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Do genes really determine behaviour?

  1. Dec 3, 2006 #1
    From the blog "only a game":

    Is it true that an unknown (and currently unprovable) process is involved in the relation between genes and behaviour?
    Are there any ideas what this proces might be?


    Is it true that findings that link behaviour to genes are hardly ever replicated? If so why are they hyped so much?
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2006 #2

    Another God

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    i doubt its that unknowbale. It is just complex. And most likely some behavioural attributes are less complicated than others.

    First of all you have to consider what a behaviour is physiologically. behaviours come from the brain, and behaviours can be manipulated from manipulating the brain directly. It has been experimentally shown that you can make people find something funny by stimulating a part of the brain for instance.

    So the brain controls our behaviours with electrical gradients and chemicals. These chemicals interact with brain cells which have been designed from our genes. The easiest example of programmed behaviour for me is that of the adrenaliln junky. It has been demonstrated that some people react negatively to fear, while others embrace it. this reaction (behaviour) is based upon how their brain cells react to seratonin (if I recall correctly). the point being that that reaction would absolutely be ontrolled by genetic factors in the construction of the brain. just because we have not yet discovered exactly what genetic factors combine to create that behaviour does not mean they are not genetically designed.

    they are hyped because people can associate with the one behaviour one gene concept. it is simple for them to absorb and makes for good press.

    obviously, experimentally, the truth has been very different (as I would have expected could have been assumed) and the behaviours of an animal as complicated as us (or any mammal) are rarely if ever controlled by a single genetic factor.

    I think it would be absurd to expect something as variable as behaviour (think of all of the differences between humans!!!!) to be controlled by one gene in a 'yes' 'no' setup. of COURSE it is a consequence of many variable factors!
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