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Genetics and the Environment - Nature Versus Nurture, Twin Studies, Genetic And Environmental Influenceson Intelligence, Evidence That Genes Control Speechand Language

traits organism

Nature prevails enormously over nurture when the differences of nurture do not exceed what is commonly to be found among persons of the same rank of society and in the same country.

—Francis Galton, 1876

Although genetics clearly controls many of an organism's traits, it is simplistic and incorrect to assume that organisms, including humans, are completely defined by their genes. While there are some phenotypes (observable traits) that are exclusively controlled by either genetics or environment, most are influenced by a complex interaction of the two. Modern genetic study defines environment as every influence other than genetic—such as air, water, diet, radiation, and exposure to infection—and it subscribes to the overarching assumption that every trait of every organism is the product of some set of interactions between genes and the environment.

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