Sir.–Lawrence Fisher in his article titled "On the Impossibility of Overriding the Influence of the Family," which appeared in the Journal (132:1075-1076, 1978) carefully skirts an issue that almost immediately comes to mind. Far be it from me to become an apologist for B. F. Skinner, yet the role of heredity cannot be ignored in the present discussion.
It is well known that in the case of out-and-out mental deficiency, the person in a supportive environment does better than does the neglected person. Nevertheless, the total person remains "substandard" owing to anatomical defects, physiological deficiencies, or both. In short, "heredity," in the sense that only from his biological ancestors could the person have acquired his anatomical and physiological building blocks, is responsible for the differences that are manifest in these cases.
In view of the fact that it is an unacceptable posture, one can understand the reluctance of Dr