SCIENCE

Geniuses Are Born, Not Made? Debate Between Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, Dr. Zach Hambrick

03/14/2012 02:44 pm ET | Updated Dec 15, 2015

Note: The following article incorporates a "debate" feature that is no longer supported by The Huffington Post. You can explore the subject of genius in more depth here.

Do genes make the genius? Or is it really true that practice is what puts people in Carnegie Hall?

Some argue that the the seeds of genius are planted before birth -- child prodigies like Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci and Tiger Woods come to mind. Others say "genius" is just another word for minds that have been honed by untold hours of practice -- Paul Cezanne, Robert Frost and even Charles Darwin were well-known "late bloomers." Of course, many argue that brilliance and virtuosity represent the combined effects of learned and innate characteristics.

Who has genius right? We invited a pair of noted experts in the field to square off on this proposition: geniuses are born, not made. On one side is Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, a professor of psychology at New York University in New York City. On the other is Dr. Zach Hambrick, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Who wins the debate? That's up to you and other HuffPost Science readers, all of whom are invited to read the arguments side by side and then cast a vote. Whoever changes more minds is the winner.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Michigan State University is in Ann Arbor. In fact, it is in East Lansing.

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