What's the definition of "nature vs. nurture" and how can we connect that to the modern world?

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One way in which the nature vs. nurture debate is important in the modern world is the degree to which the "nurture" aspect has changed in recent history. Parents have less effect on a child's nurture as other entities have more effect: daycare, schools, technology, etc. You might say (please pardon the poor pun) that the "nature of nurture" is changing.

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Since the definition of the term has been defined, relevancy in the real world can be seen through studies conducted on the topic. Perhaps the most poignant study in nature verses nurture are long term twin studies (which are constructed if the twins are raised in separate homes for some reason). Studies conducted show the differences which nature and nurture have on people of similar genetic makeup. These studies have been completed with siblings raised apart from each other as well.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15629096

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As we have learned more about how we develop, we have also learned that "nature vs. nurture" is an oversimplified framing of the process.  In fact, nature and nurture work together to form us, with "nurture" turning on some of our genes and turning off others.  It is much more complicated than we ever realized.  While it is an interesting way to analyze a literary text, it is really a false dispute. 

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One way to think about this is by looking at repeat offender criminals. Is there something about them, innately, that makes them commit crimes, or are there environmental factors, including their personal life histories, that contribute to their careers? Whatever topic one chooses, it is important to note that most social scientists are not reductionist--in other words nature vs. nurture is not necessarily an either-or proposition. As for Julius Caesar, you could argue, perhaps, that Caesar was born ambitious, and that he would have eventually accepted the crown and destroyed the Republic had he not been assassinated. Or you could argue that the political system in Rome contributed to creating ambitious men like Caesar and Antony.

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Nature vs nurture has to do with what makes us (as individuals) the way we are. Is our personality something that we are born with (nature) or does it come from our upbringing and our surroundings (nurture).  The same issue is talked about with regard to intelligence as well.

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