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.