Is "Nature" more influential than "Nurture"? It is said that knowledge occurs from genetic information sharpened by a process of natural selection. Some portions of this knowledge might be nurtured, but genetically determined forms also may modify how we categorize our experiences. But many people still suggest that nurture is everything when they write opinion pieces or conduct research.
From an evolutionary point of view, certain things we know about the world are inborn, although modifiable by interactions with family, education, religion and society. This knowledge about objects and what is valued is "nature" having been selectively reinforced over time. For instance, scientists observe some pairs of twins at the University in Minnesota. They studied both identical and fraternal twins in the same time. They compared pairs of twins that are raised in the same family with pairs raised in different families and they got to the conclusion that even "though some twins go out their way to emphasize differences between them, in general identical twins are very much alike in personality." (Goleman, New York Times, 1986) .
At an early age, the children get their pieces of advice from their parents. Loving parents have confident children, authoritative parents (neither too permissive nor too disciplinary) have well-behaved children, parents who talk to their children have children with better language skills, and so on. Everyone concludes that to rear the best children, parents must be loving, authoritative, and talkative, and if children don't turn out well, it must be the parents' fault. Parents provide their children with genes, not just a home environment. The correlations between parents and children may be telling us only that the same genes that make adults loving, authoritative, and talkative make their children self-confident, well behaved, and articulate. Until the studies are redone with adopted children (who get only their environment, not their genes, from their parents), the data are compatible with the possibility that genes make all the difference, the possibility that parenting makes all the difference, or anything in between.