Charles Darwin 's Theory Of Behavior Genetics

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BEHAVIOR GENETICS 2 It is possible to tell where one receives his physical traits from. One can look at a person, then at his parents, and see that he gets his brown hair from his father and blue eyes from his mother. There are other traits that people can receive from their parents that are not as easy to see. The idea that people can receive behavioral traits from one’s parents is the study of behavior genetics. Early Genetics One of the first people to study heritability was Sir Francis Galton. He was inspired by his cousin, Charles Darwin. His research was based around how certain genes were either passed down, or…show more content…
Galton is also credited for creating a mathematical ratio that showed where one got his attributes from, BEHAVIOR GENETICS 3 called the mathematical law of genetics. He believed that “an average of 1/4 contribution by each parent, and 1/16 by each grandparent, and so on through one’s ancestry, such that the sum of the contribution by all of one’s ancestors approached 1.” (The Embryo Project Encyclopedia). Another key figure in behavior genetics is Gregor Mendel. He studied genetics and heritability, and is known as the “father of modern genetics”. Mendel used the garden at his monastery to study how “certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns” (Gregor Mendel Biography). These studies became the foundation of modern genetics and heritability. By using his pea plants, he was able to determine the existence of dominant and recessive genes. Galton and Mendel were the same age, both born in 1822. During the time of their studies, people believed that traits were “the diluted blending of whatever traits were present in the “parents.” ” (Gregor Mendel Biography). Mendel was able to disprove this. He showed that genes can stay dormant in one generation, but reappear in the next. The term “genetics” was not even used until 1906. Mendel did not promote his research, and it was not widely popular. His findings were duplicated independently years later in 1900.
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