Nature vs. Nurture

A discussion of the argument nature versus nurture debate in relation to mapping of the human genome.

This paper debates which is better, nature or nurture, in light of the recent advances in bio-medicinal aspects of the human genome which means the possibility of treating illnesses such as cancer, congenital hearing loss and tumors through modification of abnormal cell function either through transfer of functioning genes or gene therapy. It discusses how recent research does prove that the genetic or impact of “nature” on human physiology and behavior is very strong but also puts forward the ‘nurture’ point of view that the “nurture” theory that suggests that genetics can only determine characteristics and intelligence but not social environment, which does play an important role in developing learned behavior.
“Advocates of the “nurture” theory emphasize on the important role played by acquired and learned behavior from the environment. In support of this theory are several experiments such as Marler’s work on the development of bird song, which showed that within the same species of white crowned sparrows, there are regional variations in bird song (Halliday & Slater, 1983). Though most of the experiments, including the work done by Garcia & Koelling (1966) on taste aversion learning and the Wells experiments on sepia attack behavior, do establish that behavior can be learned, they also failed to conclusively establish that any rein forcer is equally effective in increasing the frequency of response (University of Plymouth Online).”