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Nature or nurture? Nobody really knows

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'Only an optimist chooses a puppy without assessing both the character as well as the intelligence of the sire’s character and performance' argues Tom Stuttaford in Doctor's Surgery

For centuries, teachers, scientists and doctors have argued about the role of nurture versus nature in the intellectual development of the great and the good. Has the astoundingly successful career of Janet or James been because of their inherited genes or because they had a well-orientated home life and went to a good school? Most people have no objection to supporting specialised and privileged educational establishments, as long as the schools specialise in athletic performance, music or the performing arts. Conversely, many object strongly if similar advantages are given to the young schoolchild who shows abnormal academic rather than athletic ability. This antipathy to encouraging and nurturing latent intellectual development is peculiarly obvious in Britain, but noticeably absent in many successful overseas countries in the West and the East. Farmers, racehorse trainers and dog owners have been more realistic than doctors about the role of inheritance in determining personality, cognitive...


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