Genetic Information

Questions and Worries from an African Background
  • Godfrey B. Tangwa


The genes, we are told, are responsible for our hereditary traits (nature). These hereditary traits combine with environmental and socio-cultural factors and influence (nurture) to make us what we are. It is, of course, not easy, in practice, to separate nature from nurture or purely biological from environmental and socio-cultural factors.1 In African idiom, what the genes are responsible for in the make-up of an individual is said to be “in the blood” (kidzëe metzë, as we say in Lamnso’) and is considered ineradicable by any ordinary means. What is not “in the blood” can easily be learned or unlearned through upbringing and education (liy wuna yeey) but, of course, in practice, it may be as difficult to distinguish what is learned from what is genetic as it is to distinguish the black from the white chicken in the soup.


Genetic Information Dispositional Property Quarterly Newsletter Unequal Result Hereditary Trait 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Godfrey B. Tangwa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy Faculty of Arts Letters and Social SciencesUniversity of Yaounde 1YaoundeCameroon

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