C: Let’s take questions from the (25)_____________.
Q: People often very much (26)________________ their parents in (27)___________ of their physical appearance, and even their characters. Why then, do you not think that it is equally possible that a child will inherit its parents’ ability, or intelligence?
S: That’s a good question, because yes, we can see that we do inherit physical characteristics from our parents. However, the point I’m trying (28)_____________ is that we cannot rely on something we are (29)______________ be born with. For (30)____________, the influence of nurture is (31)____________ stronger. I (32)__________ that everyone has the same potential, they just need to be given the right conditions to (33)__________ and develop that potential.
As I see it
4. by far
5. reason I think
The reason I think this is that
6. brought up
7. much stronger
8. will argue that
some people will argue that
pretty much: almost; almost completely. E.g. One dog looks pretty much like another to me.
10. ability for
scientist with a natural ability for mathematics
12. the chances are
the chances are (that)… it is likely that. E.g. The chances are you won't have to pay.
13. instil in
instil something (in/into somebody): to gradually make somebody feel, think or behave in a particular way over a period of time. Sp. inculcar. E.g. to instil confidence/discipline/fear into somebody.
14. pass on
pass on: to give someone something that someone else has given you. E.g. When you’ve read this message, please pass it on.
engage in something/ engage somebody in something (formal) to take part in something; to make somebody take part in something. E.g. Even in prison, he continued to engage in criminal activities. She tried desperately to engage him in conversation.
17. as a result
it's as a result of this that
I absolutely reject the idea that
endow somebody/something with something: to give something to somebody/something. E.g. to endow somebody with a responsibility.
inborn: an inborn quality is one that you are born with. Innate. E.g. Some people have an inborn tendency to put on weight.
22. come of it
come of/from something: to be the result of something. E.g. I made a few enquiries, but nothing came of it in the end. Come of/from doing something That comes of eating too much!
23. so long as
so/as long as: only if. E.g. We'll go as long as the weather is good.
To conclude I would have to argue that...
the floor [singular] the part of a building where discussions or debates are held, especially in a parliament; the people who attend a discussion or debate. E.g. Opposition politicians registered their protest on the floor of the House. We will now take any questions from the floor.
in terms of something: used to show what aspect of a subject you are talking about or how you are thinking about it. E.g. The job is great in terms of salary, but it has its disadvantages.
28. to make
29. assumed to
We are assumed to be born with
I believe that...
nurture something to help somebody/something to develop and be successful. E.g. It's important to nurture a good working relationship. My father nurtured a love of art in me. Her teacher recognized and nurtured her musical talent from an early age.
S: OK, I’m going to talk about the influence of nature versus nurture. And I’d like to begin by stating that, as I see it, by far the strongest influence has to be ‘nurture’. The reason I think this is that I believe the way we’re brought up will have a much stronger influence on how we behave than anything that’s in our genes. I mean, some people will argue that our abilities are determined pretty much exclusively by our genes, so if your father was a great scientist with a natural ability for mathematics, then there’s a pretty good chance that you might inherit that same ability. Personally, I think it’s ridiculous to suggest this. I think that when a parent has a particular strength, or interest, or achieves something wonderful in a particular field, then the chances are that when they have children, they will try to instil in the children the same kind of interest, they will pass on their knowledge, their passion for the subject, they are quite likely to engage the child in activities related to that field, perhaps for quite a lot of the child’s time. And it’s as a result of this that the child may also develop strengths or abilities in the same field. I absolutely reject the idea that nature endows us with these inborn abilities. I mean, you can be born with the best natural musical ability in the universe, but if you don’t practise the piano, then nothing will come of it. On the other hand, I think you can teach people to do just about anything, so long as you dedicate time and give the child the right kind of encouragement, or put them in the right situation. So, to conclude I would have to argue that ‘nurture’ plays a much stronger role in the development of who you are, and the talents that you develop than ‘nature’ does.
C: OK. Thank you. And now, let’s open the discussion up and take questions from the floor. Does anyone have a question for one of the speakers?
Q: Yes, I’d like to ask a question to the last speaker. I think it is quite obvious if you look around you, that people often very much resemble their parents in terms of their physical appearance, and even their characters. Why then, do you not think that it is equally possible that a child will inherit its parents’ ability, or intelligence?
S: That’s a good question, because yes, we can see that we do inherit physical characteristics from our parents. However, the point I’m trying to make is that we cannot rely on something we are assumed to be born with. For me, the influence of nurture is far stronger. I believe that everyone has the same potential, they just need to be given the right conditions to nurture and develop that potential. Thank you for the question.
C: Thank you. Are there any other questions?