I REFER to the letter “We need time to slog it out” (The National, Dec 4) by “Pothole dweller” of Lae.
My little understanding of genetics tells me that the author’s analogy and interpretations of the situations surrounding the recent anti-Asian riots is misconstrued.
We are merely the manifestation of controlled expressions of the genetic information that is encoded in our DNA and it is only natural that variation does exist within and between human populations.
But that does not give the writer the right to say that Highlanders need to evolve further to get their attitudes right.
The human brain has evolved over a long way from when humans and rats shared a common ancestor (and had similar brains) about 80 million years ago.
A human’s brain capacity is more or less the same although there are variations in the intelligence and emotional quotas. That’s natural.
So, such a despicable and narrow-minded allusion that Highlanders have sub-human brains is an outright insult.
I am a layman in social sciences but I am convinced that attitude is greatly influenced by:
* One’s age – the older you are, the wiser you become;
* Knowledge – the higher the level of education, the more informed you are;
* Social upbringing – governed by culture and the environment; and the list goes on.
In our case, culture is by far the biggest root of the problem – genetics may be the stone but the cultural ideologies, particularly cargo-cultism and wantokism, are the tools used in sculpturing our attitude.
Such ideologies are primarily responsible for the ignorance and the laid-back and lazy attitudes that are rapidly setting in as characteristic of the nation’s populace.
So what we are experiencing is definitely not due to nature as pointed out by the writer but rather nurture – a social challenge.
That is why we all need to work together to improve as one people.
For a start, we need to do away with those cultural ideologies that are incompatible with a dynamic modern world.
Then, we need genuine representation in Parliament, a stable Government with pragmatic budgets and realistic long-term visions, and a population of confident and proactive individuals.