Non-Obvious Truth.

I just had an epiphany: The whole nature vs. nurture argument is silly and moot. They are inextricable. They are the same thing. Environment is environment is environment.

I mean, I always knew the argument was silly, because the obvious answer is “both, duh”. But it just now occurred to me that the idea of the argument is moot, because there is no separation.

Just like there’s no mind/body separation.

(response to comments from FB):

There is no output without input. This is exactly what led me to this realization- two kids might grow up in the same circumstances and end up with vastly different personalities. It’s easy for us to look at the macro-structures of someone’s environment “racist town”, “worships his grandpa”, “abused as a kid” or whatever, and gloss over the minutia. Likewise it’s easy to just lump everything “internal” together and call it “nature”, as if it weren’t just as nuanced and hypergranular- genetic predispositions and expressions, brain chemistry, etc. all form the foundation which the environment interacts with. And that boundary is completely porous in both directions- environmental influences from social interactions to ambient toxins to literally everything the kid sees, hears, reads, and experiences from BEFORE birth, all combine in ways we can’t possibly fathom except in the grossest possible sense- and then that kid’s own behavior affects their environment, changing IT in unforeseeable ways. And guess what, every other person involved is doing the same thing. We are not separate from the machine just because we are semi-cognizant of it.

We are very slowly broadening the range of scales at which we are able to perceive the workings of the universe, but our understanding of even the infinitesimal range of scales we can now apprehend is so, so limited.


~ by oberon the fool on June 2, 2012.

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