26 thoughts on “Searching for the Genes for Intelligence”

  1. Extreme abstract thinking isn’t needed to function in a society. Take American society, few people can do math past Algebra, and many can’t even do that. Society still ticks a long. Of course, an elite of math literate people is needed to engineer things, fly planes, do surgery etc..

    1. Plus, we can’t even be sure blacks etc.. can’t do math. In my Calculus II class, there are a few blacks. Obviously, some blacks can think abstractly.

  2. Perhaps society to should organize education to focus on abstract thinking, so everybody, including blacks, Latinos etc.. can finally do advanced math and science. I think Cuba has made some progress producing more black doctors etc..

    1. They already tried this. They got rid of phonics and substituted “whole word” reading. Didn’t work. Made things worse. If you think about it going to whole word reading is like hieroglyphics or Chinese. Phonics was one the greatest inventions on the planet. Right up there with fire but it wasn’t good enough for the wonks.
      Same with “new Math”. Big failure.

    1. The way the message is received is the recipient sees flashes of light, representing 1s and 0s and then translates it into a word, almost like morse code. The recipient doesn’t have a verbal thought like their normal thoughts.
      “As you can see, this method very neatly sidesteps the fact that we really don’t know how the human brain encodes information — and so, for now, instead of importing a “native” message, we have to use our own encoding scheme (binary) and a quirk of the visual cortex. “

  3. “How do genes affect cognitive ability or other human quantitative traits such as height or disease risk? Progress on this challenging question is likely to be significant in the near future.”
    – Steve Hsu, from your link.
    A million genomes is entirely doable. And if nobody else does it, the Chinese probably will.
    The present BGI study will make some progress.

    1. Most likely the Japanese or English will beat the Chinese to the punch. Seeing the amount of work both countries have done, Japan or England will lead in genetics. Though China is catching up.

      1. Yeah genetics in general but this is somewhat controversial research in the west. I’m guessing if it doesn’t go ahead because of political correctness/liberal ideology then China will get it done. It is at this moment doing leading research on it.
        They will have to record a hell of a lot of genomes and have IQ scores for them. That is quite a big undertaking, though entirely possible- the cost of getting each genome has massively declined and will continue to decline significantly. The concern is that it could lead to neo eugenics or uncovering a genetic basis for race differences is what make sit problematic in the west. I don’t think the Chinese will care about either, for better or worse.

        1. IQ testing takes place on a big scale already, as a matter of course. One day recording people’s genomes will be done on a big scale too, for all sorts of reasons.
          Its only been ten years since the first human genome was decoded. This is early days…the appropriate data will almost certainly exist in the future.

  4. Human behavioral traits (including intelligence) are not the result of some non-material “soul”. Their source is the molecular structure and functioning of the human neurological system. Nucleotides play a fundamental role in all biological processes. The human neurological system is no exception.

  5. I think in the case of math, it’s all about being able to recognize things fast. For instance, if an integration problem has a single variable to the power of a constant, then you use the power rule (the most simple one). However, someone inexperienced might want to use another formula, thinking the constant is also a variable.

    1. Some procedures in math are very simple, that even so called “low IQ” blacks etc.. could master them. For instance in implicit differentiation, you simply differentiate everything, but put a letter(prime) next to the one being implicitly differentiated. You then isolate the letter(prime)
      I think even middle school students could master that concept.

    2. Could a lot of so called “inferiority”, really be just laziness. Just a thought. I mean, think about it, who wants to work, especially intellectual work?

      1. Also, another thought, perhaps the aversion to studying, that so called “low IQ” people have, be the result of bad teaching methods. As with implicit differentiation, saying “take the derivative of everything, and put a letter(prime) next to specific one”, makes things incredibly easy.

      2. It’s not necessarily laziness. It could be difficulty to focus. You can teach any middle school student many strategies for evaluating integrals, etc, but that doesn’t mean they understand calculus. Growing up I could always tell which students were going to do poorly on certain tests because I knew they had a shallow understanding and cared only to memorize rules.

        1. Well, even in my college level Calculus class, few people have a deep understanding. There isn’t enough time. They only learn enough to pass the test. Only the professor is supposed to have a deep knowledge, and usually they will spend a portion of class-time trying to explain it (even though students aren’t tested on it).
          A deep knowledge would require Calculus classes that would last 3 years, instead of 1 year and a half (Calculus, I, II, III).

      3. It’s obvious that some people can reason better than others, understand things more easily (or at all when others can’t), have better memories and can communicate better. You can tell that just by knowing people.

        1. I can tell if someone is what I call “smart” within only a few minutes of talking to them. Say five minutes. Doesn’t take long at all. Works for males or females. Unfortunately, I can also tell if someone is what I call “not very smart,” usually within maybe 5 minutes or so. It is usually a depressing feeling. 🙁

    3. Also, how do we know that brains can’t be trained to be different? In fact, there is a program on TV advertising itself, as “brain training game”. For instance, someone can’t see patterns (math ability) fast, could have his/her brain trained.

      1. A lot of your thinking on this subject is not only wrong but dangerous. You say,”…Could a lot of so called “inferiority”, really be just laziness…”
        Well it’s just a hop skip and a jump to thinking that all these people are lazy and won’t try so let’s kill them. Useless eaters.
        Some people barely have the cognitive ability to read much less do differential calculus. The difference between me and you is I know there’s a difference between people cognitively.

      2. I think the consensus amongst experts is that iq can’t really be increased once adulthood is reached. I’m never going to be as intelligent as Richard Feynman, no matter how hard I try.

  6. A lot of people have made themselves stupid. They hand around “not so smart people”. They refuse to do anything to improve their intelligence. Well, in that situation, then what do you expect? It’s just like bodybuilding. If you never go to the gym, then there are no results.

    1. A lot of this low intelligence, is just the consequence of rebellion, or low self esteem. The environment makes a major difference, as a culture which encourages learning produces more scholars. For instance, a black or Latino might assume, even from childhood, that he isn’t going to college (cause it isn’t the norm in his culture), so he focuses on other stuff.

      1. Jason Y remember one thing and that is Environment and genetics. Both are in play.
        Your example of a black or Latino having low self esteem and not going to college does not preclude the possibility that said low self esteem youths could in another scenario have high self esteem, go to college and FAIL.

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