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Is Intelligence Mostly Innate or Nurtured?
in Science

By xMathFanxxMathFanx 102 Pts edited January 1
Is Intelligence Mostly Innate or Nurtured?  

Now, it is near common knowledge that there is some level of intricate interplay between innate abilities and nurturing.  However, which one plays a larger role?  Please post your thoughts on the side that you feel is more responsible for various levels of intelligence in the Human population.  If you are of the persuasion that it is 50-50, than please come down on either side or both sides of the debate when posting.   Also, do you object to the framing of this question?--and rather feel that there is more to be discussed than explored here?  Please indicate as such if you deem this to be the case while stating your reasoning.    

Note:  We are strictly discussing Human intelligence, as the innate differences between a Human and a frog are rather obvious/trivial to reasonably conclude/suppose. 
BryanMullinsTh1
  1. Is Intelligence Mostly Innate or Nurtured?

    7 votes
    1. Mostly Innate
      28.57%
    2. Mostly Nurtured
      71.43%



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  • someone234someone234 523 Pts
    edited January 1
    Innate and nutrients based mostly. I mean nutrients literally here.

    Nurture can turn a smart person dumb sometimes but it can't do the opposite.
    xMathFanx
    Be tomorrow's hero, not today's idol.
  • Anecdotally, I think it's primarily nurture.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • I'd say intelligence, as in knowledge, is mainly taught, or nurtured.  Wisdom, or commonsense, is how to best apply knowledge.  This is innate, however as knowledge increases it too often becomes over-relied upon and decreases wisdom.
    MajoMILSdlGMGV
  • CYDdharta said:
    I'd say intelligence, as in knowledge, is mainly taught, or nurtured.  Wisdom, or commonsense, is how to best apply knowledge.  This is innate, however as knowledge increases it too often becomes over-relied upon and decreases wisdom.
    I agree here. We might have innate traits concerning our lives as babies, for instance, who feeds us and how to get parents attention, or how to move the body around, but all of our language, religion, and perception of the world are all nurtured traits that our parents or some authority teach us. If we didn't have innate traits, we would die at birth, but since innate traits are present before birth, then nurtured traits are more present in our lives.
    A good debate is not judged by bias, but in the context of the debate, where objectivity is key and rationale prevalent. 


  • In my opinion I believe that intelligence is mostly nurture, but it can be facilitated by innate cognitive abilities. So if you are born with better or higher cognitive abilities knowledge or intelligence may be easier to retain or to attain through nurture, but it doesn't mean that other people do no have the ability to attain intelligence, it just may take more work and time. 
    WilliamSchulz
  • Is Intelligence Mostly Innate or Nurtured?

    A person who is uneducated is very much analogous to stating that they lack physical training. Therefore, their mind is lacks intelligence in a similar manner as ones body would lack strength. Like a muscle, the brain adapts to stimulation and atrophies in the absence of it.

    Now in regards to historical figures and intelligence, I will reference a previous post of mine on a separate Forum concerning a connected topic (in hopes that this will contribute to the discussion here):

    Now, we need to distinguish between the "hardware" and "software" involved in Human intelligence.

    Everybody is born with "hardware" on a spectrum from "lowest grade" to "highest grade", much like height for instance--which is (nearly) entirely out of their own control. Now, unlike height (actually, height can be fiddled with a bit), even the "hardware" can be molded in the positive or negative direction to relevant (although highly constrained) degrees due to neuroplasticity (and Frontal Lobe development or failure to become developed).

    As for "software", this is tremendously reliant upon environmental factors and stimuli--including education, study time, ect. ect. Now, there is extremely high reason to believe that average range Human "hardware" is compatible with "software" upgrades beyond what we can currently imagine. That is, we have nowhere near "maxed out". For instance, it is well understood that the modern average Physics Graduate student (who is proficient in their studies) understands Relativity better than Einstein himself did. Moreover, Archimedes, for his time (ca. 287-212 BCE), was an unprecedented genius of the highest degree and it is well understood now that an individual with a BA/BS in Mathematics (that is proficient in the area) has knowledge & abilities so far above Archimedes that if they were to enter a time machine and go back to converse with him, Archimedes would be flabbergasted & almost definitely would struggle mightily to keep up--if he could at all. Archimedes (and others of his time) may well be tempted to describe such a Time Traveler as a "genius", although we know how silly & off the mark this claim would be. Hence, there are differing perspectives at work here as well, and if the Scientific Enterprise continues for centuries to millennia into Humanities future, this dynamic is bound to continue to unfold. This is a strong basis for hope--if humanity is able to "get our act together", then the potential is stupendous.

    Also, Einstein (or Newton, ect) would have never been Einstein if it weren't for the extreme grit & tenacity for which they approached problems. Einstein worked on General Relativity continuously for 10 years straight, and in later life ultimately was on his deathbed writing down equations until he died. The idea that it was simply a "gift" is absurd--Newton, Einstein, and others are amongst the hardest-working people who have ever lived (aside from forced labor, that is). This is why comparisons between say Michael Jordan (or other "top" athletes) and Albert Einstein, ect. are truly infuriatingly stupid (amongst many other reasons).

    Now, Newton & Einstein were clearly aberrations in the "high-grade Hardware" they were born with--and people with such "hardware" (to that level) seem to be extremely rare indeed (in fact, statistically infinitesimal). However, one should note that they still put in a tremendous amount of work in order to become the top "Genius" level people we know them as today--or else we (likely) would never have known them at all.

    ale5MajoMILSdlGMGV
  • ale5ale5 226 Pts
    I am at the 50-50% camp, as you need both for success.  Innate intelligence without nurturing will most likely go wasted, and similarly all best effort without innate abilities will certanly limit potential. 
    However, if I had to pick a side, I will say innate abilities are critical for intelligence if you want to achieve greatness.  I don't care how hard Steve Jobs would study and learn, but if he wouldn't have innate abilities his results wouldn't have been exceptional, and I wouldn't typing this comment on my ipad right now 
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • ale5 said:
    I am at the 50-50% camp, as you need both for success.  Innate intelligence without nurturing will most likely go wasted, and similarly all best effort without innate abilities will certanly limit potential. 
    However, if I had to pick a side, I will say innate abilities are critical for intelligence if you want to achieve greatness.  I don't care how hard Steve Jobs would study and learn, but if he wouldn't have innate abilities his results wouldn't have been exceptional, and I wouldn't typing this comment on my ipad right now 

    What did you make of my reference to Archimedes compared to modern day Mathematics students?
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