"My Genome, My Self" by Steven Pinker
In “My Genome, My Self,” Steven Pinker wrote about how he was getting his genome tested and where exactly personality traits came from - "My Genome, My Self" by Steven Pinker introduction. I thought that this essay was very interesting because it had a lot of information in it, with facts from all different sides of the spectrum. Pinker talked about the sciences of how geneticists proved that every trait a person can have can be linked to genes. He also talked about some part of personality traits are part environmental, yet not the majority. Last he mentioned the “brute chance” of traits coming and growing into a person.
Even though scientists have proven that genetics can be responsible for all traits, I still believe that some of them are brought out by the way we were brought up. Eric Turkheimer said, “The nature-nurture debate is over… All human behavior traits are heritable. ” I believe that they may be traits, but the way we act upon them is in favor of the nurture side of this argument. I believe that I am a very smart individual. I can solve math problems that kids in my grade have never heard of, i. e. derivates, integrals, etc. I also correct my peers’ grammar all the time.
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I was raised in a home where C’s were failing and B’s were barely acceptable. I feel that if I had been raised in a “C’s are okay” household, I would have a C average. I may be extremely intelligent, but I would become lazy and not try so hard. There was a quote on that said, “Having a version of a gene may change the odds making you more or less likely to have a trait, all things being equal, but as we shall see, the actual outcome depends on a tangle of other circumstances as well. ” (140) This statement agreed perfectly with my opinion about this subject.
I believe that if I was raised different, I would be different. This essay had a very stiff argument against my own, as well. It talked about how identical twins are more alike than fraternal twins. Biological siblings are more equal than adopted siblings. And identical twins separated at birth and raised in different adoptive homes are extremely similar (141). Steven Pinker also brought up an interesting subject. The times are changing. This is an “era of consumer genetics. ” (137) I almost question if society wants to use genes as an excuse to why there are “bad” people in this world.
As if society has nothing to do with it. All of the blame can be put on genetics, but I believe that it can be related to the environment, and again, “brute chance” if someone becomes a serial killer. Yes a person can be born with ‘killer’ genes, but there could also be an event in someone’s life to affect them to do something extreme. In conclusion, I believe that this was a very interesting essay. It made me think and question a lot of things and scientific conclusions. I would recommend this as a good read to anyone that enjoys a nice, fluid essay that makes you think about things.