The Age-Old Question Of Nature Vs. Nurture?

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The age-old question of nature vs. nurture is one that continues, even today to plague both philosophers and scientists. The question pertains to the idea that we as human beings are either influenced by our genes or our surrounding when it comes to our behaviour. Both sides of the argument have logical fact supporting their thesis, however a new thesis has a risen; perhaps it is not nature vs. nurture, but nature via nurture. Establishing the idea that our behaviour is based on our genes and that our environment enables our genes to react or “turn on.” So while, genes may influence ones behaviour it is only through a specific environment that they are able to do so. While the debate still remains, we are now able to explore a new category …show more content…
The idea was that every time a specific odour was released the fruit flies would be shocked if they were touching the ground. Fruit flies learned to fly when the odour was released to avoid getting shocked and dying, (Robert Bjerregaard and Graham Bousley and Scott Carpenter and Chuck Donaldson, pg. 5-8) however it was discovered that you can only learn if all 17 CREB (learning) genes are present. These genes are typically present in all mammals. CREB genes essentially turn on during the learning process and establish connections between neurons. (Soren Impey, 1041–1054) These genes tend to most prominent in youth, which is why it’s easier (but not impossible) to learn a language or skill at a younger age. The problem is that without these genes connections cannot be made between neurons. This establishes the idea that it is not just our genes (nature) needed but also the idea that our environment is needed as our genes respond to it. Essentially stating that the fruit flies memory (and ours) is stored by nature via the influence of nurture. Which conforms Matt Ridley’s theory that “genes are not the puppet masters that controls nurture but nurture is the puppet master that controls genes (Matt Ridley, …show more content…
Which can be seen through common phobias such as snakes, thunder, the dark, caves, heights and deep water. If one considers the process of evolution these fears make sense. To survive one had to have a basic fear of dangerous objects or animals, which created a genetic coding. Which in turn is “turned on” in through the development or pressure of a specific environment. Matt Ridley states in this scientific novel nature via nurture that “it defies common sense not to see the handiwork of evolution here: the human brain is prewired to learn fears that were of relevance in the Stone Age (Matt Ridley, 2002).” Which simply reinforces Mineka’s theory, that some behaviour is genetically coded for ease of learning.
An explain of this theory is the fox P2 gene on chromosome number 7, which if present correctly in mammals allows for normal speech and grammar to be learned and recognized. (Frank, Ruddle, 5219-5221) This gene is found in all mammals, however it is unique in humans. It forms a different structure. Perhaps the reasoning behind human’s unique form of communication. Despite having this gene language must be learned during a critical period of development. Simply having the gene is not enough. You need to have the gene and be in the environment in which one is able to learn and understand

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