The Jesuits said 'give me a child until the age of seven and I will give you the man'.
From my 25 years of teaching children aged 5 -7 years, I would argue that there is little that teachers can do to change the impact of genetics on the character of the young child. In my experience a child with parents who are honest/dishonest, caring/bullying, selfish/generous usually demonstrates the same characteristics from an early age. It was reported in the press this week that scientists have discovered that even facial expressions that run in families result not from mimicry but from family genes. Science is discovering more and more that in the nature versus nurture debate it is 'nature' that has the greater influence over our characters. My question is this: If we are the victims of our genes can we truly be held culpable for our misdeeds?
Response from Peter Lipton on November 11, 2006
Your question raises a number of interesting issues, but I will here just ask one brief question in return. If we were more victims of our environment than of our genes, could we then truly be held culpable for our misdeeds?