In 1977, two respected scientists, Ben Morin and his wife, Catherine, gave up their jobs at the university to conduct an experiment they consider revolutionary in understanding human identity. Their goal is to raise three children, in contradiction with their genetic predispositions, to prove the ultimate power of education on nature. They are trying to prove that they all have the same potential to become whatever they want. Maya, a newborn adopted from two unstable parents, is raised to be intelligent, while Maurice, a newborn adopted by two parents predisposed to anger, is raised to be pacifist. Eventually, their own biological son, Luke, who comes from a long line of scientific brains, is raised to become a venerated artist. The experiment will reveal some scientific truth but will lead Ben and Catherine to discover the true value of the family.