I guess it <em>is</em> genetic.


Categories: Personal

So, I’ve always wondered which of my many traits are hereditary, and which are learned. I got a chance to explore these boundaries a bit over the last week, because my mom was in town. A few curious points:

It’s strange; ten years ago, I would have had a hard time identifying any of my mom’s personality traits in me, but as time goes on, they become more obvious. It’s sort of the opposite of what you’d naively expect; you’d think that, over time, genetic influences would be less and less important, but in fact, they seem to exert an ever-greater pull over time.

It was a fun visit, especially because she got to write about my junk fax case, which had its first court hearing last Wednesday.

Comments [archived]

From: linsee
Date: 2003-07-09 11:24:48 -0500

Why thank you!

(Peter’s mom)

From: Nix
Date: 2004-04-14 17:47:10 -0500

To be pedantic, this is like saying `I found out which of my computer’s behaviours were due to the hardware, and which to the software’. i.e., for almost all but the simplest things, it’s not just wrong but meaningless.

Virtually everything is an interaction between the two — particularly since evolved systems love feedback loops so much.

(The simplest things get implemented as feedback loops: look up the notch gene one of these days… a ~30-minute-period clock/trigger, implemented as a gene that produces a protein that suppresses its own expression, making the period of the clock twice the time taken to transcribe DNA to protein. I can’t imagine a human engineer working that way, but every vertebrate’s spine was segmented like that.)