Nature vs. Nurture

I’m currently reading The Sports Gene by Jeffrey Epstein (really enjoying it so far) and he provides a great analogy for nature vs. nurture, liking nature to be “hardware” and nurture to be “software”.

So here are a few things that really stood out for me:

  • You are born with certain traits, i.e. your genetic makeup
  • These traits provide you with potentials – you can be genetically predisposed to be able to run really fast, or throw a javelin really far, but if you don’t train that potential is never going to be realised
  • Training is that “software”, i.e. nurture
  • Assuming that on a scale of 0 (non-existent) to 100 (the best humanly possible) your running potential is at an 80;
  • If you don’t train at all you’re going to be close to 0 and if you train in the best, most optimal way, you can get to 80 (or really close to it)
  • But here’s the key thing: no matter how hard you train you’re not getting to 81
  • And at the same time, no matter how much potential you have, if you’re not working at achieving that potential you’re not going to be get anywhere

Fascinating stuff.

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