The debate between nature vs. nurture has been a controversial and debated topic for centuries. It is a debate on whether or not human development is molded by their genetics or their environment. Many scientist and philosophers have debated and made their own theories for the matter, including Charles Darwin, who in the 18th century developed the theory that human development was shaped by their parents’ genetics.
In contrary to Darwin, the French naturalist Jean Lamarck had a completely different view on human development, claiming that genetics did not matter in human development and that the biggest factor in human development was the environment in which this human was developed. Both men had great points and theories but through the years Darwin’s theory has been favored; but as of lately scientists are currently starting to lean more and more to Lamarck’s theory.
Agreeing with the scientist, I too am also leaning towards Lamarck’s theory. Although I do believe that human development is definitely shaped by their parent’s genetics, I believe that no matter how good your genetics are that if you are put in a bad environment, your development will be negatively effected, regardless of how good your genes were. Ironically, this debate of nature vs. nurture carried through to a book I was assigned to read this summer called East of Eden.
East of Eden was a very interesting and complex book and is one of those books that every time you read it you will discover something interesting and new that you never discovered before. One of the main interesting things that you will discover when reading this book is the idea of timshel, which is introduced by one of the characters in the novel named Lee. Lee was the servant to the main family in the novel and throughout the novel is trying to teach and spread his idea of timshel to one of the main characters in the book Cal.
Cal is mischievous and pernicious, and is also a risk taker, and he is also haunted with the idea that he is evil and that he is forced to be evil because his mom was also evil and that he had acquired her genetics. Lee’s purpose in sharing timshel to Cal was to coax him that every human had the ability to be good and that no human is stuck being evil and that with persistence every one can become good. Cal at first is hesitant to believe Lee’s theory but by the end of the book begins to appreciate and believe, that I the main connection between East of Eden and the debate between nature vs. nurture.