Heritable

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"Heritable" means "capable of being transmitted from parent to child" - but this does not specify the means of transmission. Good values like religious faith are certainly transmitted from parent to child, but so are bad things like racism. (A song in "South Pacific" observes, "You've got to be taught to hate and fear/It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear".)

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says:

  • The term “heritable” applies to traits that are similar in parents and offspring. We inherit numerous attributes from our parents including their religious beliefs and, if we are lucky, their vast fortunes.
  • ...if a population of plants varies in height we can ask how much of this variation is due to genes. Assessing the proportion of the variation of a trait in a population that is due to genes is achieved by a statistical method called the analysis of variance. Once this analysis has been carried out a simple formula provides a number between 0 and 1 that is the heritability measure for the trait in question. [1]

Ehrlich and Feldman wrote:

They argued that:

  • very visible evolutionary psychologists, such as MIT's Pinker, do not acknowledge "the importance of interactions and of cultural evolution" but promote the idea of a genetically fixed human nature. Circumstances and experiences contribute to each individual's nature rather than all of us having a human nature that has been genetically fixed by our evolutionary history, they observed. [2]
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