Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Family Resemblance

I have a picture on my bureau of my mother and me and another picture of my son and me and it’s really amazing to me that my son and I look very similar as infants.  I am always amazed at the family resemblances when I look at pictures like that.  My son and I also have similar personalities although he has not followed a similar path in finding himself, I can see that we both come at life from different viewpoints.

It raises the question of nature over nurture that I have heard many times before.  The question is that if the same person were brought up in a different area would he/she be the same?  There have been many research projects, mostly involving twins, which have been done on the subject.  The Wikepedia article on the subject explains it as:

Nature versus nurture" in its modern sense was coined[1][2][3] by the English Victorian polymath Francis Galton in discussion of the influence of heredity and environment on social advancement, although the terms had been contrasted previously, for example by Shakespeare (in his play, The Tempest: 4.1). Galton was influenced[4] by the book On the Origin of Species written by his cousin, Charles Darwin. The concept embodied in the phrase has been criticized[3][4] for its binary simplification of two tightly interwoven parameters, as for example an environment of wealth, education and social privilege are often historically passed to genetic offspring.

With the recent spate of youth violence the subject has come up again in some circles.  Are certain people prone to violence or is it something that can be “nurtured” into or out of the person?  Whatever the situation is we need to figure something out regarding how best to approach the situation.  With the lack of funding that is certain to become more of a reality than it is now, these solutions will need to be creative enough, and workable to the point that our tax payers are not overly burdened or municipality resources not stretched too thin.  

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