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Customised humans

Matt Ridley's attempts to surmount futile nature/nurture arguments do not go far enough.

By Raymond Tallis   September 2003

If I were leafing through Prospect wondering where to begin, I would probably pass over this article. Given its theme??nature or nurture??I would expect to be bored. And for several reasons: for the confused arguments that are mobilised by those who want to prove either that our character (behaviour, personality) is entirely, or mostly, genetically determined or entirely, or mostly, environmentally determined; for the straw men each party conscripts to represent the views of its opponents; for the banality of middle positions which remind us that both nature and nurture contribute to our being the kind of creatures we are;…

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