It is a topic that has been explored by many scientists and psychologists for years now and there are now some relevant conclusions.
First, one must understand both sides to this discussion. The nature side refers to our genetic code being the predisposition to disease and other physical or mental problems. Environmental factors play no part. Dr. Sapolsky explains the common argument for nature.
“Genes equal things that can’t be changed. Genes equal things that are inevitable and that you might as well not waste resources trying to fix, might as well not put societal energies into trying to improve because it’s inevitable and it’s unchangeable. And that is sheer nonsense.”
– Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Neurological Science, Stanford University
On the other hand, the nurture side focuses on environmental factors that contribute to development and genes play no part. When analyzing the bigger picture many scientists can agree that the truth lies in the area between.
“Genes are not just things that make us behave in a particular way regardless of our environment. Genes give us different ways of responding to our environment. And in fact it looks as if some of the early childhood influences and the kind of child rearing affect gene expression: actually turning on or off different genes to put you on a different developmental track which may suit the kind of world you’ve got to deal with.”
– Richard Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of Social Epidermiology, University of Nottingham
So how is any of this relevant to the problems of today? The environment that an individual is surrounded by plays a huge part in human development. Take a look at society today. It is not difficult to see the problems that are destroying the last bit of integrity within our society.
We are living in an environment that creates serious social problems based on fundamental issues that are built into our system. Understanding that it is because our system creates circumstances for these problems to exist, is the first step to making the changes necessary to correcting them. It is a vastly complex issue, but modern science is making progress on understanding these complexities. We should incorporate what we know about human development and eliminate anything that has the potential to affect it in a negative way. Lets create the first ever civilized society.
I encourage you to watch this clip, which takes a much closer look on this issue.
What do you think? Please let me know by leaving a comment