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Nature vs. nurture - Essay Example

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The debate over what determines who we are, whether it is Nature (heredity) or Nurture (our surroundings) is taking a new shape. Is nature or nurture responsible for our actions Have we remained creatures of nature Can we resist natural influences with the power of our critical thinking During the past decades, psychologists have created different theories to make clear the characteristics of human-beings…
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Nature vs. nurture
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Download file to see previous pages Much is random and therefore isn't really "behavior": a flagellating protozoa isn't "looking for" food. When social scientists explain human behaviour they imply purposeful and consequential activities. It is understood that humans are aware of their own acts and those of others. In other words, human behaviours are acquired rather than natural. Instincts, which are activities that are made without learning, altered as adaptations to exact circumstances. But success in adaptation comes at a cost: instincts make organisms "puppets" of their surroundings. Anticipating a rain a frog croaks, just as the rooster crows with the beginning of dawn. Neither the frog nor the rooster had any choice in the matter; their behaviours were simply determined by the environment. Humans have the smallest number of instincts; as an alternative, we have contradictory genetic abilities and capacities to react our environment. For us, consequently, surroundings remain a strong determinant of behaviours.
Social scientists are ever more realizing the discourse of the interactions that take place between nature and nurture. The existence of genes does not by itself make sure that a particular feature will be obvious. Genes need the proper upbringing for inborn propensities to be entirely expressed. These "proper surroundings" contain not only natural environment but also of individuals' common and symbolic milieus.
According to Richard Dawkins, the final purpose of the game of life is the immortality of one's information. This information is of two types: the genetic, the programming of one's DNA, and the memetic, the elements of intellectual information individuals pass on in their society. "We are survival machines," he writes in The Selfish Gene, "robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes." And "just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation."(Dawkins, 1976, p.147)
Support of probable genetic factors determining the direction of individuals' lifelong interests and behaviours increases. For instance, Alexander Graham Bell, who unintentionally invented the telephone whilst working on ways to help the hearing impaired, came from a family that was involved in working with problems of speech and sound. Both his mother and his wife were hard of hearing. His paternal grandfather wrote a book on phonetics and created a treatment for those who are loosing hearing, which was supported by his father and uncle.
It is worth noting the gloomy history of efforts to connect cultural differences and social deviance to genetic "defects." In the early physiognomic literature on deviance, for example, Cesare Lombroso (Deam, 1989) wrote in the 1870s how deviants had extremely long legs in comparison with rest of their bodies, weird head shapes, absence of a appropriate chin, ingrown ear flaps or large ears. They were, he states, throwbacks to earlier phases of human development. In early 1900th was published The Blood of the Nation: A Study of the Decay of Races Through the Survival of the Unfit, an evil work by David Starr Jordon, the first President of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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