Let Me Ask You a Question – 1/4/18

Let Me Ask You a Question – 1/4/18


Let me ask you a question:

If a child somehow survived and grew up in the wilderness without any human contact, how “human” would they be without the influence of society and culture?    


39 thoughts on “Let Me Ask You a Question – 1/4/18

  1. Oh man! Great question. Not to make light but along the lines of “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Much of what it is to be human is learned. But biology is in there too. Nature vs nurture. I need to ponder this a bit more. Lots of possible answers.

    1. I think this is a great question as well. I’ve read studies on kids who were raised by packs of animals; 1 by dogs and 1 by monkeys. neither displayed any “human” qualities but were able to be rehabilitated.

      1. Yeah…..well….so I did not understand the question AS USUAL!!!! I read it and went straight to answer with out realizing what the actual question was. My mind went to….no social influences like molestation, anorexia by social media and tv influence. I went to all the positives of living with animals and in nature, which i for one would like to do. I thought you meant how would a child be if they did not have anyone to corrupt their mind.
        But having a degree in childhood development I would have to logically say that all children need human interaction and love to be healthy and happy. It is just a shame we cannot just leave it at that

  2. That’s a good question. Some aspects of being human are innate, but many are learned behavior. This is a true nature vs nurture thing. I’m guessing things like language, using utensils, etc would not happen naturally but things like walking upright, seeking shelter, etc would happen naturally. Just guesses though.

  3. well for starters, they probably wouldn’t have hate or judgement in their hearts when first meeting someone. They also would have great primal instincts and know to be afraid of the first human they meet to come into their world. just my thought…

  4. You mean like Tarzan…

    The would have no idea how to be human..
    until they come in contact with humans..
    and naturally with human instincts they would be able to rehabilitate slowly..

    But would still portray their habitual behavior that they learn in the Wilderness…

    1. The stories I’ve read about children raised in the wild didn’t end well for the kid. None of them were able to be rehabilitated to any level we would consider “normal”.

  5. This has actually happened many times and they adapted to the animal behavior that raised them. When discovered or found they had to relearn human behavior, and some never really learned. It’s rare, but has taken place. Mainly in countries where parents abandon their children etc.

    Another good question is how close is our behavior to those of monkeys are closest primate relative? 🙂

    We are all animals and I think whoever raises you or the environment you grow up in you will adapt those behaviors. I am not sure if I believe humans have a natural instinct to be human or it is jst the culture we grow up in. Which is why humans are so different in many ways.

  6. There have been many cases of supposed “Wolf Children”. Generally, the degree to which they could function in society varied a lot, depending on at what age they were “lost” (had they already learned some amount of language) and at what age found (young enough to acquire functional language skills). There are also examples of children raised in conditions of extreme neglect (for example, in some notorious Romanian orphanages) who showed poor communication skills and reduced cognitive capacity that was difficult to significantly remedy. It should be noted that the “wild children” shown in side shows were hoaxes.

    1. I have only read 6 stories of children raised in the wild. Although I find it hard to imagine any infant would last more than a day or so alone even if found by animals. But I could be completely wrong.

      1. My impression is that the children were not infants when lost, but at least toddlers. And, some may not have been really out in the wild so very long, but may have suffered from some mental illness, or other cognitive problem that went UN-diagnosed due to their being in a remote area or before such things were recognized. Picture, for example, a severely autistic child found wandering near a village in India in the 1800s and the story that would be created.

      2. That last part is a solid point. After all it wasn’t that long ago that we burned people at the stake for a variety of reasons. Mental illness was misunderstood.

  7. Wasn’t there a famous case Genie (I think) a girl who was locked up in a room away from human interaction for most of her life. I don’t think anyone knows what happened to her, but the studies they did do, showed that as animals, we are very social and need the interaction of each other.

    1. I do recall a Genie. Let me run to Google……okay, I’m back and yes you are correct. The girl’s father kept her bound to a toilet or bound in a crib for nearly 13 years and forbade anyone from talking to her or interacting. Awful story.

      1. Yes thats the one, I believe they used her for language experiments, but it is a horrible story.

        There is another one involving twins but I am going to have to google to make sure it was real rather than an episode of law and order or something

  8. I’ve thought about this for a while and wonder if our basic instincts which I think we are born with will out. When nurtured by holding, loving, whether by humans or animals, to me that’s the best thing for an infant’s survival. Some studies show an infant can receive the basic things, food, shelter, etc, but never being loved or held is the devastating factor.. Surroundings don’t change basic instincts I think. I’ve argued this before thinking of how people treat other people. I can’t get it through my head that every person’s basic instinct to care for others is not innate. A personal situation recently gave me an argument against my belief. So if there are experts out there, I wonder where their opinions come from.

  9. Romulus and Remus raised by the she wolf. I would say humans would adopt the behavior of whatever animal raised them. And then the reeducation of become “human” could probably be done with varying degrees of success as others have commented.

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