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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Nature vs. nurture: What's on first?

(Photo by Christopher Michel)
When wondering which came first, the chicken’s cooped-up behaviors or the egg’s genetic influences, people often assume that nature and nurture are two separate things.

In her io9 article titled “10 Scientific Ideas that Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing,” Annalee Newitz offers this quote from evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk:  …ALL traits, all the time, are the result of input from the genes and input from the environment.   

Zuk then gives an example of identical twins who were raised in two different environments and therefore speak two different languages.  Although the speaking of these different languages implies entirely learned behaviors, the speaking of any language at all requires a genetic predisposition toward doing so.

Nature vs. nurture may therefore best be viewed as a continuum rather than as a controversy.


Copyright June 19, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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