Evolution, adaptation and behavioural responses of species or specimens?

Category : Editorial

The study on the behaviour of twins is quite old in U.S.A. Now that the studies are also based on genes or inherited qualities, the discussions on nature versus nurture is becoming acute.

It is also because of the overtones of cultural differences in the different countries of the world, that the results are also hotly debated. Recently, Nancy Sega!, psychologist, has conducted a research on virtual twins or unrelated children born within nine months of each other but brought up by the same family. They were compared with siblings in the same family. The conclusion is drawn that nature is the more important than nurture- The study forgets that many families who also adopt other children, will automatically or unknowingly differentiate between them by being either overprotective towards the adopted children or discriminating against them. How this affects the children is another matter.

Studies on cotton have shown that whatever may be treatment, variation within the seed is always greater than the variation between the seeds.

Similarly everyone of us must have observed that the variation of responses within the same person on the time axis is much more than the variation between persons during the same period. We have seen a total change in the personality of a person in many instances. A person who hates maths in schools, opts for maths in colleges and becomes a mathematician because of the unobtrusive positive inspiration of a kind professor. While most of the children of good parents do grow up as good persons, many children become very good persons because they do not like the bad behaviour of their parents.

It appears that neither genes nor upbringing alone that is important. The total positive interaction of children with family, friends, a good atmosphere, plus good books to read, the interaction with the great in any field, all these change the personality of a person to a great extent. Developed human specimens also change the species, homo sapiens.

It is not the inborn characteristics, circumstances of birth and upbringing alone that makes a person a genius. It is his determination to be great. A farmer's son in New Zealand made his decision to be great while picking potatoes and decided to be scientist. He was Ernest Rutherford, the first baron of Rutherford, the father of atomic physics and a Nobel Laureate. Anyone of you can be a Rutherford or an Einstein. Have the will to do it. You shall succeed.


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