Nature represents what we are born with and cannot control.
Our biological make up is determined by the genes we receive from our parents (reside in the 23 pairs of chromosomes, 23 from each parent.) “A gene is a segment of DNA or a sequence of nucleotides in DNA that codes for a functional product,” (Tortora, Microbiology. 575.) These genes not only affect our outlook, but also play a significant role in determining our behavior and our well-being.
Usually, these theories were one directional in the nature / nurture question.
Today, a new approach to deal with this question is emerging.
The controversy over what determines who we are, whether it is Nature (heredity, our biological make up) or Nurture (our environment) is taking a new shape.
Through the past decades, psychologists have developed different theories to explain the characteristics of human-beings; how we feel, think and behave.Another study on heredity and alcoholism conducted by Goodwin (1973) indicated that adoptees with alcoholic parents were four times more likely to become alcoholics than those without, although there was no such relationship with alcohol misuse in adoptive parents, (Pelle, Stanton. Even though scientists have only identified 16,000 out of the total 100,000 genes, many psychological diseases are on the verge of being unraveled.Take for instance schizophrenia, a disease characterized by (hallucinations, delusions, flat or inappropriate emotional expression, paranoia and suspiciousness).In fact, the more we understand about development and behavior, the more obvious it becomes that nature and nurture are similarly influences rather than determinants, not only singly but also in combination.Here below, I will endeavor to expose the leading theories dealing with the question of nature vs. I will also try to present the third, new-emerging approach meant to solve the mystery of “What is it that makes us who we are? We animals exist for their preservation and are nothing more than their throwaway survival machines.” This is what Richard Dawkins states in his book: The Selfish Gene.People in this camp argue that man is a product of his environment.Some extremists went as far as saying: give us any new born infant and we will shape him/her just the way we want, by placing him/her in the desired environment.In his international best seller book, he argues that we are merely a product of our genes and our main purpose in life is to serve the genes, become distribution agents and ensure their proliferation.Before we take any stand to Dawkins’ statement, let us familiarize ourselves with what is meant when the term nature is used.“Through new genetic studies, clinical observation, and research on identical twins and adopted children, we are becoming increasingly aware that many of the human characteristics previously taken for granted as products of childhood rearing and environment are rooted in the genetic matrix.”, (Neubrauer, Peter.p 38) Studies of identical twins reared apart have provided researchers with a lot of clues about the role of heredity in everyday life behavior.