The ability of man to take control of all the other living things in the world is based on a defining factor which differentiates him from the animals- intelligence. The ability to think enables men to modify the environment to fit their needs and demands. On the other hand, Animals live where they can adopt environment, and they do not have the intelligence to change their environment to live as man does. This concept not only differentiates man from other animals, but also determines performance among individuals in a population. Intelligence is the cognitive ability of an individual to learn from experience reason well, remember critical information, and cope with the demands of daily living’ (Doerr, 2010). Intelligence is an abstract concept, and one’s intelligence is difficult to measure, but one traditional measure of intelligent is known as a standardized intelligence quotient (IQ) test, which measures an individual’s ability to reason and solve problems (Nisbett, et al. 2012)
In a population, individuals will portray different levels of intelligence which triggers the question of factors that determine intelligence level. The genesis of intelligence has been studied for a long time with the serious debate being on whether genetic composition or environment influences holds the weight in determining the origin of intelligence (Barysheva, 2009) In determining the core influencer of intelligence, Afred Binet and Theadore Simon developed the first test aimed at testing the level of intelligence among student in French school (Nisbett, et al 2012).). Their model of the test was based on areas that were not directly covered in school. This included attention, ability to recall, and problem solving skills. Their model revealed that age did not play a role in determining the level of intelligence. Their model exacerbated the need to determine the origin of intelligence.
The studies were carried further and deeper in the search for answers in the big question. Francis Galton introduced the concept nature versus nurture in the study of genesis of intelligence. According to him, Galton intelligence is deeply determined by the genetic composition of an individual. Parent’s intelligence level was directly linked to the intelligence level of an individual- Galton. He further proposed that to eradicate weak traits in a population, researchers should promote eugenics (breeding of individuals with desirable traits). Galton opinion was supported by Charles Spearman, a London based psychologist, who likened intelligence to a height which is solely determined by genetic composition (Tayyari, 2004). From their point of view, it is possible to draw inferences that intelligence is determined by the genes and individual receives from their parents, yet this dimension leads to a question why children in a family may portray variation in intelligence scale.
The other side of the coin is the nurture, which suggests that intelligence is determined by the exposure and individual receives as they grow. This theory of intelligence origin is supported by psychologist such as Charles Darwin, John Watson and Arthur Jensen (Powell, 2012). According to these scientists, environmental factors such as nutrition, early intervention, level of socialization, exposure to infrastructure and guidance from immediate people among others have a paramount impact on intelligence level (McDevitt and Ormrod, 2007). For instance, early intervention that enables a child to access education at a tender age enables the child develop the brain at an accelerated rate than the kids exposed to such environment late in their years.
The nurture theory has been proposed contemporary scientists as the deferential factor in level of intelligence between the developed and developing nations. Having profound infrastructures opens up a child’s level of thinking triggering neurons development. The existing neurons also need to be involved in varied factions to increase the number of connections they make in the brain. The number of functional connections in the brains is directly related to the level of intelligence exhibited in an individual (Barysheva, 2009). For instance, researchers suggested that exposing infant and toddlers to smooth rock music triggers interneuron connection at that tender age, raising the child’s IQ.
The decision to separate the influence of nature and nurture influence on intelligence level has attracted contentious opinions. It is difficult to isolate the two factors and settle on one as a sole side of the discussion as genesis of intelligence. The two theories hold enough waters in the discussion since they rely on each other. Genetic composition without environmental influence would be too weak to determine the intelligence level of an individual (McDevitt and Ormrod, 2007). On the same vein, environmental influences cannot play on a vacuum ground. The difference has to be set by the inherited composition in an individual. This has led to a conclusion that both factors have to be considered in determining the origin of the intelligence.
However, nurture holds more weight in the genesis of intelligence than genetic composition. This is demonstrated in the twin experiment, influence of educational and training. The twin experiment involves modifying the environment where the twins grow; thus, create a difference in exposure. This is done by separating the twins immediately after birth to expose them to different forces of nurture. The experiment assumes the twins are genetically identical having over 90 % genetic composition similarities (Doerr, 2010). These twins when subjected IQ test, there show variation in score where one score higher than the other. This case is converse in instances where twins brought up together in the same environment are subjected to IQ test.
Education and training is another example that supports the influence of nurture as the origin of intelligence. Educated individual scores higher in IQ than those who have not received education. Similarly, training can lead to molding an individual towards a desired line of specialty. Majoring on one line of specialization will lead enhanced skill related to that task. For instance, experiments performed by psychologist John Watson illustrate the role of training in intelligence development. Through classical conditioning, Watson was able to support his notion of developing kids to be what he wants regardless of their genetic composition (Powell, 2012). The effect of environment on intelligence is also supported by the current evidence of intelligence quotient being influenced by industrialization. More industrialized countries have witnessed individuals with high scores in intelligence quotient as opposed to less industrialized countries. This effect, regarded as Flynn effect, is believed to result from the ability of technology in motivate advancement in intelligence development (McDevitt and Ormrod, 2007).
In conclusion, genetic compositions play the role of setting the bench mark for nurture to act. Genes will predispose the rate of intelligence development and the extent to which nature will act. The environment to which an individual is exposed will determine the level of intelligence development. Conducive and challenging environment will lead accelerate the intelligence level of a child. It can also be argued that genetic expression in and individual is inclined to the environment (Doerr, 2010). For instance, an individual who has desirable genes for a talent in music can only be identified when participating in music studies or practice. Such persons will then enroll in music training grounds with the aim of supplementing and advancing their talents; thus, promoting their music genes expression. Therefore, despite the fact that nature and nurture play a significant role in intelligence, environment is more crucial in determining the level of intelligence of an individual that genetic composition.
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