A Summary of the Debate
Nature versus nurture is a debate that dates back to early Greeks. It is a debate about whether human culture behavior and personality are caused by nature (genetic) or by nurture (environment and/or experience). This topic has caused conflict that has affected research in psychological and sociological studies. There have been many situations in which both sides of the argument seems to be valid. The debate is ongoing, which makes it difficult to determine what makes up how humans become who they are.
A Brief History
Dating back to the ancient Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle who couldn’t even agree on one side. Plato’s point of view was that humans inherited knowledge through their parents. He said that when humans are told something they are also reminded of it. Aristotle on the other hand said humans were born with tabula rasa (a blank slate) and gain knowledge through influence of the environment. In the same sense Philosophers of the enlightenment period John Locke and Emanuel Kant had the same debate as these early Philosophers. Lock thought humans were who they were because of nurture and Kant thought it was because of nature or how they were born. The debate didn’t end here it continues on today and will keep going on until there can be real, ethical scientific proof that one side is more true than the other or even if it is a mixture of nature and nurture. The first person to theorize that parents transferred intelligence to their offspring was Sir Francis Galton. He used twin studies to test his theory because twins carry the exact same genes so there would be no other solution to how they turned out other than the fact that the parents raised them differently. Contrary to his studies, most of the twins studies done have proven just the opposite that in fact there is a predetermined path that the twins were set on.
The Problem with Most Experiments
Most experiments are considered unethical because they do not follow the rules to a ethical experiment according to sociologists. This a problem because it invalidates most experiments in the nature vs. nurture debate. It is hard to gather information by the standards of ethical experiments according to sociologists (See Definitions Page).