I argue in favor of an interactionist view of developments, over an informational view, in order to correct the damage done to our understanding of the causal roles of genes (in development) that are based in a misconception that the content of genes are traits. Additionally I explore the concept of innateness (that is important to our understanding of behavioral traits and their discussion in psychology), which predates the molecular explanation of genetics, but is still present in our vernacular and scientific lexicon. This is done in order to see if it is a legitimate biological concept because, innateness affects our ability to understand genetic content in non-semantic terms.

The current informational view presents gene content in semantic terms; this semantic account of gene content relies on intentionality, which is a characteristic of the conscious mind. Additionally, attempts at naturalizing intentionality and applying it to cellular systems have proven futile. As such I argue that the informational model be done away with in favor of an interactionist view based in the causal parity thesis.

This has implications in the social sphere, as I will show, for our judgment of behavioral traits because if genes are not seen as “genes for trait X” but rather, as they actually operate, as the starting molecule for protein production and as a replicator in mitotic and meiotic cell division, then the notion of Genocentrism is undermined. This is over arching goal of this project.


Thomson, Garrett




Gene action, Causal Parity Thesis, Interactionist view, Development, Information, Canalization, Innateness, Genetic Content, DNA, Causal Role, Genes, Traits, Determination

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Oluwadamilola B. Onakomaiya