Nature, Nurture, Or Both Essay

916 words - 4 pages

Have you ever wondered what makes someone incredibly smart while others may struggle to understand the simplest things? Are some people just naturally more intelligent than others? Maybe one should consider things such as upbringing and environment as factors in the equation of human behavior. This is what has come to be known as the nature vs. nurture debate.
Nature versus nurture is a debate that has been going on as far back as the 13th century. So exactly what is nature versus nurture and why is there not a definitive answer to this question? "Some scientists think that people behave as they do according to genetic predispositions or even "animal instincts." This is known as the "nature" theory of human behavior. Other scientists believe that people think and behave in certain ways because they are taught to do so. This is known as the "nurture" theory of human behavior" (Powell, 2006). According to Powell (2006), while some believe strongly for nature or nurture some psychologists are starting to realize that it may be a combination nature and nurture that are responsible for human behavior.
The nature theory of human behavior argues that heredity is responsible for ones actions. It is a known fact that things like hair and eye color are passed from parent to child through genes. The nature theory goes one step further and says that if physical traits are passed on then why not behavior traits as well? The only problem with this theory is that the human genome makeup is still a mystery. There have been many studies that have tried to unravel the human gene.
Gregor Mendel, sometimes know as the father of genetics first tried to understand how traits were passed on from generation to generation. His works on pea plants lead him to discover the fundamental laws of inheritance. Mendel conducted genetic experiments on pea plants from 1856-1863. As a result of his experiments he came up with three theories of heredity which are:
1) The Law of Segregation: Each inherited trait is defined by a gene pair. Parental genes are randomly separated to the sex cells so that sex cells contain only one gene of the pair. Offspring therefore inherit one genetic allele from each parent when sex cells unite in fertilization; 2) The Law of Independent Assortment: Genes for different traits are sorted separately from one another so that the inheritance of one trait is not dependent on the inheritance of another; and 3) The Law of Dominance: An organism with alternate forms of a gene will express the form that is dominant". (Dolan DNA Learning Center, 2006, ¶ 1)
There have been many studies based-upon these 3 laws and with the discovery of DNA in the mid 19th century the nature theory continues to gain validity.
The nurture theory of human behavior argues that ones environment is responsible for...

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