Who and What we are.
Steven Pinker writing above behavioral genetics in today’s, January 11, NYTimes Magazine says this:
“Behavioral genetics has repeatedly found that the “shared environment” — everything that siblings growing up in the same home have in common, including their parents, their neighborhood, their home, their peer group and their school — has less of an influence on the way they turn out than their genes. In many studies, the shared environment has no measurable influence on the adult at all. Siblings reared together end up no more similar than siblings reared apart, and adoptive siblings reared in the same family end up not similar at all. A large chunk of the variation among people in intelligence and personality is not predictable from any obvious feature of the world of their childhood.”
I’ve always felt if not said that our four children, products of a shared environment, seem to have mostly escaped the influence of that environment in respect to what they are now. In other words, they are now almost entirely themselves, and in only a few, but probably not measurable, ways the products of that shared environment.
So the question is, as Pinker frames it, what is the principal source (sources) of who and what we are? The answer is still and will be, if ever, a long time in coming. The still satisfying mystery of who and what we are remains. And this gives us hope in respect to what we may yet become.Explore posts in the same categories: Thoughts