Genetics and Mechanisms of Evolution

The assumption that social problems such as poverty, unemployment, and criminal behavior among others are biologically determined is a fallacy. However, as Glicke (2010) notes, it is also important to note that the assumption is also half-true. In particular, part of the reason why some people are successful is based on their biology in terms of intelligence, which is highly influenced by genetic factors alongside environmental factors. The other part is largely influenced by the environment surrounding the individual; this includes their families, the economic and social conditions affecting their lives, and the people they interact and influence their lives. Children growing up in an unsafe neighborhood and with high rates of crime are likely to be influenced by this environment and turn to criminal behavior. The same applies to individuals growing in poor neighborhoods, where their families economic and social status is poor, they are more likely to experience low levels of unemployment and poverty.

The second assumption posits that death and starvation is nature’s way of eliminating undesirable individuals from society. The basic tenet of this assumption is that society favors its fittest members and allows them to survive without hindrance (Durand, 2006). Unfortunately, the assumption suffers severe fallacies. Firstly, it relies upon the circular reasoning that because something happened, it was because it was bound to happen. The notion elevates the wealthy and socially fit individuals to a level of superior genetic characteristics, which is untrue. It assumes that since the poor were born into poor environments with no resources, then they possess inferior characteristics unsuitable for the environment. The individuals dying from diseases or starvation are viewed as having undesirable genetics, and because they cannot adapt, nature eliminates them for the good of society.


Durand, R. (2006). Organizational evolution and strategic management. London: SAGE.

Glicken, M. D. (2010). Social work in the 21st century: An introduction to social welfare, social issues, and the profession. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.

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