Science & Education

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 583–590 | Cite as

Evelyn Fox Keller: The Mirage of a Space Between Nature and Nurture

Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-8223-4731-6, 107 pages, price: $18.95
  • David S. Moore
Book Review


For well over 100 years, some scientists have been interested in disentangling how nature and nurture affect the development of people’s characteristics. After all, some characteristics appear uninfluenced by the contexts in which development occurs, whereas others appear very much affected by developmental environments. To choose two obvious examples, skin color appears to be little affected by a child’s nurturing environment—children born to black Kenyan adults, for example, grow up to have dark skin like their parents even if they are raised by adoptive white parents in Denmark—and language appears to be little affected by a child’s natural biological inheritance—those same children learn to speak the perfect Danish of their adoptive parents, knowing nothing of their biological parents’ Swahili. As a result, it seemed reasonable to Charles Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton to attempt to develop a way to measure the relative influences of nature and nurture on human traits....


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pitzer College and Claremont Graduate UniversityClaremontUSA

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