The big idea: is it time to stop talking about ‘nature versus nurture’?

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The big idea: is it time to stop talking about ‘nature versus nurture’?

Lisa Feldman Barrett


Quote:The latest science shows that genes and environment are too deeply entwined to pit them against one another



Quote:Few scientists today would say that 100% of your attributes are inborn or are learned; the debate tends to be about where to draw the dividing line. Newer evidence, however, suggests that the dividing line doesn’t really exist. Your environment, it turns out, causes certain genes to turn on and off, a process called epigenetics. You also have genes that regulate how much the environment affects you. Genes and environment are so deeply entwined, like lovers in a fiery tango, that it’s fundamentally unhelpful to call them separate names like “nature” and “nurture”.



Quote:Culture allows one generation to pass information on to the next without it having to be carried by genes. Your childhood caregivers curated your physical and social world, and your brain wired itself to that world. You perpetuate that world and eventually pass your culture on to the following generation through your words and actions, wiring their brains in turn. This cultural inheritance is an efficient, flexible partner to genetic inheritance, and means that the process of evolution doesn’t require all our wiring instructions to be in genes. The way your brain becomes tuned to the languages you hear as a baby is just one example. Similarly, if you’re exposed to adversity in early life, it may activate certain genes and suppress others, wiring your brain to deal with adversity that may arise in the future. Unfortunately, this wiring also makes you more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, heart disease and diabetes in adulthood. If you have children, you might pass some of these characteristics on to them through epigenetic changes.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


[-] The following 1 user Likes Sciborg_S_Patel's post:
  • tim
Seems a step to nowhere. Just more of the same old same old. That is, whether there is heredity and environment separately or together isn't really any kind of change.

Particularly when it comes to talk of 'wiring of the brain', that's the same materialist, mechanised model which is already tired out, exhausted.
[-] The following 5 users Like Typoz's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, David001, Larry, nbtruthman, tim

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