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Word Count: 1,279
The debate which I will be delving into in this paper is known by a variety of names but be it referred to as nature versus nurture or blood versus environment the players on both sides remain the same Those who believe that human nature is determined by genetics and therefore cannot be changed are usually among the reactionary elite They tend to be overt racists or a t least predisposed to stereotypes of ethnic groups or classes They vehemently dispute the opposing view that can be used to threaten their privileged position in society Proponents of the view that most human characteristics are products of the environment in which they are raised are usually on the left side of the political spectrum and criticize present social conditions Experimentation the best manner with which to gather evidence is frowned upon when humans are involved so both sides of the argument are difficult to prove decisively However I support the view that humans are the result of the environment in which they are nurtured especially in the early formative years of their childhood and I believe that my opinion is better supported with compelling evidence than the opposing view Due to the wide range that my thesis covers I will focus mainly on the debate surrounding those of African descent and the belief of many that blacks are less intelligent and more criminal than other races Notions of racial superiority are not by any means a recent development nor solely American Evidence of racism is found in the so-called classical society of Ancient Greece and in earlier civilizations But actual attempts to scientifically back the claim of superiority of one race over another began in earnest in the late nineteenth century This was instigated by the findings of Charles Darwin on evolution and an offshoot theory Social Darwinism Authors of such material were much more blatantly racist in their writings freely employing slurs and adamant that
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