Nature and Nurture

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Nature and nurture is a concept that was coined in the modern sense by Francis Galton, an English Victorian polymath (a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning). He spurred the debate with his book English Men of Science: Their Nature and Nurture (1874), which is regarded as “possibly the most original of all the great Victorians” (Trotter 113). The concept of nature and nurture refers to a binary view of how identical twins develop. One side of the view, nature, states that identical twins will develop similarly no matter how they are raised because they are genetically identical. The other side, nurture, emphasizes that environmental factors are more important than genetic similarities. Genetic predispositions (nature), however, have shown to have a much greater influence in identical twin development.

The NCHPEG states that “Monozygotic twins share all of their genes, while dizygotic twins share only about fifty percent of them, the same as non-twin siblings. If a researcher compares the similarity between sets of identical twins to that of fraternal twins for a particular trait, then any excess likeness between the identical twins should be due to genes rather than environment” (“Twin Studies” ). An example of monozygotic twins who were separated at birth – Jim Lewis and Jim Springer – met for the first time at age 39, on 9 February, 1979. Upon meeting each other, they discovered striking similarities. They had been married twice, both times to women with the same names. Both twins had named their sons James Allan and they also owned a dog named Toy. These similarities caught the attention of Dr. Thomas Bouchard from the University of Minnesota, who studied the characteristics of the ‘Jim twins’. The results of tests t...

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...portant role in the development of identical twins reared apart.

Works Cited

Banerjee, Jacqueline. "Francis Galton (1822-1911)." The Victorian Web. N.p., 3 May 2007. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.

Bouchard, Thomas. "Sources of Human Psychological Differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart." Science. Version 250. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 12 Oct. 1990. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

"Other Twin Research at the U of M." Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research. The Regents of the University of Minnesota, 4 Sept. 2007. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

Siegel-Itzkovich, Judy. "Nature versus Nurture: Human personality." JPost. The Jerusalem Post, 8 Apr. 2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

"Study of identical twins separated at birth and reunited later in life." Twins Separated at Birth. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.

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