Nature vs Nurture

The Nature vs. Nature is by far not even a new argument.  With very little effort I came across references on the internet discussing the topic going back as far the 1850 in our modern times.  Additionally if you read stories and poems from ancient times you can see that the writers had given the topic extensive thought.

It is very important to understand that one of the first things I noted was that people who are successful and from successful families tended to support the Nature side (Success is in our genetics, we are superior).  While those less successful and from families that have traditionally been on the lower end of the economic scale tended to support the Nurture side (not my fault, I am this way because of my parents, the government, etc…).  Why is this important?  Because no matter what science proves to be true, no matter how much the evidence to the contrary, this debate will continue as long as folks have a vested interest in one of the opposing sides being true.  Consider this idea and look into yourself, which side do you favor? Can you open your mind to other possibilities?

Over the years many studies have been done to determine whether nature or nurture is the determining factor on the person a human grows into.  After years of study after study being conducted, many great minds carefully reviewing the date, science has finally been able to clearly demonstrate… Wait for It! … that both sides of the argument are correct.

As I spoke of in my article, some of the examples of studies supporting the Nature side of the argument have been conducted on identical twins that have been separated at birth and raised without contact with each other.  One of my favorite case studies was comparing the lives of these twins as adults.  Often the adults in the study had no idea that they had a twin, and as a result at the completion of the study most had the opportunity to meet their brother or sister for the first time in their lives.  In these studies it was found more often than not, that these twins made very similar life choice despite that fact that the families raising them were usually very different.

Some popular examples are the two brothers, one raised in a city and the other out in country.  The twin from the city became the chief of the local fire department, while the twin from the country heads up the local state park rangers forest fire prevention and containment service.  These two liked the same foods, both drive a truck of the same color, and even married women so similar in appearance they had to wear name tags at their husband’s reunion so people could tell them apart.  Another example were a different set of two brothers, one adopted into a Baptist house hold, and the other into a Jewish. The two brothers were amazed to learn when they met for the first time that one as a Rabi and the other a Minister. 

But not all examples are positive.  In one case the twin sisters followed amazingly similar paths in life, both raised in seemingly good households and families, yet suffered from drug abuse, were involved in prostitution, did jail time, and had multiple failed marriages. 

Lastly others studies have shown that boys raised without contact with their fathers still tend to display a greater number of personality traits in common with their biological father, then with the men who actually raised them.          

At the genetic level we are all slightly different.  So much so that genetic testing of two brothers born to the same parents can clearly be told apart.  Since every single human is different from each other on a genetic level, it also stands to reason that everyone’s instincts will express themselves at different intensities under exactly the same perceptions.  Sounds a great deal like Nature to me…

Those who support the side of nurture have a huge of ammunition as well.  Many studies have tied the home conditions a child is raised in directly to the rate that those same children will either go on to obtain a college degree, or on the negative side end up in jail.  Some popular examples are how children raised by single parent (usually the mother) house hold are many times more likely to be involved in a crime then children raised with both parents present.  This effect extended to step & adopted parents as well implying that it is having the male & female influence in a child’s life that seems to be the most critical.  Other studies have shown that boys raised only by their mothers, without a male influence, exhibit a much higher rate of having trouble forming health relationships with women as adults (Counter intuitive isn’t it); When compared to boys raise with both a male and female influence.  

Many studies have clearly linked conditions of poverty in a child’s house hold to higher crime rates, higher teen pregnancy rates, lower high school graduation rates, low collage entry rates, and lower overall life time earning potential.  Certainly seems that strong evidence supporting the Nurture side of the argument exists.     

Humans are an animal.  As we discussed in other posts, natural controls on Human behavior evolved lock step with human’s ever increasing capability to express free will.  Nature did not leave humans at the complete mercy of our instincts.  In fact the system of perception evolved right along and as part   the human behavior control system.  Let us review; perception is the interpretation of the data we are receiving from our environments.  The key word in the last sentence is interpretation.  Remember that our interpretation of events is a result of our experiences and our education.  So it would seem that Nature evolved humans to have a very natural way that Nurture can have a strong influence on behavior doesn’t it?  Here at Dragon Tamers we see this as perfectly expected since environments can change from moment to moment, while evolutionary response may take many, many generations.  Any species that could learn not only from experience, but also from the parents would have a greater chance of survival in ever changing conditions.    

Now if you have been following, then you may have noted that both perception AND genetic predisposition are by themselves at best random.  Mix the two and at a purely mathematical level it is easy to see that final behavior of any given individual, while still dependent on both the genetic predisposition AND the life experiences, are unpredictable. 

Please let me know what you think, I am looking forward to your feedback.   

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