IB31Lecture+outline+9+QuantGenI+Sp08 - IB 31, Sp, 2008...

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IB 31, Sp, 2008 February 20, 2008 III. Nature / Nurture Controversy. As a result of Darwinian revolution and the rediscovery of Mendelian genetics (at the turn of the century), a school developed that believed that most animal behavior was inborn and "instinctive". The term instinct comes from Descarte who was trying to explain complex behaviors in animals without giving the special human characteristic of a soul. It became common to explain a behavior by labeling it an instinct and ignoring any environmental influences. Davenport (American) believed that most behaviors were controlled by a single gene. He went so far as to suggest in 1921 that it appears probable, from extensive pedigrees that have been analyzed, that feeble- mindedness of the middle and higher grades is inherited as a simple recessive trait, or approximately so. (Both Galton and Davenport believed in Eugenics, a term that Galton coined.) Opposing view, expounded by Watson, (American Psychologist) developed called "Behaviorism" - most consequential behavior was learned or influenced by experience. This set the stage for the Nature/Nurture controversy that raged for the next 40 years and which separated the European Ethologists (Lorenz and Tinbergen) from the American Psychologists such as Lehrman. Cornell story. Eventually, ethologists and behavioral geneticists produced sufficient data to put the question of development into perspective. Most behaviors had both genetic and environmental underpinnings, just as did morphological traits. For example, Scott and Fuller, who worked on genetics of canid behavior for 20 years, wrote that they found no behavioral trait that could not be modified by selection. They studied behaviors such as “pointing” and “barking”, using inter-breed crosses. They found what appeared to be polygenic effects. However, behaviorism died hard. Give example of Kuo's explanation of pecking in baby chicks. Occasionally, question of Nature and Nurture still rear their head, although most
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IB31Lecture+outline+9+QuantGenI+Sp08 - IB 31, Sp, 2008...

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