The Values of Science: Introduction and Plan

For my Values of Science project, I will be analyzing the film Project Nim and an article called “What Is Nature Versus Nurture?” and composing a response article online. I will explore the value and importance of the nature versus nurture debate in science today and its impact on an organism’s physical and mental development. I chose the article “What Is Nature Versus Nurture?” because the article provides an in-depth view of the debate of nature versus nurture from a broad view with many insightful points, and I chose the film Project Nim due to the fact that the chimpanzee Nim is a living example of how both nature and nurture have influence over Nim’s future, both physically and mentally. The film approaches the debate of nature versus nurture as a much closer and specific example of the debate, but I intend to take the broad views and points the article makes and apply them to the events within the film. Nim had been raised since infancy as a human and taught basic sign language, but did these experiences, memories, and influences make Nim any more intelligent or physically competent than if he had been raised like other chimpanzees in the wild or in enclosures? The two pieces of science communication together provide the necessary information and examples to develop a conclusion about whether or not the environment surrounding Nim influenced Nim’s mental and physical development as a chimpanzee. I commit to answering the questions the two pieces pose together within my article individually.