Are You a Product of Nature or Nurture?

Are You a Product of Nature or Nurture?

Epigenetics, the study of how our genes are affected by our environment and also literally translated as “outside regular genetics” gets pretty interesting in the wake of the nature vs. nurture debate.

Are you the way you are because of the genes you inherited from your parents or because of the experiences you have had in your life? That has been the question asked for hundreds of years in the nature vs. nurture debate. Yet, this is where it gets quite fascinating. It turns out that nature and nurture are inextricably intertwined.

This is very apparent in an experiment done in 2013. Mice have a mutated gene called the agouti gene which makes them yellow in color, prone to diabetes and other diseases, and obese. In a study of epigenetics in agouti mice, cloned mice – that is genetically identical mice to the agouti mice in the experiment – were given different nutrients than the control study, and they slowly began to change into non-obese mice. [1] [2]

One could argue that this epigenetic (outside regular genetic) change was simply due to nutrient density and the associated physiological changes, but this experiment has been conducted again in various forms using environmental cues such as love, anger, poverty, and more. Each of these emotional nutrients – as we’ll label them – result in changes in the genome.

Researchers are even now discovering an epigenetic connection between DNA methylation of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) and how we respond to stress. [3]

The genome adapts to both intrinsic and environmental signals. This means that you are a product of both nature and nurture because nature will always respond to how you are cared for and loved (even by yourself) or ignored, hated, feared, abandoned, etc.

Our epigenetic memories are passed down through our DNA. Scientists have recently observed this happening for at least 14 generations! [4] Can you even imagine what kind of stresses or lifestyle your grandparents, grandparents, grandparents were enduring, that then imprinted upon your genes and created a chemical signal that can incite either stress or relaxation and joy in you?

Some of those inherited environmental traits were passed down through nature, and are now in you. There are those which will make you respond to challenges in a heroic way and those that will make you crumble with the weight of a feather. Just knowing that your DNA has been altered by the experiences of your ancestors can seem daunting, but it also gives you the power to change maladaptive responses that may have been created when your great-great-great-great-great grandmother was running from a tiger, or your uncle ten times removed endured a six-month-long famine in the desert during an extended absence of rain.

You may be driving across town to get to a meeting on time, and feel that if you don’t hurry up and get there, that your very life is somehow on the line, but this may also be an exaggerated response based on past DNA programming from stressful experiences that your ancestors endured.

Now that you know this, you can choose a different response, and start a new chain of positive adaptation – DNA mutation, if you will — that allows you to stay calm under any circumstance. This new trait can then be passed down to future generations.

You’re DNA is shaped by nurture, and evolved through nature, but how it responds is based entirely on you.

If you would like to learn more about how to change your DNA, and “reset” it to reflect feelings of joy, fulfillment, health, and vitality, consider reading The Power of the Elevation of Consciousness: Soul Restructuring. It covers this topic and many other salient points so you can nurture your DNA into a new state.


  1. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression: how the genome integrates intrinsic and environmental signals.
  2. Dolinoy, D. C. (2008). The agouti mouse model: an epigenetic biosensor for nutritional and environmental alterations on the fetal epigenome. Nutrition Reviews66, S7-S11. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00056.x
  3. Kirkpatrick, Bailey. Epigenetic Tags on Serotonin transporter Gene Linked to Stress. What is Epigenetics
  4. Signe, Dean. Scientists Have Observed Epigenetic Memories Being Passed Down for 14 Generations. Science Alert.
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