What Makes Us Do It?

In the age-old debate of nature vs. nurture, an M.I.T. prof says our genes don't get enough respect

In one important sense, the argument over nature and nurture has been resolved. For centuries, the nature camp said that personalities are born, not made, that our character is pretty much formed by the time we pop out of the womb. The nurture people countered with the metaphor of the tabula rasa: our mind starts out as a blank slate, and it's how we are reared that determines what gets written on it. Modern science, though--especially our fast-growing understanding of the human genome--makes it clear that both sides are partly right. Nature endows us with inborn abilities and personality traits; nurture...

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