Nature vs. Nurture. I have heard this phrase often and many of you I am sure could agree with me when I say this seems to be the puzzle science has always been interested in figuring out. Growing up I feel I heard this question in every science class all the way to my Master’s courses.
The question is, “Is nature or nurture responsible for (fill in the blank)?” For many years it seemed there was no actual answer and yet this would lead to intense and very interesting class room debates. Yes, I learned a lot and always became more and more opened minded because of these discussions, however there was never an answer at the end. That was the lesson I guess, to see if we could choose a side and stand firm, learn how to debate our side effectively, see if we could change people’s minds through fact and persuasion, or perhaps we as a class didn’t fully understand the magnitude of that oh so short question “Is it nature or nurture?”
Over the last 7 years I have come to a very clear answer of my own to this question. My answer is “It is not simply nature or nurture alone; it is both working together for optimal survival of the species in question.”
Looking back at everything I learned in the past and what I continue to learn every day, I realize more and more that nature and nurture are not on opposing teams where only one wins under certain circumstances. Oh no my friends!!! This is a very simplistic way of thinking. In fact I fully believe they are on the same team and they switch with one another either playing offensively or defensively. Always on the same team working together for the same win……optimal survival.
When I found my purpose and passion in Developmental Origins of Health and Disease it seemed every puzzle piece started to click. Everything just made too much sense!! Here I was able to clearly identify that it was never nature vs nurture. This was a fascinating discovery!!!! Wondering how in the world could I have ever thought so simply about this concept.
It is Absolutely vital for Nature and nurture to work together otherwise we would be in big trouble. These two concepts communicate with one another in every daily environment we encounter. Same goes for plants and animals. The response of one will change the course or response of the other.
If any of my teachers or college professors is reading this I hope I have made you proud. It may have taken me many many many years to figure out the correct answer to your one simple question. However, regardless of how long it took I have finally found the correct answer.
Thanks to this one simple question I fell in love with science and all the possibilities it holds.