Nature vs. Nurture: Where Do You Stand? (Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel)


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“The one most important thing to do is to not try to find the one most important thing to do.” - Jared Diamond(click to tweet)
We’re raised around the people most genetically similar to us.
This makes it very difficult to isolate how much of our identity comes from DNA and how much is driven by our environment. To complicate things even further, the field of epigenetics has shown that gene expression can be altered by the environment around us.
That’s why on today’s episode of MentorBox’s Book of the Day series, we are joined by the American geographer, historian, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond, to discuss the nature vs. nurture debate. Jared is the author of Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997, awarded a Pulitzer Prize), and in today’s episode he sheds light on this elusive human phenomenon.
Tune in to situate your understanding of the nature vs. nurture debate with the findings of research!
“In general, friends that you know longer are more unique. They can’t be replaced.” - Jared Diamond(click to tweet)
Points to Keep In Mind
  • In the nature-nurture debate, look at resistance to malaria between Swedes and West Africans, and use of metal tools between Europeans and New Guineans
  • Temperate zones have higher agricultural productivity because of richer soil
  • Costa Rica has gone from the poorest country in Central America to now, the richest
  • The Cuban government has invested more heavily in education and health than the American government
  • Within the last two decades, most communication has shifted from face-to-face to indirect and through digital screens
  • Remember that new friends are good, but old friends are better
  • “The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people.” - Albert Einstein
  • Read Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • The difference between function and dysfunction is level of specificity

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