Putting the Social into Science

Forget about nature vs. nurture. The answer lies in between

Look at the words on this page. No one needed to teach you how to see; evolution has hardwired us for this complex task. Now try to understand them. No child is born able to read; this task is learned from parents and teachers in a social setting. In other words, one of our most essential abilities as humans--reading--is the product of a combination of innate and learned traits.

The distinction between nature and nurture was always a false dichotomy even before it became a clich, yet we still tend to think of biology and culture as warring explanations for human...

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