Jack Uldrich
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Do We Need to Unlearn the “Nature vs Nuture” Debate?

Posted in General, Genomics, Mental Health, Neuroscience, Parenting, Philosophy, Psychology, Science

I understand the appeal of saying something is either black or white (and thus denying all the Nature_nurture various shades of grey in between). Numerous debates occur everyday. For example, some people argue that  homosexuality is genetic in nature. Others claim it is a nurtured condition.

In spite of the efforts of supporters on both sides of the debate, the issue is not so clear cut. Neither are the hundreds of other such "nature vs nuture" debates.

In a new study being released today in Child Development Perspectives a team of researchers is calling for society to say "neither" to the debate. In short, they are saying that the world is far more complicated than many of us would like to acknowledge. But rather than gravitate toward "intellectually lazy" answers which tend to support one point of view over the other, or favoring "one-liners over 10-minute explanations," the authors suggest we should remain open to how various pieces of knowledge fit together.

In essense, the article and the study are really just a call for common sense but because common sense is a commodity which is often in short supply today — even in academic and scientific circles — it never hurts to stop and ask ourselves whether there is a new approach.

To this end, I'm in favor of unlearning the "nature vs nuture" debate and staying open to the idea that the real answer may be "neither."


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