In the history of life, no gene has ever been expressed in the absence of environmental influences. These environmental influences, in turn, come in two distinct but interacting types: a genetic environment created by the unique combination of fifty thousand distinct alleles in every person, and an external environment with thousands of factors–temperature, disease, nutrition, learning experiences, social milieu, and so on–that influence whether a gene is expressed at all and if so, when, where, and how much. Likewise, it’s not possible for experience, learning, training, or other aspects of nurture to create a trait in the absence of the structures and potentials created by gene products. There is simply no such thing as nature versus nurture.

Thoughts for a Thursday from Saving Tarboo Creek

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