el ambiente de antemano
does this phrase make sense'
I suspect that the original comes from on of those nature/nurture arguments. I have seen similar statements in English that suggest that a person's genetic makeup can influence/determine his environment and, thus, that what might seem to be the result of environment may, in fact, be genetically determined. i.e. Looks like nurture but is really nature.
If you are trying to translate something from English to Spanish, please give the full English sentence with context.
"Una problema con la investigación genética es que los genes pueden determinar el ambiente de antemano."
A native speaker would never say "una problema," so unless you mis-typed this, it wasn't written by a native and could therefore have other problems. But if it was just your typo, it means:
One problem with genetic study is that genes can determine the environment ahead of time.
I'm not sure what that means, but the question of genes versus environment is a common one, and maybe they are saying that genetic makeup can also affect a person's environment. We might be able to help more with another sentence or two of context.
Una problema con la investigación genética es que los genes pueden determinar el ambiente de antemano.
HI liane, no it doesn't. Can you give context'
Written like that, nothing meaningful: "the environment beforehand". However, those words inserted in a full sentence could mean something, but we can't guess unless we have it.
Give us a context, please. Read the forum rules!