Ryszard Kapuscinski, “The Other”:
“Conquer, colonise, master, make dependent – this reaction to Others recurs constantly throughout the history of the world. The idea of equality with the Other only occurs to the human mind very late on, many thousands of years after man first left traces of his presence on Earth.
If the Enlightenment told us that the Other is a person equal to us, a member of the same family to which we belong, and if compared with the Enlightenment later anthropology took a step forwards, showing the European that the person from another race and tradition has his own, higly developed social and spiritual culture – then Emmanuel Lévinas took us further still, proclaiming praise for the superiority of the Other, and our duty to take responsibility for him.”
Stephen M. Kosslyn, em “What Have You Changed Your Mind About?”:
“The notion is that a variety of factors in our environment, including our social envinronment, configure our brains. It’s true for language and I bet it’s true for politeness and a raft of other kinds of phenomena. The genes result in a profusion of connections among neurons, which provide a playing field for the world to select and configure so that we fit the environment in which we inhabit. The world comes into our head, configuring us. The brain and its environment are not as separate as they might appear.
This perspective leads me to wonder whether we can assume that the brains of people living in different cultures process information in precisely the same ways. Yes, people the world over have much in common – we are members of the same species, after all – but even small changes in wiring may lead us to use the common machinery in different ways. If so, then people from different cultures may have unique perspectives on common problems and be poised to make unique contributions toward solving such problems.”
“A velocidade humana tem barreiras físicas bem conhecidas. A dificuldade está em adaptar a teoria a um atleta específico. Parte da facilidade com que Usain Bolt supera seus adversários se deve às origens étnicas. No passado, populações isoladas desenvolveram capacidades físicas específicas que ficaram impressas nos genes. Corredores com herança genética da África Oriental, como os etíopes e os quenianos, têm nos músculos grande quantidade de fibras de contração lenta, o que os torna vencedores naturais de maratonas. “Já os indivíduos com genes da África Ocidental, de onde provavelmente vieram os ascendentes do corredor jamaicano, têm mais fibras de contração rápida. São ótimos em provas de aceleração explosiva”, disse a VEJA o antropólogo Daniel Lieberman, da Universidade de Harvard.”
Genética e neurociência decidamente ainda vão dar muito pano pra manga neste nosso século.