Originally Posted by arraamis
While, I do not disagree, that some children are born with inherent mental gifts that gives them an edge in scholastic studies -- I don't think biology and or genetics are the primary determining factor to one's potential for mental growth. There are plenty of conclusive studies that clearly demonstrate the profound role environment plays in the development of the human brain.
To simply dismiss, other relevant factors in human development with a broad, vague stroke is very short-sighted, and demonstrates, more study is needed.
And speaking of biology, studies of the brain, have revealed that it is a nurtured organism, and with the right stimili, can evolve to overcome what previously was thought to be out of reach. This is to state, that a child who was previously nurtured in an unhealthy environment and stymied, can demonstrate progress thought impossible, by being placed in an environment that encourages learning.
I think that pretty much like 80% of all people are born with a similar learning capacity, and *nurturing will determine exactly how *smart that person will become. Of course there's slight variations within this - but you know what I'm getting at - the bell curve. Then there are 10% of people who are just born really, really smart with incredible learning capacities, and 10% of people who are born "simple," for lack of a better term, and no matter how hard they try, will simply not be able to keep up with the average joe.
There have been numerous studies done, and both seem to indicate it's a combination of both nature, and nurture. Literally too many to begin to discuss. It's probably been one of the more studied subjects in the past hundred years. I definitely think that nurture plays a larger role. Obviously a child who grows up with a parent reading to them as a baby/toddler, and working with them will have a huge advantage. I still think if the child who did not get that extra attention as a toddler, can still catch himself up through high school (I've know too many kids who had parents who didn't give a ****, yet still did great in school, college, on the SAT, etc.)
I won't try to say exactly how much more important nurture is than nature, but it definitely is more important.
* - to keep things simple, I just categorized all factors that are not inherent at birth (or biological) as "nurture"; when defining "smart" I meant in the conventional way - as in subjects covered on standardized tests. Since we're discussing intelligence in relation to standardized tests of some sort to get into a school.