A New Take on the Nature vs Nurture Debate

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Debates have raged for several generations as to whether our genetic make up has more or less influence than our upbringing. Maybe there is no debate and never should have been.

Debates have raged for several generations, ever since biology and genetics became mainstream knowledge, whether our DNA has more or less influence than our environment. Whether how we are raised or what climate and tribe mates we deal with have more impact than our pre-programmed biology. Nature versus nurture. Nurture versus nature. If the two factors were to slug it out, which would win?

This is incredibly typical of human beings. We seem to have an inherent drive to categorize things, especially into opposing sides. One or the other. Black or white. Us versus Them. But when it comes to what influences the development of our species as a whole and as individuals, there is – no, not shades of gray, although those are in there, too – but stripes, dots and splotches of black and white, all interwoven. And don’t forget all the other colors of the rainbow. We are exposed to a wide kaleidoscope of factors that shape us. Inside and outside.

Quite honestly, the entire debate of nature vs nurture is ridiculous. There is nothing to debate. According to the most recent findings, it turns out to be pretty much 50-50. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. As such, there is no reason to try and tilt the scales one way or the other – the scales are already balanced. Each side contains different as well as similar factors, but the grand totals come out even.

Life is complicated. What influences us to become who we are is complicated. Not necessarily because we make it that way, but because life is full of a wide variety of stuff that we have to deal with. Genetic code. Parents and other guardians. Bosses. Siblings and peers. Weather and other environmental conditions. The moon and its cycle. Solar flares and other radiation. Acid rain, toxic waste and other pollutants. And I’m sure you can think of plenty of other internal as well as external influences that can shape an organism. Especially one as complicated as homo sapiens.

Despite our need to categorize, we can’t allow ourselves to take two factors that either appear to be opposites or perhaps are two similar yet equally strong factors and then discount one over the other. Studying both factions simultaneously is the ticket. Learn how to differentiate between the two as far as which one may affect a particular facet of our development more or how much each affects the same facet is the better and more reasonable approach. If we are to truly study and understand how we turn out the way we do, all factors must be weighed in. All of them.


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