Nature Or Nurture

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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When I think back on my childhood and adolescence, I must give credit to both my upbringing and habitat. Obviously if I had been adopted into a different family my life would have taken totally altered courses. But because of my parents- the genes I received from them, their beliefs and their own upbringing, I am an individual molded by both nature and nurture.

        I honestly believe that part of my personality is set in stone- unchangeable because of my heredity. There will always be people that disagree with that idea, "....our main conclusion after some years of work on this problem is that mathematical estimates of heritability tell us almost nothing about anything important." Perhaps my tendency to be compulsive at times (in a good way) is a characteristic that was handed down to me from relatives. Maybe my dry sense of humor is my dad's fault since we have the same thing going on.

And then there is the fact that all my immediate family members have flat feet- that is something that can not be changed through nurture. I can not explain, however, why English has always been my forte while both of my parents were science majors; or the fact that both my mother and I excelled at music while both my brothers suffer confusion at the sight of a half note. Quite fittingly, "Chimps, endearingly close to us though they clearly are (indeed, they share more than 99% of their DNA with us), can tell us very little about the genesis of Mozart's Requiem, the Sistine Chapel or Paradise Lost."         However, nurture also played a role in my development. My parents are excellent models of "niche-pickers." My parents raised my brothers and me in an upper middle class neighborhood and provided all the related commodities-...

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