This debate has been adamantly debated since the beginning of time. There is Nature, which states who we are is determined before birth, and there is Nurture which states that who we are is based on the environment in which we are raised. John Locke and british empiricists believed that all people were born with a tabula rasa and only experience could establish the behavorial traits of a person.. B. F. Skinner also in a way saw every living animal as a blank slate.
He knew that through science he could condition any animal to do anything through through certain stimuli and punishment and reward. With John Locke and BF Skinner on the nurture side of the debate, I would choose G. W. Liebniz and Noam Chomsky as heroes of the Nature side of the debate. G. W. Liebniz the german contemporary of John Locke, argued that the soul is the fountain of beliefs and doctrine and that no belief can be formed by external experiences.
To expand on that he says that no idea presented from the outside can be accepted unless it is already lurking about in the inside. Noam Chomsky, the famous jewish linguist at MIT, says we are built on a strong foundation of nature. He points out, through years of research of how we learn language, that it would be impossible for us to know any language without infinite amounts of presets and concepts drilled into our head.
From birth we must know what order is and what just makes sense in order to pick up language, and chomsky argues, even math or any solid necessity would be impossible without all the basics already known in our mind. Observing identical twin seems like a sound way to end this debate, considering the twins have the same genes, if they grow up and form the same traits, the Nature side wins, If they grow up radically different or just noticeable different, you would say nurture wins.
This test works even best if say, the identical twins are dramatically seperated at birth, never to see each other ever again until 40 years laters once who they are is permanently established. While I havent read any cases where this has happened under close scientific scrutiny, there is lots of stories about the identical seperated at birth, and they both go on to marry a woman named Mary, they both names there eldest of three boys James Allen, they both work in quality control and drive to work in the same model of car, while brushing there teeth with the same toothpaste before they go to work.
While there is stories like this, there is also even more numerous the boring identical twin story, where two identical twins grow up together, and while during infancy were scarily similar, as they grew up they gradually differentiated to a normal amount and were just as similar as regular non identical siblings. I see something in the last statement. There is countless factors in determing a persons life day to day, every single choice you make decides what kind of future life you will have, and you only get to choose one.
Think of two brothers, on reads a really interesting book and ignites a whole burning passion for all the books he can get his hands on. Then think of the other brother who doesnt ever find a passion for books. The first brother goes to on to become some huge intellectual, because of a lifetime of dedication to learning, the other brother hangs out with friends and turns out to be a regular sociable run of the mill guy.
If scientists were to closely analyze this case it could be easy for them to see a genetic difference between the two brothers, when actually you could say environment and the opportunity to come across a good book sparked the difference. Today, it is largely agreed that nature and nurture are both important factors that bring about a persons behavior and traits. Someone once said when asked about the importance of Nature vs.
Nurture replied asking what was more important for a rectangle, its length or its width. This is largely how most professionals view it today, that both our genes and enviroment shape who we are. The old picture of “Nature vs. Nurture” is a false debate. While it cant be ignored the importance of both,it is still prevalent to see professionals still give more weight to one side or another.
Courtney from Study Moose
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