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Unit 4 Discussion Board
Deliverable Length: 2–3 paragraphs

The Discussion Board (DB) is part of the core of online learning. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires the active participation of students and the instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Every student is expected to create an original response to the open-ended DB question as well as engage in dialogue by responding to posts created by others throughout the week. At the end of each unit, DB participation will be assessed based on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.

At a minimum, each student will be expected to post an original and thoughtful response to the DB question and contribute to the weekly dialogue by responding to at least two other posts from students. The first contribution must be posted before midnight (Central Time) on Wednesday of each week. Two additional responses are required after Wednesday of each week. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation.

The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow students to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the DB question. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each week.

The modernist philosopher John Locke argued that human behavior is determined almost entirely by nurture or environment. He argued that humans are born a tabula rasa (Latin for blank slate), and that all knowledge is acquired through experience. In short, an individual’s environments—the home he or she grows up in, the education that he or she receives, and so forth—determine who that individual becomes.

On the other end of the spectrum is genetic determinism—the belief that personality and behavioral traits are formed chiefly by an individual’s DNA, and that environment has very little influence. Studies involving identical twins seem to support the claim that genetics play a large role in behavior because identical twins are usually found to be more similar than fraternal twins or regular siblings.

Address the following questions:

  • Most scientists agree that human personality and behavioral traits are shaped by both genetics and environment; but, if you had to choose between genetics and environment, which one do you think plays the largest role? What logic can you use to support your answer? Identify your argument as either empiricist (supported with empirical evidence) or rationalist (supported by reason) and give 3 supporting claims to back up your assertion.
  • How does your conclusion affect free will?
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