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govols
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Date Posted:11/12/2018 9:56 PMCopy HTML

I’m not sure if I quite understand the question. I have an idea that most on the Nurture side of the debate are in the social construct camp. Most of the “science” that I’ve looked at seems to lead to a whole lot of Nature and THEN a whole lot of Nurture. I mean, the work on personality and interests in various Twin Studies points toward a genetic component among individuals. Similar work among men and women points toward small but measurable differences in trait tendencies. There are IQ studies that seem to subtle genetic differences between ethnicities. We all share the same basic hardware, and to some extent the basic components are all connected together using the same standard wiring harness. Individual genetics seems also to dictate some variations of a sort of custom overlay of secondary wiring, sort of set in place and connected up as we experience our interaction with the environment.

I read somewhere that the genetics that order the construction of our bones and the way they’re connected and jointed are sort of incomplete, and the actual form of say the ball of an upper arm or leg into its socket isn’t finalized until its close enough to baked that kicking and punching Mommy’s innards allows enough feedback for the two parts to be rubbed into final compliance with the allowable tolerances. There is apparently a similar feedback loop in the brain between the eye and the visual cortex: until the retina is about done, the connections to the brain are only loosely reserved a location. Genetics early on start off saying make an eye, and plan on wiring it up here, but don’t even try until the two pieces of hardware are far enough along that the each connection can be custom mapped via call and response sort of feedback.

There seems to be a whole lot of Nature going on before Nurture ever really has a chance to join the dance. A lot of what we are as a species, and as individuals, is written into us both a thousand (a million?) generations ago and right at conception. We’re all damned near identical on one level of analysis, yet developmentally we diverge—one and all—from long before even birth. We each and all experience an utterly different environment from whatever moment it is that Nurture first gets her mitts upon the individual that we’ll become. Nature had her way with us long before Nurture got her shot. Humans are all just about 100% the same, and we must have a certain human nature. Individual humans are every single one different, and that fact is part of human nature.

A hell of a lot of politics is about how we might structure society in a manner that nurtures better individuals, individuals more inclined to accept humanity as a singularity and individuals as fellow humans to be thought of and treated equally. The various cultures in which each of us has been raised took millions of years of evolution to form up in service to the societies within them. Modern Nurture politics seems to seek to tweak those societies and cultures in a generation, yet they also seem to insist that human nature isn’t biological, but instead merely a function of socialization. I’m going to step in shit here, because I’m terribly much read but un-schooled. Back when the naturalists were theorizing that we could reason morality if we fully understood nature, that a better society could be established if morality was reasoned out from nature and then nurtured among the youth, the idea was that all individuals are equally endowed by Natures God with the same spark of humanity. The Blank Slate wasn’t an idea that every individual could be equally socialized to perform any function that society might need of them, each and all equally competent to any task at hand. The Blank Slate they were pecking at was that all individuals could be taught a set of reasoned morals if we could but formulate a set that conformed to observable Nature.

The idea wasn’t that we could theorize and implement a cultural structure that would nurture a society of equality, but that if we could set forth the observable manners by which we all share a common nature we might nurture a reasoned morality through which all of humanity regards each of us as individuals.


alaskaone Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #1
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Re:Nature or Nurture?

Date Posted:11/16/2018 5:49 AMCopy HTML

All the schooling in the world isn't going to make a low IQ individual into a genius.  That's just not possible and why so many people are afraid to say as much is a puzzle to me.  There seems to be a notion floating about unspoken that you can 'fix' I.Q.  You can't.  It can't be done.


But there is clearly a benefit to 'nurture'.  You can work with a low functioning individual, and it will be a lengthy and arduous processto be sure, to help them become as much as they can be and thereby make their lives as meaningful to them and others as is possible to manage.  That's a good thing.  And having a school system geared toward encouraging kids to 'be all they can be' is obviously superiour to one dedicated primarily toward racking up good scores on tests.



Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies. The advantage of insinuations over hard arguments is that they bypass critical thought. No one can respond precisely to a charge that is utterly vague or to accusers who will envelope any reply in a poisonous fog of further insinuations. ~ David Warren, The Guardian There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time and that captures an important point. The more powerful the government becomes, the more people are willing to do in order to seize the prize, and the more afraid they become when someone else has control. ~ Glenn Harlan Reynolds “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.” ― H.L. Mencken
Nickel Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
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Re:Nature or Nurture?

Date Posted:11/16/2018 6:46 PMCopy HTML

Self absorbed, be all you can be, is what’s wrong. Parents have ideas about their children, lots of pressure on a child normally born wanting to please the parents. I hated all the directions people gave me about what I should do with my life, especially when theirs was such a mess. At some point, the advice my older brother gave me: don’t worry about them, when you’re 18, you can do whatever you want, sank in and saved me time after time. Also, it made me think of my life as my own responsibilty which was scary and that compelled me to plan what I wanted and how I was going to get it. So, I wanted a college education. Family: What the hell do you need that for? You’re just going to get married and have children. So, had to keep that want to myself..... Test scores were reliable indicators that I could accomplish whatever I wanted to do if I did the homework, listened in class, and studied until I understood, practiced until it was easy. School is a socializing entity, alongside parents and friends: teaching social skills is useless and boring and harmful to students that have already mastered survival enough to be in a class. Testing abilities is critical to getting the necessary knowledge base to succeed and to be a rugged individual who can make wise decisions at a ballot box. The paramount problem with education today is that many years ago, criterion referenced tests disappeared and social promotion made everyone in education look good, keep their jobs. Students were left on their own without a clue to their actual performance. SAT scores reliably reflected their potential in college, high school grades were no longer true indicators. When a student fails, it’s the teacher’s fault; doesn’t take a genius to figure out what teachers did with that. Smile....it was easy to destroy public education in America.....grit your teeth and educate, home school your children. Ever wondered why home schooling became so widespread? Parents looked at national test scores, the drop outs in jr high, the dropout rate in high school, and the low percentage of students getting into college. So, bring back criterion reference testing and drop all the unnecessary socials....not an easy task.
Nickel Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #3
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Re:Nature or Nurture?

Date Posted:11/16/2018 7:02 PMCopy HTML

Nature. I had three sons. Each came with his own little package of preferences and abilities. They tolerate each other. Same parents, same environment, so different. Go along to get along with them or fight. They now live many miles apart, but endure each other for a week or two of vacation in Hawaii every two years. Nonetheless, they are, each one, good people.....I never get tired of hearing about them from others who have gotten to know them.
alaskaone Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #4
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Re:Nature or Nurture?

Date Posted:11/17/2018 3:40 AMCopy HTML

Self absorbed, be all you can be, is what’s wrong


Allow me to clarify.  "Be all you can be", isn't being 'self-absorbed'.  It's figuring out what you're interested in and good at and taking your place in the world as an independant adult... taking responsiblity for yourself, your family, your community and your country... in that order.  It's the opposite of nihilism which is what you appear to describing.


My cousin is a low I.Q. individual.  No amount of education will change this.  The simplest of tasks are challenges for him and he's got very little control over his emotions.  He's also 6'4.  That's a very, very bad combination.  He's easily frustrated, has little patience and he's physically dangerous to those around him.


What do you do with such a creature?  Well, the answer seems to be you find him a task he's capable of doing, reward and appreciate him for doing it and allow him as much personal agency as he can manage while you stand by with an elephant tranq dart in a blow gun.


What else can you do?  There's been a few times where I came within a hairs breadth of having to kill him.  Unreserved kudos to him for managing to bring himself under enough control that I didn't have to take him out.  He came between me and my grandfather on one occasion and my 2 year old daughters on another, and started to twist off on both occasions and if you don't think watching this monster start to go apeshit next to your two year olds or next to your 90 year old grandfather isn't enough to put you into defcon 1,000... try it.


What i've been seeing in the school system is this idea that memorizing the answers to a test is the same as learning the subject.  It isn't.  It's knowledge without comprehension and it's bloody dangerous.

Nickel Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #5
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Re:Nature or Nurture?

Date Posted:11/17/2018 11:01 PMCopy HTML

“Allow me to clarify.  "Be all you can be", isn't being 'self-absorbed'.  It's figuring out what you're interested in and good at and taking your place in the world as an independant adult... taking responsiblity for yourself, your family, your community and your country... in that order.  It's the opposite of nihilism which is what you appear to describing.”. ~ alaskaone That’s if you join the Army.  In the classroom it’s a useless what do you think, what do you want, and seriously they’re children!  What do they know? Not sure how you managed nihilism from what I wrote, but it doesn’t sound like me at all.  Wait, maybe it’s from not wanting social promotions. When you get out of school, you should have a body of knowledge that will ensure your survival and that of the city, state, and country in which you choose to live...not stuff you learn on your own whether you go to school or not. Math so you can look at a budget and know whether it’s truth, dare, or lies, so you can fill out your own tax forms even if someone else doing it saves you time. Music because it is applied math History because it so freakishly often repeats Literature because it helps you feel the history and the minds of others beyond your time and space Writing because you need to inform and persuade others beyond your dinner table in letters to the editor, and letters your state and federal representatives, and potential employers or employees. Art because all walks of life are improved by a creative spirit. Sports and dance because the body and brain work better with exercise. Nutrition because you are what you eat. Religions of the world because you will have to deal with that variety among people and it’s always helpful to know where people are coming from when you meet. How to start and operate a business, fix a broken down car, water pipe, electrical outlet or fence.  Build a house, garden, or wall.  Wait, guess you can google all that, so how to use a computer, laptop,IPad, and phone because life is all about what you can learn on your own given the basics. Stop asking students what they think and tell them what they need to know in order to keep from joining the increasing number of homeless in America.


Then test them for it, move them on if they got it, repeat it in another way if they don’t , but don’t let them out into the world thinking they’re ready when they have not yet proven themselves capable.


A couple after thoughts,

I had an English Professor in college that handed out the test before her lectures because she didn’t care how we learned the material so long as we were able to repeat it the day of the test.  It was the most stress free testing I ever experienced.

I remembered everything from those tests and often used it in later courses.  What should students know at the end of a semester?  


Memorizing the multiplication table was an agony, the completion of which was a source of joy and pride.  Answers faster than you can click in the numbers.....

alaskaone Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #6
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Re:Nature or Nurture?

Date Posted:11/18/2018 3:38 AMCopy HTML

I believe I understand what  you're saying but I don't think I'm getting across what is actually happening in the public schools.  Perhaps a personal anecdote will help?


My step daughter, when she was in middle school, was required to be able to convert metric to imperial, decimals to fractions, etc., etc., etc.  These tasks she could do well enough to ace the tests.


That's great, you might say, an example of the success of modern public education.  Yeah, nah.  Not so much.  Ask her how long a mile actually is?  No idea.  Ask her if she would like 25% of the pie or 1/3 of the pie?  No idea.  Ask her if she would rather carry 100 oz or 100 kilograms?  No idea.


Knowledge without comprehension.

Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies. The advantage of insinuations over hard arguments is that they bypass critical thought. No one can respond precisely to a charge that is utterly vague or to accusers who will envelope any reply in a poisonous fog of further insinuations. ~ David Warren, The Guardian There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time and that captures an important point. The more powerful the government becomes, the more people are willing to do in order to seize the prize, and the more afraid they become when someone else has control. ~ Glenn Harlan Reynolds “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.” ― H.L. Mencken
Nickel Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #7
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Re:Nature or Nurture?

Date Posted:11/20/2018 2:17 AMCopy HTML

Exactly what’s wrong.... no proof of comprehension in the tests.  Criterion referenced testing resulted in exactly such failures made education look bad, so they got tossed in favor of tests a bell curve of students could pass.....some with flying colors.....making education look good. 


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criterion-referenced_test



 I only taught long enough to pay off my student loans, but the inadequacy of new methods and teachers who didn’t know what else to do on Monday stayed with me.  Idaho was pretty much the last to see scores drop because their reliable teachers hadn’t retired yet.   National test scores plummeted like everyone else’s when they did. I wondered if it was inadvertent or on purpose that public education declined, and maybe it was just the cost of decent textbooks and frugal school boards.  My first job was alongside a teacher using textbooks 15 years old because they were so much better than the ones the school board had ordered.  Her students were winning poetry and essay contests.   She promoted the contests among the other English department teachers.  Theirs was a teacher developed program commended by and visited by members of the state legislature.  The year I left, the principal cut their budget because they were doing great, but the football team was a disgrace.....principals often come from coaching positions I later learned.

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