Nature vs. nurture critical essay

The relative role of nature versus nurture in the shaping of living systems is a central issue in many areas of biology. There are two schools of thought. One side would argue that all idiotypic specificities are encoded in the germline genes of the gonads, implying that antigenic experiences over eons of time have allowed the accumulation, by natural selection, of every conceivable antibody specificity. The alternative school argues that a collection of useful specificities are germline encoded (e. g., those specific for antigens endemic to the species), the rest arising by a somatic mutation (and selection) process during the life of the individual; the total repertoire is, therefore, generated and shaped during ontogeny.

The nature-nurture debate has now shifted to specifying how much of the child traits can be attributed to heredity and how much toenvironment. An enormous amount of research has been generated by this question. Despite sophisticated research procedure, there is still no definite answer to the nature-nurture question.

My stand is more related on the environment and experience’s contribution to a child’s development, as what the role of nurture was discussed and especially apparent in Piaget’s book the Moral Judgment of the Child (1965), where he asserted that many arguments and conflicts with peers are the key in stimulating development of more mature moral thinking (McCormick & Pressley, 2006). On biology, I personally think that even if the child gets the best gene composition, his experiences would still stand out. These would teach him lessons in life that he would most likely use in his everyday life.

Today, most developmental psychologists do not believe that development is primarily due to either nature (determined by biology) or nurture (determined by experience), Instead, there is clear understanding that development is due to both nature and nurture, both biology and experience. Biology provides a range of possibilities. Which of those possibilities is realized depends greatly on the experiences available in the environment.

Consider that may seem a simple example. A child inherits genes providing him or her with a biological predisposition for being intelligent and smart than average. Whether this child achieves this biological potential depends upon environmental factors, such as the nutrition available and exposure to severe illness or disease (Vialle, Lysaght, & Verenikina, 2005).


McCormick, C. B., & Pressley, M. (2006). Child and Adolescent Development for Educators. New York and London: Guilford Press.

Vialle, W., Lysaght, P., & Verenikina, I. (2005). Psychologyfor Educators. Australia: Thomson Learning Nelson.