Nature Versus Nurture Essay

1609 Words May 9th, 2001 7 Pages
Nature or Nurture?
The Determination of Human Behaviour

The nature versus nurture debate has spanned over decades, and is becoming more heated in the recent years. Following the mapping of the human genome, scientists are pursuing the possibility of controlling human behaviour such as homicidal tendencies or insanity through the manipulation of genes. Is this possible for us to ensure that humans behave in certain ways under certain circumstances in future?
This is highly doubtful, as the determination of human behaviour depends not only on genes (nature), but also on the environment (nurture). It is usually the "joint product of genes and environment", one of the first principles in Leda Cosmides and John Tooby in
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The same occurred in Japan, when individuals were blinded by the need of honour and glory for the Emperor. From Jung Chang's "Wild Swans", which is about China under Mao
Zedong, she talks about how people would actually faint with the joy of seeing the great
Chariman and about the mad processions in the Cultural Revolution. These behaviour are shared by people who cannot possibly share the same genetic make-up. We choose to focus on this issue of irrational human behaviour using "The Crucible" by
Arthur Miller. To put it simply and in focus, there is a group of girls who would go into trances and hysterics, faint, scream, et cetera. and accused innocent people of witchcraft. (Most significantly in Act Three. Attached.) Some of these girls share similar genes because they are related, but there the genetic similarity ends. These girls however share the same environment, a
Puritan society with "their self denial, their purposefulness, their suspicion of all vain pursuits, their hardhanded justice" (Act One). It is highly possible that the repression of the society leads to their behaviour, which we would term psychosomatic today. In the case of the historical references above, the people may have come from different backgrounds, but they share the same time, that is, the same circumstances, be it revolution or war, which may have caused them to act the way they

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