Does nature or nurture determine a persons phenotype?

By Aidan, Beck, Deanna, Jasmin, Katie and Novee


Nature or Nurture? Genes or environment? This is the question that scientists have been asking for years, and we think that we finally know the answer. It’s pretty obvious that our DNA codes for traits, but how much influence does the environment play? Quite a bit, but it doesn’t match genetics in its role of deciding who we are before we are even born.


It is a mixture of both, however nature (genetics) has shown to be stronger than nurture. There are several examples where this has been shown. For example, here shows a study done with 137 pairs of twins - 81 pairs were identical and 56 were fraternal. This study helped prove that nature was indeed stronger especially with the case of the Jim twins, who were separated at birth. When they were finally reunited after almost 40 years of being apart they found that they both suffered from tension headaches, were prone to biting their nails, smoked Salem cigarettes, drove the same sort of car and even visited the same beach in Florida for a holiday. All of this helps us form the opinion that while it is a mixture of both, genetics is ultimately stronger.



In this research project, we asked the question, “Is it Genetics that make us who we are, or the Environment?” Like with everything in this world, the answer is neither black nor white, but a subtle, delicate shade of grey. Although our genetics code for traits, environmental influences can change our outside appearance or switch genes on and off. On a deeper level only certain genes, ones that help a species in their environment, will be passed on so you could say that the environment is constantly sculpting and changing the genome of life at large.