Deep thoughts by Miltownkid

Nature or nurture?

  • Mostly Nature
  • Mostly Nuture
  • 50/50

0 voters

Nothing new, but isn’t strange looking at all these little kids running around playing and jazz. Knowing that some will grow up to be Osama’s, B. Gates(sah siz), Bush’s, M. Jackson’s, Mother Teresa’s :wink: , Glo*****a CEO’s, Crazy Posters, Admins, Mods, etc.

Makes me think about the whole nature vs. nurture thing (again). Where do things go right/wrong? :?

Pass the joint, miltownkid! :laughing:

I know, I know. :blush:

It’s just one of those topics that comes to mind, leaves and comes back. Being around a bunch of kids all the time brought it back again.

Instead of complaining about things, I usually wonder how they got that way.

Just looked at the polls. I’ve always thought nature (an still do). But the polls say different (so far). Interesting…

And I just gave you a bunch of karma. :imp:

Definitely nurture.

Look at how screwed up people are.

Hannibal Lechter in “Lambs” said,
“Billy wasn’t born bad. It took years of systematic abuse.”

or something like that…

I think 50/50. I worry a lot about what kinds of adults/parents my kids are going to grow up to be. I hope I do enough of the right things to make them forget all my mistakes.


Plenty of 12 year old girls having babies over here (nothing to do with me). And there is of course single-parenting and the breakdown of the traditional family unit. So, I wonder will these kids turn out (on % basis) worse than my generation of 2-parent, church on Sunday, smile at the nice policeman, kids. How is the Jamie Bulger killing explained - two very young kids in England tortured and murdered a 2-year old including squashing his head with a large rock. Now I’m not a religious man, and I’ve done a course on Deviance and all that as part of my law degree, but I reckon those two were just evil.

I feel that it is some of both, but alot of parents are forgetting the
nurture part and are not setting aside enough time for their kids.
(Parents, by the way, means mother and father - not just mother.)
Also alot of parents are forgetting that things which they do every
day without thinking (calling in sick when they are not sick, jaywalking,
lying, talking very loudly in public, etc.) are actually teaching kids
that these things are ok.

It seems like alot of parents think that their kids can learn things
from grandma/grandpa, school, etc. They also feel that kids cannot
learn any type of right/wrong concepts until they are older. I totally
disagree with this. It really bugs me that some parents are so willing
to blame teachers and the school for anything bad that happens to
their kids when these parents seem to care more for work than
family. Opportunity cost is a factor here. You also have to make
hard choices. If parents do not spend time with their kids talking to
them, going on a hike, going to a school program, sitting down and
having dinner with them, etc. , how do they expect to know what
their child is thinking, what problems the child has, or what is really
important to the child? And this has to be done as early as possible
(although it is never too late to try).

It’s not easy to be a parent, but if you are - make the most of it - for
the good of your children, you, and your family as a whole.

H.J. Eysenck, an authority on human intelligence, reckons intelligence is 80% nature (genetics) and 20% nurture (environment).

Studies on identical twins raised apart show that nature is much more important than nurture in determining personality and intelligence.

I agree with TongueTwister’s comments.

My feeling is that it’s 80% nurture. Mum and Dad have much more of an influence (good or bad) on Johnny or Janie because the parents are they’re role models - from day 1. Whatever the parents say, goes until close to puberty. Then, outside influences kick in more. But, I do think, that the kids kick over those outside influences sometimes, in favor of what they were originally taught by their parents. It may take until they’re mid-20’s, but eventually, the solid grounding they received (if they did), will play a role again.

It drives me nuts that 12 year olds and teenagers are having babies. What do they know?!!! They haven’t lived long enough to teach their kids anything. They should give them up for adoption where the kids have half a chance in life.

I once heard of a mother who was a long-term welfare recipient. When her son turned 19, she brought him in to her worker and said my son is now ready to have his own file opened. What’s that teaching a kid?

I also think kids are better off in modest income famies. With too much wealth, there are a lot of ugly and superficial values that get emulated. Also, parents are too busy accumulating and don’t spend enough time with their children.

Autumn489 said: “My feeling is that it’s 80% nurture.”

Well, that is an interesting FEELING. However, a large body EVIDENCE seems to indicate that ‘it’ (namely personality and intelligence) is, in fact, 80% nature.

Spack - does your large body of evidence indicate that “it” is nature or does the evidence only seem to indicate it? BTW, where is the evidence you talk about?

I stick by my view. My “feeling” is really my “thinking” and my “observations” over the years. Some of it is from personal experience in raising an adopted child while some comes from observing others, thinking about things and discussing them.

In many areas of science it is extremely difficult to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that anything is true - that is why scientific papers tend to say ‘indicate’ or ‘suggest’ rather than ‘prove’. Even smoking has only been proven to cause cancer relatively recently (mid-Eighties I think). Before that it was only ‘a strong association’.

As for the body of evidence, I suggest a trip to the psychology section of a well-stocked library is in order. As I recall from my days at Uni, most of the compelling evidence comes from studies conducted at Minnesota University which has established a center dedicated to the study of twins. As you may know, psychologists love identical twins because they can observe the same genetic material in different environments - in other words the extent to which nature and nurture exert their influences can be objectively evaluated. Look out for studies involving identical twins raised apart.

Failing that, you could continue to speculate about the topic right here in this forum. Don’t forget to use those feelings, though. LOL!

miltownius…puff puff pass…puff puff pass…you’re messing up the rotation!

here’s my two $NT,
yo i really think that without proper nurture, nature begins to run its course. although one can look out into nature and see calmness and serenity, one also cannot overlook the incredible competitiveness between animal species and the awesome savagery with which these animals will sometimes dispose of each other. the same can be said of humanity as well…though we find some degree of calmness in our world (say, buddhist monks or stoners [not to compare the two]), there exists rampant famine, destruction, disease and death as a result of our fighting over the resources we cherish.

basically, if we as people were nurtured more properly in how to treat our fellow beings, then perhaps all the natural killing and savagery wouldn’t occur. but then, i guess, is it human nature to want to fight and destroy?

and nurturing goes beyond mom and dad. it extends to extended families, communities, nations and the world as a whole. our world right now i’d say is just a little too natural…

neth e pluribus

None of the above. More like a couple doing the tango. How can you say which partner is more important when the dance wouldn’t exist without the two interacting?

I heard two days ago a so-called “expert” on the radio explaining away some child murderer’s actions on the basis “that he didn’t get enough love from his mother” - he actually used those words ! Needless to say I had to pull over as the tears were tripping me ! HAHAHA !

Well, who can really say what percentage is applicable to most people anyway? It’s going to vary from one person to the next. Then, there’s those kids that come from good homes and turn out rotten anyway and then there’s those kids that come from the rotten homes that turn out just fine.

Having said all that, how many teens think their parents know anything. Funny how the parents become so smart once the kid leaves the teen years behind.

And then there’s those people who are born just plain evil. No one, not even newscasters, can explain away their behavior.

Here’s an interesting quote that just jumped out at me from Daves ESL Cafe:

“Genius without education is like silver in the mine.”
Ben Franklin

autumn489 said:

“My feeling is that it’s 80% nurture.”

“Well, who can really say what percentage is applicable to most people anyway?”

Aren’t you contradicting yourself?

I will elaborate further.

What Spack was saying about intelligence is geared more towards what I’m talking about. It’s obvious that one would never be a doctor, chess player or whatever without proper “nuturing”, but what makes people excel at what they do? Also what makes people choose to stick with what they do after they mature (ie, be a terrorist, a monk, a politician)?

For instance, I don’t think there is anything a parent, society or anybody can do to someone to create another mind like Einstein, Bobby Fischer or any other “great” thinkers you can come up with. I also think the same is true for people like O sama and Hitler (not a comparison, just examples). Not sayin they’re great thinkers and I know society played a mojar role, but I don’t think any one person can “turn out” like that (I “love” quotations :smiley: ).

It seems like a persons nature molds them more then (almost) any amount of nuturing will, its just more subtle.

Another Deep Thought :wink:

let’s compare two kinds of excellences, and think about what role nurture (or lack thereof) plays:

murder: now, although for most murderers child neglect and abuse can be documented in their backgrounds (nurture), there still seems to be the conception that certain people were born to kill. in the case of mass murder, it seems that the lack of nurture allows for the murderer’s natural (?) urges to be expressed. either that or the murderer hasn’t been nurtured in the common respect for life (perhaps from watching television or seeing our world leaders disrespect life - get ya bullet-proofs for the new millenium…)

sports: a basketball player needs a lot of natural talent to even hope to excel: height, agility, speed, black skin (jk). but it’s hard for even the most naturally talented cat from idaho to make it because he’s not in the most conducive environment to get better. if he grew up, say, in harlem, practicing daily at rucker park, then maybe he might be a future nba player.

in a sentence, my view: nature is the foundation, the lump of clay if you will; nurture is the difference, the artist’s tempered hands that mold raw clay into a work of art. in another sense, the absence of nurture leaves a natural seedling to fend for itself in a field of weeds; eventually the seedling dies or becomes tough as hell.

just my thoughts!

I’m not saying that someone is born a murderer or basketball player. Child neglect and abuse probably does explain why some people kill. I’m saying that all people that are abused and neglected don’t become murders. The people that do have a (let’s say) gene that steers them in that direction. If raised diffrent, they’d turn out diffrent (I know it sounds contradicting, but please continue)

I think something easier to understand is whether a person is homosexual from nature or nurture. Looking at little kids one can see that some are more aggressive, passive, better at counting, etc. These differences will change how people choose to nurture them (apart from extremes cases) and what the child chooses to spend time on (nintendo, reading, drawing).

I should probably also include a third element to the equation. I’ve never seen it explained this way, but I think the environment and nurturing are two separate things. When I say environment (for lack of a better word) I mean what the person eats, when they sleep, if the mother did crack when they were young, what vitamins they take, etc. Nurturing would be what info they were exposed to (culture, parents, tv, school). And nature would be the set of code (or whatever you want to call it,ie soul and genes) they were born with.

Chain smoker pretty much sumed it up, but I think most people are “guided” by their nature. As opposed to herded from others nuturing.