Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
Comments on Nature vs. Nurture, to James Marchant
(S707ar: 1917)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Brief comments by Wallace recorded several years later by James Marchant on page 101 of his 1917 book Birth-rate and Empire. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S707AR.htm


     . . . One day, towards the end of his long life when we were discussing the subject of heredity and environment with Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, he emphatically exclaimed: "Leave heredity alone until we have made the environment of every child from conception to death the best possible for its full and free development, and then we can begin to think about the influences of heredity, which may be small." Environment, he felt, was practically all, so far as we are concerned, and it was unmitigated humbug to talk about hereditary class distinctions being rooted in Nature. "An individual is, of course, a product of nature and nurture, but it is one-tenth the former and nine-tenths the latter." . . .


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