Are Genius Made Or Born?

Published: 07th April 2009
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The main problem with the idea that we are a product of our genes and nothing else is that we are not born and kept in isolation in a bubble for the rest of our lives. As human beings we arrive with a survival kit, but we grow and develop in a process of constant interaction with our environment. Is it nature or nurture that predicts our future? For the record, all the current indications are that it is just too simple to say we are born with what we get and that's the end of the story.

What would be the outcome of our brain development if we didn't have any social contact from the time we were born? Looking at cases where children who have been discovered who were raised with very little social interaction, brain development within these children, including speech and language were severely impaired. Providing children with a nurturing, supportive and socially interactive environment is not just good for their self-esteem, emotional development and overall well being it is especially important for their cognitive brain function and intellectual development. Is nature or nurture the determinant of genius? Environment cannot be ignored in human development for the fact that the genes we inherit are finite, whereas the brain's ability to develop billions of new connections between the cells it is born with is infinite. Education, knowledge, learning and experiences, all of these will greatly influence the number of new connections each of our brains will make over our lifetime.

In the past, we were told that we are born with a certain number of brain cells and if you do not use your gray cells, you will lose them. What scientists discovered recently is that our brain grows new cells or neurons all the time and as with our existing brain cells, the trick is to stimulate them to prevent them from dying off. This may not seem like a great discovery but in reality, it has huge implications. It changes everything. What we are born with matters, but what we do with it matters even more.

So are the brains of geniuses different from everybody else? The problem with this question is that we don't know if there is such a thing as atypical genius brain. This is because there is a lack of genius brains for scientists to tinker with. Another problem is that the chances of a person being recognized as one is increased by the number of years they have been dead.

Einstein left his brain to science and one of the most notable things about Einstein's brain is its dense network of connectivity in relation to the brains of other people his age. In other words, his brain was very well wired up. But, and this is a big but, whether Einstein's brain was born like this, or whether it developed to become like this over time, via his interaction with his environment, a life filled with research and learning, is something no one knows for certain. This is because no one knows what his brain looked like when he was born.

When you remove all the hype and mystery surrounding a genius, you are left with a simple fact. All known genius began their journey in the world just like any other baby. They arrived in a safe environment with a brain and a body hungry for development. If you don't know if your child is a genius or not, you can make the odds in his favor by adopting early childhood development and training. Such training take mere minutes a day and the effects last a lifetime. Yes your baby can read much earlier and learn math much faster if you employ the proper tools without the stress to both mother and child. Such skills will enhance the child's learning ability and will last a lifetime.

Elaine Mak is an early child education consultant and has created a new program to help your young child learn faster at an early age. To get a free preview, please visit

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