and the behavior that results from it. Certainly, human nature is fixed. It's universal and unchanging, common to every baby that's born, down through the history of our species.But human behavior, which is generated by that nature, is endlessly variable and diverse. After all, fixed rules can give rise to an inexhaustible range of outcomes. Natural selection equipped us with the fixed rules - the rules that constitute our human nature. And it designed those rules to generate behavior that's sensitive to the environment. So the answer to genetic determinism is simple. If you want to change behavior, just change the environment.