Nature vs Nurture

Essay by Eronne October 2004

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I would like to tell you something about the nature-nurture debate. The question of whether differences in peoples personalities, talents, intelligence, physical qualities, athletic abilities, and behaviour reflect genetic differences or differences in the ways in which the person has been brought up is an absorbing question. The two explanations for how humans develop their behaviour are nature and nurture (genetics and environment).

The basis of nature is the principle that people have their personalities engraved inside their genes, which are inherited by their parents. The basis of nurture is that environment plays a big role in the development of a persons personality. Both environment and nature have an influence on a persons behaviour. All the evidence shown up to this day has not concluded that either one nature or nurture is the exclusive reason for why one behaves the way they do, but I'm going to give three important factors.

Firstly, it has been discovered that the environment accounts for the dominant part of most traits¡¯ variations. For example, there are identical twins which have almost the same genes. They were separated to two families after birth, a poor family in village and a wealthy family in city. When they grew up, the one in wealthy family is strong, extroverted and well educated. By contrast, the other was thin, introverted and nearly illiterate. The parental support and education become major influences of their personality development. This fact well demonstrates the importance of nurturing.

Secondly, a genetic ability can not be activated without exposing to a certain environment. For example, a musician's son has a genetic musical ability, but he will never be a musician without the environment to promote the development of that ability such as the element teaching of rhythm and instruments. But for a farmer's child, if...