Essay about nature and environment

essay about nature and environment

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For highly penetrant Mendelian genetic disorders such as Huntington's disease virtually all the incidence of the disease is due to genetic differences. Huntington's animal models live much longer or shorter lives depending on how they are cared for citation needed. At the other extreme, traits such as native language are environmentally determined: linguists have found that any child (if capable of learning a language at all) can learn any human language with equal facility. 35 With virtually all biological and psychological traits, however, genes and environment work in concert, communicating back and forth to create the individual. At a molecular level, genes interact with signals from other genes and from the environment. While there are many thousands of single-gene-locus traits, so-called complex traits are due to the additive effects of many (often hundreds) of small gene effects. A good example of this is height, where variance appears to be spread across many hundreds of loci. 36 Extreme genetic or environmental conditions can predominate in rare circumstances—if a child is born mute due to a genetic mutation, it will not learn to speak any language regardless of the environment; similarly, someone who is practically certain to eventually develop Huntington's disease according.

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Examples of low, medium, and rainwater high heritability traits include: Low heritability medium heritability high heritability Specific essay language weight Blood type Specific religion Religiosity eye color Twin and adoption studies have their methodological limits. For example, both are limited to the range of environments and genes which they sample. Almost all of these studies are conducted in Western, first-world countries, and therefore cannot be extrapolated globally to include poorer, non-western populations. Additionally, both types of studies depend on particular assumptions, such as the equal environments assumption in the case of twin studies, and the lack of pre-adoptive effects in the case of adoption studies. Since the definition of "nature" in this context is tied to "heritability the definition of "nurture" has necessarily become very wide, including any type of causality that is not heritable. The term has thus moved away from its original connotation of "cultural influences" to include all effects of the environment, including; indeed, a substantial source of environmental input to human nature may arise from stochastic variations in prenatal development and is thus in no sense. 33 34 Interaction of genes and environment edit main article: Geneenvironment interaction Many properties of the brain are genetically organized, and don't depend on information coming in from the senses. — steven Pinker Heritability refers to the origins of differences between people. Individual development, even of highly heritable traits, such as eye color, depends on a range of environmental factors, from the other genes in the organism, to physical variables such as temperature, oxygen levels etc. During its development or ontogenesis. The variability of trait can be meaningfully spoken of as being due in certain proportions to genetic differences nature or environments nurture.

In one database kind of study, identical twins reared apart are compared to randomly selected pairs of people. The twins share identical genes, but different family environments. In another kind of twin study, identical twins reared together (who share family environment and genes) are compared to fraternal twins reared together (who also share family environment but only share half their genes). Another condition that permits the disassociation of genes and environment is adoption. In one kind of adoption study, biological siblings reared together (who share the same family environment and half their genes) are compared to adoptive siblings (who share their family environment but none of their genes). In many cases, it has been found that genes make a substantial contribution, including psychological traits such as intelligence and personality. 32 Yet heritability may differ in other circumstances, for instance environmental deprivation.

essay about nature and environment

Locke, john Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The traits of an individual are always a complex interweaving of both. 31 For an individual, even strongly genetically influenced, or "obligate" traits, such as eye literature color, assume the inputs of a typical environment during ontogenetic development (e.g., certain ranges of temperatures, oxygen levels, etc.). In paper contrast, the "heritability index" statistically quantifies the extent to which variation between individuals on a trait is due to variation in the genes those individuals carry. In animals where breeding and environments can be controlled experimentally, heritability can be determined relatively easily. Such experiments would be unethical for human research. This problem can be overcome by finding existing populations of humans that reflect the experimental setting the researcher wishes to create. One way to determine the contribution of genes and environment to a trait is to study twins.

30 Heritability estimates edit main article: Heritability This chart illustrates three patterns one might see when studying the influence of genes and environment on traits in individuals. Trait A shows a high sibling correlation, but little heritability (i.e. High shared environmental variance c 2; low heritability h 2). Trait B shows a high heritability since correlation of trait rises sharply with the degree of genetic similarity. Trait C shows low heritability, but also low correlations generally; this means Trait C has a high nonshared environmental variance. In other words, the degree to which individuals display trait C has little to do with either genes or broadly predictable environmental factors—roughly, the outcome approaches random for an individual. Notice also that even identical twins raised in a common family rarely show 100 trait correlation. It is important to note that the term heritability refers only to the degree of genetic variation between people on a trait. It does not refer to the degree to which a trait of a particular individual is due to environmental or genetic factors.

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essay about nature and environment

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The authors deny this, requesting that that evolutionary inclinations be discarded in ethical and political discussions regardless of whether they exist or not. 27 Heritability studies became much easier to perform, and hence much more numerous, with the advances of genetic studies during the 1990s. By the late 1990s, an overwhelming amount of evidence had accumulated that amounts to a refutation of the extreme forms of "blank-slatism" advocated by watson or Montagu. This revised state of affairs was summarized in books aimed at a popular property audience from the late 1990s. In The nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the way they do (1998 essay judith Rich Harris was heralded by Steven Pinker as a book that "will come to be seen as a turning point in the history of psychology ". 28 but Harris was criticized for exaggerating the point of "parental upbringing seems to matter less than previously thought" to the implication that "parents do not matter".

29 The situation as it presented itself by the end of the 20th century was summarized in The Blank Slate: The modern Denial of Human Nature (2002) by Steven Pinker. The book became a best-seller, and was instrumental in bringing to the attention of a wider public the paradigm shift away from the behaviourist purism of the 1940s to 1970s that had taken place over the preceding decades. Pinker portrays the adherence to pure blank-slatism as an ideological dogma linked to two other dogmas found in the dominant view of human nature in the 20th century, which he termed " noble savage " (in the sense that people are born good and corrupted. Pinker argues that all three dogmas were held onto for an extended period even in the face of evidence because they were seen as desirable in the sense that if any human trait is purely conditioned by culture, any undesired trait (such as crime. Pinker focuses on reasons he assumes were responsible for unduly repressing evidence to the contrary, notably the fear of (imagined or projected) political or ideological consequences.

With the exception of the instinctoid reactions in infants to sudden withdrawals of support and to sudden loud noises, the human being is entirely instinctless." 23 In 1951, calvin Hall 24 suggested that the dichotomy opposing nature to nurture is ultimately fruitless. Robert Ardrey in the 1960s argued for innate attributes of human nature, especially concerning territoriality, in the widely read African Genesis (1961) and The territorial Imperative. Desmond Morris in The naked Ape (1967) expressed similar views. Organised opposition to montagu's kind of purist "blank-slatism" began to pick up in the 1970s, notably led. Wilson ( On Human Nature 1979).


Twin studies established that there was, in many cases, a significant heritable component. These results did not in any way point to overwhelming contribution of heritable factors, with heritability typically ranging around 40 to 50, so that the controversy may not be cast in terms of purist behaviorism. Rather, it was purist behaviorism which was gradually replaced by the now-predominant view that both kinds of factors usually contribute to a given trait, anecdotally phrased by donald Hebb as an answer to the question "which, nature or nurture, contributes more to personality?" by asking. He identified approximately 150 such features, coming to the conclusion there is indeed a "universal human nature and that these features point to what that universal human nature. 26 At the height of the controversy, during the 1970s to 1980s, the debate was highly ideologised. In Not in Our Genes: biology, ideology and Human Nature (1984 richard Lewontin, steven Rose and leon Kamin criticise " genetic determinism " from a marxist framework, arguing that "Science is the ultimate legitimator of bourgeois ideology. If biological determinism is a weapon in the struggle between classes, then the universities are weapons factories, and their teaching and research faculties are the engineers, designers, and production workers." The debate thus shifted away from whether heritable traits exist to whether it was politically.

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In this dates study he established that in any given population, biology, language, material and symbolic culture, are autonomous; that each is an equally important dimension of human nature, but that no entry one of these dimensions is reducible to another. The tool of twin studies was developed as a research design intended to exclude all confounders based on inherited behavioral traits. 22 Such studies are designed to decompose the variability of a given trait in a given population into a genetic and an environmental component. Watson in the 1920s and 1930s established the school of purist behaviorism that would become dominant over the following decades. Watson is often said to have been convinced of the complete dominance of cultural influence over anything that heredity might contribute, based on the following" which is frequently repeated without context: "give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world. I am going beyond my facts and i admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years" ( Behaviorism, 1930,. The last sentence of the above" is frequently omitted, leading to confusion about Watson's position. During the 1940s to 1960s, Ashley montagu was a notable proponent of this purist form of behaviorism which allowed no contribution from heredity whatsoever: "Man is man because he has no instincts, because everything he is and has become he has learned, acquired, from his.

essay about nature and environment

Leda cosmides and John tooby noted that William James (18421910) argued that humans have more instincts than animals, and that greater freedom of action is the result of having more psychological instincts, not fewer. 19 The question of "innate ideas" or "instincts" were of some importance in after the discussion of free will in moral philosophy. In 18th-century philosophy, this was cast in terms of "innate ideas" establishing the presence of a universal virtue, prerequisite for objective morals. In the 20th century, this argument was in a way inverted, as some philosophers now argued that the evolutionary origins of human behavioral traits forces us to concede that there is no foundation for ethics (. Mackie while others treat ethics as a field in complete isolation from evolutionary considerations ( Thomas Nagel ). 20 In the early 20th century, there was an increased interest in the role of the environment, as a reaction to the strong focus on pure heredity in the wake of the triumphal success of Darwin's theory of evolution. 21 During this time, the social sciences developed as the project of studying the influence of culture in clean isolation from questions related to "biology". Franz boas 's The mind of Primitive man (1911) established a program that would dominate American anthropology for the next fifteen years.

has thus been claimed. Close feedback loops have been found in which "nature" and "nurture" influence one another constantly, as seen in self-domestication. In ecology and behavioral genetics, researchers think nurture has an essential influence on nature. 14 15 Similarly in other fields, the dividing line between an inherited and an acquired trait becomes unclear, as in epigenetics 16 or fetal development. 17 18 Contents History of the debate edit john Locke 's An Essay concerning Human Understanding (1690) is often cited as the foundational document of the "blank slate" view. Locke was criticizing René descartes ' claim of an innate idea of God universal to humanity. Locke's view was harshly criticized in his own time. Anthony Ashley-cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, complained that by denying the possibility of any innate ideas, locke "threw all order and virtue out of the world leading to total moral relativism. Locke's was not the predominant view in the 19th century, which on the contrary tended to focus on " instinct ".

Francis Galton, the modern founder of eugenics and behavioral genetics, discussing the influence of heredity and environment on social advancement. 5 6 7, galton was influenced by the book. On the Origin of Species written by his half-cousin, Charles Darwin. The view that humans acquire all estate or almost all their behavioral traits from "nurture" was termed tabula rasa blank slate by, john Locke in 1690. A "blank slate view" in human developmental psychology assuming that human behavioral traits develop almost exclusively from environmental influences, was widely held during much of the 20th century (sometimes termed "blank-slatism. The debate between "blank-slate" denial of the influence of heritability, and the view admitting both environmental and heritable traits, has often been cast in terms of nature versus nurture. These two conflicting approaches to human development were at the core of an ideological dispute over research agendas throughout the second half of the 20th century.

Nature versus nurture, wikipedia

The nature versus nurture debate involves whether human behaviour is determined by the listing environment, either prenatal or during a person's life, or by a person's genes. The alliterative expression "nature and nurture" in English has been in use since at least the Elizabethan period 1 and goes back to medieval French. 2, the combination of the two concepts as complementary is ancient (. Greek : πό φύσεως κα ετροφίας 3 ). Nature is what we think of as pre-wiring and is influenced by genetic inheritance and other biological factors. Nurture is generally taken as the influence of external factors after conception. The product of exposure, experience and learning on an individual. 4, the phrase in its modern sense was popularized by the English Victorian polymath.


Essay about nature and environment
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