Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Now, since you have basic knowledge about the nature vs. nurture debate, let’s look more at the nature theory.

Scientists have known for years that characteristics such as eye color and hair color are determined by genes (remember those punnett squares that you did in Biology?). The nature theory takes it up a notch by saying that behavioral traits—intelligence, personality, aggression and sexual orientation—are encoded in an individual’s genes as well.

Humans have approximately 25,000 protein-coding genes, and these genes are the cornerstone of bodily processes and functions. These proteins act to help us metabolize our food and heal a wound, but they also provide essential information to personality and other traits.

Cancer is a disease that we have all heard of, and researchers in Scandinavia concluded that cancer is the result of environmental rather than inherited factors. Now, we hear of cancer-causing genes such as the “colon cancer gene” and the “breast cancer gene.” Even if the research states conclusions one way, more research will eventually change the previous conclusion and state it a different way. This is the problem with scientific research; it never ends. There is so much information out in the world regarding nature vs. nurture, and investigating all of it is a task to rarely succeed. Scientists have also linked DNA variations with increased risk of common diseases and conditions, including cancer, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and Alzheimer's, favoring nature’s side in the debate.

Predisposition to disease not only affects the person’s health, but also his or her lifestyle. There has been talk of genetic discrimination (but we cannot forget about racial discrimination). If genetic information is not private, then companies can use this information to deny people jobs due to “bad” genes. However, this is not fair and immoral because we do not get to pick our genes, so they should not be used against us. Additionally, what if parents find out that their newborn child will be predisposed with a life-threatening disease? Will the parents want to keep the child and care for him or her with this knowledge that he or she will die soon? This is one case where knowing little is better than knowing too much.



  1. You have a wonderful start, but what are you going to focus on? Is it possible that nature and nurture are both to blame for behavior and mental diseases? We all have a set of genes, but our environment influences us to.

    I am excited to read more!

  2. Yes, nature and nurture are both to blame for our behavior and mental diseases, but exactly how much of human traits are determined by either nature and nurture remains unknown.

    I will first introduce both sides, and then focus on one side to explain human behavior. The blog is still in its introductory stages :)

  3. I am currently writing an essay on gender identity in relation to the nature/nurture debate and have found your blog to be very helpful, there is a lot of evidence to support and go against each side and as i have already seen stated there seems a grey area between the two as i believe they both play there part, all in all though very interesting to read.....a job well done i must say as its probably been the most helpful site iv come across, thanks =]

  4. I feel like you have strong beliefs in the nurture side of the argument and that is clouding your judgement, but your website is very detailed and has helped a lot for my college coursework.