posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 06:14 PM
This is a question that people have been asking for a very long time. Experts have their opinions, yet for every study we come across to indicate
something, we find another to prove otherwise. My goal here is to thoroughly examine both aspects of this age old question, and see what members of
ATS have to say about it.
Have our genetics played the determining role in the person we become, or is the environment we live in determining who we are?
Right from the moment of conception, external factors begin to act upon the embryo. In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the central nervous system
is developed, and any drug the mother ingests, may lead to permanent damage to the child. So, we are a product of our environment. Right? How great
would it be if it were that simple. Our genetics obviously determine the person we are at birth, but I strongly believe that it is our environment
that will ultimately determine the person we become.
Arnold Gessell, a maturationist, belives that a child will develop physically regardless of their environment. At this month, this happens, at this
month, this will happen, by one year, a child can walk, etc., this is the understanding of a maturationist. They can defend their message by several
studies. Nomads are known to keep their child with them at all times. The child is normally bonded to the mother and remains tied to her body for
most of the first year. With the lack of movement, the child loses out on its crawling phase, lifting its head at a young age, etc., yet when they do
first put the child down, within a few days he/she can walk. The child needed very little practice, just had the ability at this age. I disagree
with this, but I do not deny the findings.
Other studies took separate children and had some play with blocks and practice climbing stairs, while the others did not have a chance to practice.
At a certain age, they compared the two groups. The children who practiced with the blocks had a slight edge than those who did not, but when it came
to climbing stairs, the children with no practice were often found to climb much better. With no practice at all. It is studies like this, that have
maturationists banking their beliefs on.
Personally, I have to disagree with them. I believe these studies are nothing more than a tool of disinformation towards others that indicate a child
needs practice. A child needs to socialize. Maturationists believe that a child can be tossed into a situation and quickly adapt.
If a child is kept to them self, with no social interaction, he/she will not develop naturally. Children who were raised with no interaction become
very hardened. They do not cry, they rarely speak, when they become older they are severely handicapped with social skills. Interactionists believe
that it is the environment that plays the largest role in the development of young children. I agree with this. A mothers love is one of the most
important aspects of raising a young child.
So what do you agree with? Are you a maturationist? Or are you an interactionist?
Me? I think they are both nonsense. I think they are both tools of disinformation. On both sides of the coin we have absolutely brilliant men, who
spent their life time trying to prove that their belief was correct. I applaud them on it, but how the hell can you deny the other? I fully support
nurture, more so than nature, but how can you believe one does not play any role?
Gessell, Skinner, Watson, & Bandura, these guys were brilliant. Yet they were hell bent that their side was right, and there was no other way. I
believe both are forms of disinformation.
It is obvious that our environment plays an enormous role in the person we become. But it is also just as obvious that our genetics play a very large
role as well. Anyone who says that it is one, and only one, is taking a narrow minded approach and trying to deny countless studies. I believe some
of the studies that we read of took a very biased approach when they reported some of their findings.
With this theory, I believe we need to look at another theory to fully understand it. The Continuum theory is what I believe we need to look at to
fully understand. It is not one or other, it is gray. Just like everything else in life. There are no constants, just a combination of
At one end we have Nature, at the other we have Nurture, and each child is placed in the middle somewhere. I believe my environment has played the
biggest factor in my upbringing. So I would place myself closer to the nurture end. Someone who had their genetics play a large role in their
upbringing, would be placed closer to nature.
We are always a combination of both. Prejudice? No one can ever say they have never had a prejudicial thought. We all have them to some degree.
Albeit a very small degree, but still, a degree. It is human nature to assume. We try to minimize it if we can, but it still happens.
So now I turn to the members of our site. I look to your thoughts and opinions on this subject. Maturation? Interaction? What do you believe? Is
it one or the other? Is it a combination of both? Do you agree with my continuum belief?
I am normally open to all opinions, but on this one I believe I have come down and come down for good. I believe it is a degree on the continuum.
And my final question, does anyone else agree that a lot of these studies are a tool of disinformation?
[edit on 29-11-2006 by chissler]