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Nature vs. Nurture? Or perhaps a little bit of both

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posted on Feb, 18 2010 @ 01:20 PM

I am interested in what you, the ATS community, think about the debate of nature vs. nurture.

Are our actions and personalities and everything about our lives predetermined by our genes? By how we are built, and not because of environmental stimuli.

Or do we develope personality and potential through learning and environmental factors?

Personally i beleive that genes only give you the potential of something, not the certainty that it will be there. Just because you have the gene for something doesnt mean it will be expressed. We have switch-off areas of code in the genome that can turn off individual genes. So if they are unused, say a gene that codes for a protein used to digest milk and you dont drink any milk, our bodies will notice that this protein is unnecessary and a waste of our resources and so is switched off. So we can have genes which we dont use.

Conversly we cant use genes that we dont have... so if you wernt born with them, you wouldnt be able to express that trait. So this means that we can either express a trait we genetically have, repress a trait we genetically have, or we lack the trait.

This means that there is a genetic potential you are born with. There will be a maximum to everything, muscle mass, intelligence, brain size, testosterone levels what have you... there will be a maximum (because you cant express what you dont have the genes for). However because environment driven nature of genes, that switch off when not used, we have to expose ourselves to the stimuli that would trigger these genes... ie if you are genetically predisposed to being big and strong (you have the right combination of genes, that allow you to grow muscle faster, better, adapt ligaments etc.) you will still have to work to become strong, if you never excercise you may still be slightly stronger than people who do the same as you but arnt genetically predisposed, but you wont automatically be huge.

So the question of nature over nurture and vice versa have always confused and interested me... for me its clear that you cant outperform your genes, but how you use them depends on what you do and how you developed, making both sides wrong.

Interested in your thoughts,


posted on Feb, 18 2010 @ 01:38 PM
Nature allows the existence of nurture as it seems to have become a success at creating more nurture driven off springs that can use that nature to repeat the cycle. But some species like octopus have only their mother's nurture in terms of her finding a suitable birthing place.

Most importantly, we should have to realize that other people (or guardians) than the biological parents should have a place in nurturing if they have a greater experience.

posted on Feb, 18 2010 @ 04:00 PM
Obviously the two play roles to certain extents. However there are some good (actually sad in a way) cases of children who were abandoned and raised with dogs in war stricken areas in the Ukrain or away from the normal environments which made great cases for nurture.

I have seen another doc. where the psychologists said that certain human skills like speech, abstract thinking, numeracy, among others have to be hard wired through stimulation by a certain age or they can not be wired at all. The result is a developmental delay or what appears to be mental disability.

posted on Feb, 19 2010 @ 03:06 AM
When it comes to the body, I would say nature (genes) has more say but when it comes to the mind, I would say nurture has more say.

So to speak of course.

Let's say 60/40 as outlined above.

The end result? You as a whole is influenced by roughly 50% of each.

That's my take!

(Just to elaborate a little, I often ask myself the same question and I find myself putting forth equally strong arguements when I "pick a side".)

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