Stop arguing about nature v nurture
It was very disappointing to read, in your piece, Is it about nature, not nurture, after all? (12 October), that for all the technological advances of recent times, geneticists still seem to have a very limited understanding of how their discipline interacts with environmental factors. Hence the regurgitation of the old nature v nurture arguments.
Our DNA confers on us certain genetic potential limits with respect to a host of traits; the extent to which these limits are attained is entirely a consequence of the environment in which they develop. Genetic and environmental factors thus work in tandem, not on separate sets of wheels, and the either/or argument is futile.
Geneticists would make their most useful contribution by alleviating particular genetic problems, but most of our efforts should be directed to nurturing the achievement of every individual’s genetic potential. David Barker Bunbury, Western Australia