Nature or nurture

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Buddha1, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Duendy: You sound like one of those academic types who consider a new born infant a blank slate on which environment writes. This might be a very politically correct view, but I doubt that ican can be supported except as a matter of liberal faith.
    Proof you do not get outside of the world of mathematics. Convincing arguments can, however, be presented.
    • Most people are born with an intellectual advantage over those born with various forms of mental retardation, generally believed to be due to genetic heritage. These unfortunate individuals are at one extreme and the geniuses like Einstein, Bohr, Mozart, Da Vinci, et al are at the other extreme strongly suggesting a bell shaped curve of intellectual abilities based on genetic heritage.

    • Similarly, there seems to be a lot of evidence supporting the view that genetic heritage can provide some individuals with a greater potential for physical abilities. Once again there are unfortunates at one extreme born with no chance to become excellent athletes. Then there are the athletes like Ted William, Michael Jordan, and others who so excel that the merely excellent athlete knows he was never destined to be that good.

      In sprinting and long distance running there is very compelling evidence for genetic heritage. In the past 30-40 years, the top 50 to 100 long distance runners at any given time either lived in a region of East Africa or descended from people who lived there. Over this same period of time, the top 50 to 100 sprinters came from a region in West Africa or descended from those who lived there.

    • It has been known for perhaps 100 years that longevity has a strong genetic component. People with 4 grandparents who lived an active life into their 90's are known to be more likely to exceed the average life span than individuals with short lived grand parents.
    Can you provide some convincing arguments that genetic heritage has no effect on the potential for intelligence, physical abilities, or longevity?

    Again, I claim that genetic heritage places upper limits on the potential abilities of an individual, while environmental factors govern how much (or how little) of that potential will be realized.
     
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  3. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

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    Not contending what you're saying, isn't it also true that the exceptionally gifted people in one area (like Mozart, etc.) are also often severely handicapped in another human aspect --- that 'average' people are well endowed with (e.g. being adept at social skills)?
     
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  5. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Budda1:It is has been my experience that the really gifted have a variety of skills. Intelligence is very versatile. It is also suggestive of a good central nervous system, which is a requirement for athletic skills.
    Neils Bohr was a gifted almost world class athlete. He was happily married, and I think had a mistress. I think his wife and children loved and admired him. He allowed institute funds to publish a a newsletter similar to the Harvard Lampoon. I think it was called The Journal of Jocular Physics.

    Einstein was married (twice, I think), played the violin reasonably well, and had an excellent sense of humor. He was generally well liked by his colleagues.

    In 9th through 11th grades, one of my best friends was incredibly smart at languages, physics, mathematics, anything he turned his attention toward. He was generally well liked. He later won several Tony awards as a composer and lyricist.

    I have come to believe that the common view of the very bright not having social and other skills is due to a very specific type of individual who is often known as the class brain. The few of these types that I have known devoted all of their time and efforts to making good grades, in order to compensate for a lack of social, athletic, and other skills. The brightest seemed to me to be the people who made good (not necessarily superior grades) with very little effort due to being involved in social, athletic, and other activities.
     
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  7. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

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    I don't know about other things --- but I think brawn and brain don't quite go together. There has been a recent study on this too. I've experienced it myself. When I do weights a lot (which I haven't done for 3 years) my 'brain' capacity --- to think and analyse, goes down. I think our body resources cannot handle too much of both at the same time.

    When I said specially gifted people, I meant whizz kids. You could be right about what you're saying though, cause I really don't have much information on it.
     
  8. RickyH Valued Senior Member

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    yea but the weight lifting cause on brain capacity could be from other things like bad breathing .... but honestly excerising is good for your brain it gives you increased attention spand and other things better sleeping habbits ect.
     
  9. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

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    you mean like ideologies and systems (including religious) that support terrorism!
     
  10. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

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    Environment may not create something positive, but it can definitely destroy and limit the natural potentialities of a child.

    Like you said:

    "Again, I claim that genetic heritage places upper limits on the potential abilities of an individual, while environmental factors govern how much (or how little) of that potential will be realized."
     
  11. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Budda1: Do you have a source for the following?
    Bobbie Fisher used to exercise before chess matches because he needed his body to be in good shape to support the intense brain activity.

    I do not remember the figures, but I know that the brain uses up a percentage of the body's resources (glucose, in particular) that is way out of proportion to its size. To some extent, a strong mind needs a good body to support it, although Hawking seems to be an exception. Note, however, that he developed into a genius he was stricken with ALS.

    I really believe that the stereotypes of the dumb jock and the class brain with limited athletic & social skills are both myths. Most people are not far from the average in all of their abilities. The average person likes to think he is smarter than the dumb jock and has better social/athletic skills than those who are smarter than he/she is.

    There are certainly examples of people who are generally superior in brains, athletic skills, and & social skills. Neils Bohr & Steve Sondheim being among those with whom I am familiar. Bohr, in particular was close to being a world class athlete, excelling is soccer, skiing, & racket sports. I know nothing about Einstein's athletic skills, but he had social skills when he was not concentrating on physics.

    In the past 50 or so years, the superior athlete has been allowed to ignore educational requirements (and often the law), resulting in their true brain power being an unknown quantity. This has certainly helped support the dumb jock myth.

    I can only say that at the schools I have attended and among my friends & colleagues, I have known many who were way above average in general intelligence, social skills, and athletic abilities.
     
  12. Anomalous Banned Banned

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  13. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    One good disussions can be on:-

    Can nature do everything as required/valid? Does abnormal or normal nurtue aid or interfere the nature?
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Nurture is what gives us our love of music and the other arts. That's the most important thing in many people's lives, including mine. There's nothing "in the direction of nature" about that, but it's positive.
     
  15. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    In today's shape, are we by nature or nurture? Can't nurture upto some stage be nature(as birds animals nurse)? Are we and our society is practicing excess and devited nurture or natural nurture?

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  16. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

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    Nurture in itself is a positive term. It refers to a positive environment.

    The opposite of this is negative environment.

    I don't think art or music is away from nature. The very first music were sounds from the nature --- and they are music not only to human's ears --- but also to plants and other animals.

    Also remember that people have a natural talent for music or for arts.

    Today's electronic music may be going away from nature --- in a way --- and they are not always good for your ears or health --- especially when it is so loud.
     
  17. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

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    Nature needs positive environment to grow, develop and to sustain.

    our inner nature lives in the outside environment and is dependant on it.
     
  18. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

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    I couldn't understand this point so if you could explain more.
     
  19. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    Kumar>>In today's shape, are we by nature or nurture? Can't nurture upto some stage be nature(as birds animals nurse)? Are we and our society is practicing excess and devited nurture or natural nurture?<<

    Whether nature is reponsible for our today's condition or unnatural nurture? As parents of any bird/animal nurse their children in nature upto some stage/age, which can be consdered as natural/normal nurture, Are we/social humans and our society doing similar natural nurture or not?
     
  20. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

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    What do you think about this?

    I think we have really come far from our nature.
     
  21. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    We can say both way. By nature, we may deserve such environment for our doings to balance as per nature's balance. By society, we might come far from the nature's balance by modernizations, by habits, addictions or otherwise. But we may now be much deviated from the balance....which is also one kind of nature out of...creation, maintainance and destruction...big bang's destruction phase. It is our bad deeds that we are born in such a deviated time...in a destruction phage..."kalyuga".
     
  22. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

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    Actually, you're quite right. I also sometimes think that way.

    Maybe we are behaving the way we do because we are paving the way for the humankind to be obliterated. And it is all part of nature......whenever one of its constituent starts to become unmanageable and destructive, inbuilt natural mechanisms take care of that. I mean however strong the human brain is, it cannot be powerful than the bigger nature itself. We may control and manipulate small parts of nature and may think we have become gods, but actually we are not.
     
  23. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    A Bhudda1, my little "because I take a lone stand on issues makes me a visionary not a nutter" friend. You are at it again.
    In the debate of Nature versus Nurture, the question is one concerning the relative influences of genetic character, as expressed in the phenotype, versus those of the totality of the organism's environment. You, and several other posters, are using other definitions of these two words, that are perfectly valid, but not in this context. Your whole thesis is thus a storm in a teacup suspended on a quivering jelly of imprecision.
     

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