Are we all born equal? (part 2)


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This is my continuation of an earlier blog post. 

In my previous blog I said that there are two possible causes of why a person is smart, it was either due to nature, or it was due to nurture. There I stated that it was either one or the other. Since I wrote that blog post I have done a little more researching and found out that it is not one of those things, but both. It works like this, every single baby is born with a certain limit it can reach which is determined by its genes. However not every single baby is going to reach that level due to how they are raised.

Dr. Martha Burnes (http://www.scilearn.com/blog/are-smart-kids-born-smart.php) describes it as a child having an an extraordinarily malleable brain, which means that a child can learn a lot more that you and I could due to the stage of development where their brains are at compared to ours. She says when a parents nurtures their child they are setting the stage to what their kids can learn and the kid learns the rest on their own. 

Basically what this is means is that every baby is born with a different set of mental capabilities, and whether they'll reach the limit of all of their capabilities is up to how they are raised. So essentially a child that was born "smarter" than another child could not be as smart as someone who was born less "smarter" because of the way their parents raised them, which I think is pretty cool because a parent can have such a big impact on their kids, and hopefully its the right way.

All of this leads back to the ageless debate of nature versus nurture. It's reasons like this that fuels the debate. There are certain people in this world that have such opinionated views, not necessarily the wrong view, that they become blind to what else it could be. In this case it just shows that both sides of the argument are right, and combining them both would make the right answer, both nature and nurture affect how smart a person becomes.



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Studies on developmental intelligence are really hard to do right because we can't randomly assign intelligence. Even in sets of identical twins, the scientist's dream, intelligence isn't guaranteed to be equal for both children. So while we can study how different environments affect children scoring similarly on intelligence tests, the factor that praise and expectation plays in it, as well as many other cultural variables, we can't assign two children different intelligences and watch them develop over time (even if this were possible, it would probably be unethical).
However, a strong point in favor of the importance of nurturing is the existence of feral children. These are children who, for whatever reason, have been subjected to severe neglect by their caregivers, and are incapable of speaking, walking on two legs, and other basic skills learned by toddlers. Developmentally, the majority of children subjected to such extreme neglect do not recover and may struggle their entire lives to master even basic skills. These cases, though few and extreme, provide strong evidence for the importance of nurturing in early development.

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