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IQ heritability -a question to knowledgeable users


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Hello.

I am a 19 yr male university student, coming from Central/Eastern Europe. I am not a stupid person, my intelligence is above average (I'd estimate it at about 105-110), my parents are both high school graduates (high school in Central Europe is tougher than in US/UK) , my mother has a master's degree (few people in communist Poland pursued higher education), my sister has a M.A in law and works in law enforcement.However I'm not an extremely smart person either. Since 7th grade (the subjects of physics and chemistry are introduced in 7th grade here) my strongest area of science was chemistry and I also liked it the most, then math, then physics. However, I have some terrible traits - I have a harsh, unpleasant personality inherited from my paternal grandfather and I'm prone to anxiety and hypochondria, inherited from my paternal grandmother. I'm also extremely lazy and envious of others, especially people who are smarter and more hard-working than me.

 

So recently I began thinking that if I'll have kids in the future, then I'll do everything so that they are smarter than me and don't have my bad traits. And there is my question - if I choose a mate who is smarter than me, with an IQ of e.g 135-140 (a science whiz), how will my changes of having gifted children increase? If I choose someone coming from a family with a prior history of academic excellence, will they be increased more than as if I choose a gifted person who doesn't have gifted parents? What about inheriting psychological traits?

Edited by SlavicWolf
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There is a serious degree of misunderstanding of how genetics works. DNA isn't rigidly expressed. How your genetic code is interpretted and what results it produces when building you is highly depende

Biological fitness is measured for a genotype, not for a particular, individual phenotype.   If what you are saying is true, then you still can't make a smart person out of an average on or a dumb o

Because when somebody keeps misrepresenting my posts and setting up strawman claims I am supposed to be making, posts youtube videos and misrepresented studies that actually work for my claims as "evi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean

 

On the whole, the children of very bright parents are only slightly brighter than average children.

Choosing a wife based on IQ is a poor choice of method.

The best advice I can give refers to your assertion that " I have a harsh, unpleasant personality inherited from my paternal grandfather and I'm prone to anxiety and hypochondria, inherited from my paternal grandmother. I'm also extremely lazy and envious of others, especially people who are smarter and more hard-working than me."

Do something about that.

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Are you sure about that? If other polygenic traits such as skin color, stature etc. are heritable, why isn't intelligence heritable in the same way?

 

For example, if you look at biographies of scientists, you'll learn that a great portion, if not the majority of them came from families with a strong academic tradition. In other words - they had gifted parents.

 

This is heritability of IQ estimated by one study:

 

Same person (tested twice) .95
Identical twins—Reared together .86
Identical twins—Reared apart .76
Fraternal twins—Reared together .55
Fraternal twins—Reared apart .35
Biological siblings—Reared together .47
Biological siblings—Reared apart .24
Unrelated children—Reared together—Childrens .28
Unrelated children—Reared together—Adults .04
Cousins .15
Parent-child—Living together .42
Parent-child—Living apart .22
Adoptive parent–child—Living together .19

 

After realizing my limitations and learning a bit about how evolution works I no longer believe in a traditional vision of love and marriage. Now I treat my future marriage as a business contract, a long term investment. When you own a business and want to have the largest profits possible, you don't choose random people for partnership. You choose the best partners possible. In business the game is about gaining money, in reproduction you gain the fitness of your offspring.

Edited by SlavicWolf
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One's potential for intelligence is largely genetic, but it seems that life experiences are more important in this arena. Much like athletics, some people are born with predispositions toward certain musculature and coordination, but what really matters is how you train and how hard you work and what you work on.

EDIT: Nutrition plays a very important role, too, especially through certain critical phases of life.

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One's potential for intelligence is largely genetic, but it seems that life experiences are more important in this arena. Much like athletics, some people are born with predispositions toward certain musculature and coordination, but what really matters is how you train and how hard you work and what you work on.

EDIT: Nutrition plays a very important role, too, especially through certain critical phases of life.

Biological fitness is measured for a genotype, not for a particular, individual phenotype.

 

If what you are saying is true, then you still can't make a smart person out of an average on or a dumb one - if you take 100 ghetto black children and teach them e.g. physics, maybe 10 will learn HS stuff passably. But even they won't become PHDs or professors. At best you'll have 10 people who memorized physics textbooks but have no clue about the science itself.

Edited by SlavicWolf
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If what you are saying is true, then you still can't make a smart person out of an average on or a dumb one

Actually, yes. You can. The difference is they may not have as much potential to achieve, but there are a countless many examples of taking relatively ignorant or even average people and making them incredibly intelligent. Teachers and attention and access to resources are really all it takes.

 

if you take 100 ghetto black children and teach them e.g. physics, maybe 10 will learn HS stuff passably. But even they won't become PHDs or professors. At best you'll have 10 people who memorized physics textbooks but have no clue about the science itself.

Wow... Just... wow. I'm sorry your worldview is so blinded by ignorance and prejudice.
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Biological fitness is measured for a genotype, not for a particular, individual phenotype.

 

If what you are saying is true, then you still can't make a smart person out of an average on or a dumb one - if you take 100 ghetto black children and teach them e.g. physics, maybe 10 will learn HS stuff passably. But even they won't become PHDs or professors. At best you'll have 10 people who memorized physics textbooks but have no clue about the science itself.

When did anyone say anything about race?

If you gave a decent education to a hundred black kids from the ghetto, you would be practically as successful in getting PhDs as you would starting with 100 kids from anywhere else.

(and it would be a damned good idea to start offering a decent education too)

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I didn't want to discuss race and intelligence. My topic was about something entirely different and I mentioned Blacks just to give an example.

 

Let's sum it all up:

1. People differ in their abilities. Not everyone can learn physics as well as physics Noble Prize winners, not everyone can play piano as well as the greatest pianists and not everyone can run as fast as Olympic runners. Does anyone have any doubts about it?

2. These differences are caused by differences between people's bodies (brains). Any doubts...?

3. These differences are caused mostly by genetics. Any doubts...?

4. As their cause is genetic, they can be inherited. For example, I love music and I have a musical talent, with a great sense of rhythm and tone My mother, father and sister also have these traits. My mother, on the other hand, is hard working and reliable, while I'm lazy like my father. Galton, Terman etc. have long since discovered that intelligence (and dullness) tends to run in families.

5. As they are inherited, the mechanisms by which the inheritance works is the same as for any other polygenic trait. Selection of such traits is a basis of evolutionary change. Once again - any doubts?

 

Regarding IQ - any papers confirming what iNow said? I've read that though upbringing indeed plays a role, it's role is not that big - you can screw up a gifted person but you can't make a gifted person out of an average one, that would require a major overhaul of brain structure and chemistry. Some people just CAN"T learn college math no matter how hard they try to. Others grasp it without any problems.

 

A hypothetical situation - let's say we have two physics students. One is merely average student (IQ let's say, 110), the second one is a whiz (IQ = 140). They may achieve the same results but only under very specific conditions - if the average student studied for months, several hours every day and the gifted one just breezed through without caring about learning, then their results may be similar. Maybe the weaker student will even win.

 

But what if the gifted student also studied for hours every day? Then the weaker one would have no chances of even catching up with him. It would be like a tortoise trying to outrun a cheetah - hard work is good. But hard work and giftedness is the best combination.

Edited by SlavicWolf
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3. These differences are caused mostly by genetics. Any doubts...?

 

 

The results you posted in post #3 demonstrate that except in the case of twins, most (i.e. greater than 50%) of the observed variation in IQ is NOT explained by genetic components. This is in line with other studies I have seen on the subject which demonstrate that whilst heritability of measurable intelligence is significant, the majority of variation is due to differences in environmental factors.

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Biological fitness is measured for a genotype, not for a particular, individual phenotype.

 

If what you are saying is true, then you still can't make a smart person out of an average on or a dumb one - if you take 100 ghetto black children and teach them e.g. physics, maybe 10 will learn HS stuff passably. But even they won't become PHDs or professors. At best you'll have 10 people who memorized physics textbooks but have no clue about the science itself.

I disagree, if someone wants to be smart, they can be. Just because our society labels someone like an idiot, doesn't mean they can't break out of that... I was labeled as an idiot down at my school, and was in a lot of special help classes est, then in first grade, I was sick of people calling me stupid, and started to learn. Now, I can list out my achievements: Fourth Grade, Elementary School Chess Champion, Sixth Grade, Captain of the 6th grade math team, and also the chess champion, in seventh grade, I did the Lexus Eco Challenge, and only eight schools in America won, and our school won, also, chess champion(I have been undefeated for 3 years), In eighth grade, I was the Captain of the 7th and 8th grade Math Team, and now in ninth grade, I am on the varsity math team, honors Algebra Two, honors english, and am on the high honor roll, and got second place my district for a drawing that I did for the fair. Hey, I could be taking AP Calculus as a Sophomore next year. I am one of the smartest student in my grade, and one of the best artists in my grade. I don't need to study for math tests or anything and anything that I hear I remember, so your argument is invalid. On top of all this, keep in mind that I am dyslexic. And I have also learned an instrument and am musical. Again, all of this stuff comes naturally to me. I don't need to study for hours on end like you were saying.

 

I didn't want to discuss race and intelligence. My topic was about something entirely different and I mentioned Blacks just to give an example.

 

Let's sum it all up:

1. People differ in their abilities. Not everyone can learn physics as well as physics Noble Prize winners, not everyone can play piano as well as the greatest pianists and not everyone can run as fast as Olympic runners. Does anyone have any doubts about it?

2. These differences are caused by differences between people's bodies (brains). Any doubts...?

3. These differences are caused mostly by genetics. Any doubts...?

4. As their cause is genetic, they can be inherited. For example, I love music and I have a musical talent, with a great sense of rhythm and tone My mother, father and sister also have these traits. My mother, on the other hand, is hard working and reliable, while I'm lazy like my father. Galton, Terman etc. have long since discovered that intelligence (and dullness) tends to run in families.

5. As they are inherited, the mechanisms by which the inheritance works is the same as for any other polygenic trait. Selection of such traits is a basis of evolutionary change. Once again - any doubts?

 

Regarding IQ - any papers confirming what iNow said? I've read that though upbringing indeed plays a role, it's role is not that big - you can screw up a gifted person but you can't make a gifted person out of an average one, that would require a major overhaul of brain structure and chemistry. Some people just CAN"T learn college math no matter how hard they try to. Others grasp it without any problems.

 

A hypothetical situation - let's say we have two physics students. One is merely average student (IQ let's say, 110), the second one is a whiz (IQ = 140). They may achieve the same results but only under very specific conditions - if the average student studied for months, several hours every day and the gifted one just breezed through without caring about learning, then their results may be similar. Maybe the weaker student will even win.

 

But what if the gifted student also studied for hours every day? Then the weaker one would have no chances of even catching up with him. It would be like a tortoise trying to outrun a cheetah - hard work is good. But hard work and giftedness is the best combination.

 

 

I disagree that it is based on genetics... I think it is wrong, wrong, wrong. I that is like saying that I am the Jack of all Trades, Master of All, based on my parents. That is not true. I hate this thread, because it is biased, and think it is wrong that you want to make your kids your own science experiment. This is just stupid what you are thinking.

 

 

Hello.

I am a 19 yr male university student, coming from Central/Eastern Europe. I am not a stupid person, my intelligence is above average (I'd estimate it at about 105-110), my parents are both high school graduates (high school in Central Europe is tougher than in US/UK) , my mother has a master's degree (few people in communist Poland pursued higher education), my sister has a M.A in law and works in law enforcement.However I'm not an extremely smart person either. Since 7th grade (the subjects of physics and chemistry are introduced in 7th grade here) my strongest area of science was chemistry and I also liked it the most, then math, then physics. However, I have some terrible traits - I have a harsh, unpleasant personality inherited from my paternal grandfather and I'm prone to anxiety and hypochondria, inherited from my paternal grandmother. I'm also extremely lazy and envious of others, especially people who are smarter and more hard-working than me.

 

So recently I began thinking that if I'll have kids in the future, then I'll do everything so that they are smarter than me and don't have my bad traits. And there is my question - if I choose a mate who is smarter than me, with an IQ of e.g 135-140 (a science whiz), how will my changes of having gifted children increase? If I choose someone coming from a family with a prior history of academic excellence, will they be increased more than as if I choose a gifted person who doesn't have gifted parents? What about inheriting psychological traits?

 

You gave yourself these labels... You enjoy being able to say this, and in your mind it is true. Hypochondria??? I had to look up what this means. Hey, do you take drugs for all of this??? Hey, take some drugs for depression as well, half the kids in my grade are on that shit! I wonder how many brain cells are being killed from the drugs. The pharmacists must be laughing all the way to the bank... Hey, I'm lazy, lets blame it on my dad... I have a harsh, unpleasant personality inherited from my paternal grandfather... Blame it on Grandpa. I need to stop... Good day, when I am in a rational logical mood I will put up something that is not angry. This thread just annoyed me on so many levels, and I had some flash backs as well.

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From an educators standpoint, genetics has little to do with the ability to learn. Some people learn differently than others i.e. audio, visual, and tactile learners. Not everyone in the world can just flip through a textbook and call it good, that is why there are lectures and hands on projects to appeal to the three styles of learning. And as someone mentioned above, it has a lot to do with the environment in which you are brought up in. Take for example that if you miss an early stage in Erickson's eight stages of development, you are going to have trouble making up for it within a certain duration of your life, and this could impede learning because you should be focusing on the next stage.

 

As well there is something called Maslow's hierarchy of needs which basically means there are steps you must reach before you are actually able to function, or in this case learn. Kids out there, with your example of ghetto children, are not going to fail at becoming a genius because of genetics or that they are black. They're going to have a hard time because in the ghetto you're poor, you might not feel safe, or you're abused. All those obstruct your ability to learn, not some lack of intelligence gene only seen in a select group of people.

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Biological fitness is measured for a genotype, not for a particular, individual phenotype.

 

If what you are saying is true, then you still can't make a smart person out of an average on or a dumb one - if you take 100 ghetto black children and teach them e.g. physics, maybe 10 will learn HS stuff passably. But even they won't become PHDs or professors. At best you'll have 10 people who memorized physics textbooks but have no clue about the science itself.

 

 

!

Moderator Note

StavicWolf,

 

Our rules explicitly prohibit making slurs or prejudiced comments against groups of people, so please refrain from this sort of grossly inaccurate / racist commentary.

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There are obvious genetic and epigenetic components of intelligence, but barring that it comes down to environment. It makes rational sense to find someone who shares your ethos but genetics shouldn't(and likely won't) be a factor.

 

Just to put it out there, I feel IQ and similar test results can cause problems. Either superiority or inferiority complexes. Personally speaking I try and downplay all my own results and praise others for whatever they are good at. If nothing else this is the most intelligent thing you can do. You have to shine sometimes, but you don't need to be the only star in the sky.

Edited by Endy0816
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The OP seems to want it to be EITHER genetics OR experience, when it's always clearly and inseparably both. As I've shared already above, nature gives potential and nurture determines what happens with that potential and how much is ultimately realized.

 

EDIT TO ADD: IQ as a measure is incredibly problematic. Here's a good primer on the topic: http://www.unc.edu/~rooney/iq.htm

Edited by iNow
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I didn't want to discuss race and intelligence. My topic was about something entirely different and I mentioned Blacks just to give an example.

It was an example of a common and basic confusion about exactly the question of the thread.

 

Recall that, specifically, you said "ghetto black" was your example category. Note that neither aspect - "ghetto" or "black" (the US sociological classification), is genetically defined in the first place, and neither one can be inheirited outside the particular culture the progeny is born to.

 

then this:

 

Let's sum it all up:

1. People differ in their abilities. Not everyone can learn physics as well as physics Noble Prize winners, not everyone can play piano as well as the greatest pianists and not everyone can run as fast as Olympic runners. Does anyone have any doubts about it?

you seem to be confusing learned with unlearned abilities. . A lot more people have the ability to learn to play the piano, than ever do.

 

 

2. These differences are caused by differences between people's bodies (brains). Any doubts...?
More accurately, these differences are differences in people's bodies and brains. They have a physical substrate, which was built up in a particular environment as well as from a given genetic code.

 

 

3. These differences are caused mostly by genetics. Any doubts...?
Uh, yes, many - the statement appears to be false, or at best grossly oversimplified. Piano playing is not found everywhere, regardless of inherited ability.

 

 

4. As their cause is genetic, they can be inherited.
No - does not follow. Nobody inherits the skill of piano playing.
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You missed my point. Everybody can learn piano or e.g. math? Right, that's true. But if we take a person with no talent and an exceptionally gifted person and train them for e.g. 4 hours every day for 5 years, they'll achieve different results. The first person probably will learn high school level math decently (provided he/she isn't mentally retarded) but they won't know it as well as gifted high school or college students.. The second person will become a master.

 

In IQ research there's some research dealing with Asian culture and so called "tiger moms". The research has shown that such upbringing doesn't actually make people smarter. All it does is creating more or less average people with a lot of knowledge and a free baggage of (completely unnecessary) psychological problems.

 

Less intelligent people are well... less ntelligent. They don't solve problems as well as the smart ones, they don't recognize patterns as well and they learn more slowly... And if they understand a given topic, their understanding is often superficial.

Edited by SlavicWolf
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Your are quite ignoring relevant info given e.g. by iNow and Arete. The first paragraph could be true. However, the reverse is also true. If you take someone who scored well in IQ tests but do not provide sufficient support he/she inevitably will underperform.

If anything that I have seen in college (and I think most of my colleagues will agree) is that academic achievement most strongly correlates with the willingness to learn, the ability to learn in an organized fashion and a strong personal interest in the subject matter.

 

Oftentimes children that are labelled as "gifted" who are able to skip classes and get earlier college admission, eventually lose ground to their peers. Personal experience as well as studies showed that the advantage these kids have tend to diminish the more advanced they are in the academic curriculum. At PhD level there is rarely a notable difference (in some cases they underperform for a variety of reasons).

 

Reducing everything to genes and neglecting the relevance and interaction with environmental parameters for intelligence is akin to claiming that obesity is solely the effect of genetics and has nothing to do with the quality and quantity of food intake.

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Maybe. I'm not entirely convinced though (besides intelligence things such as hard work are genetic to some degree too).

 

Also, if people choose their mates based on intelligence, it would be possible to significantly increase the average IQ of the population in just a few generations. If I'm not mistaken, that's how Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence developed.

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Less intelligent people are well... less ntelligent. They don't solve problems as well as the smart ones, they don't recognize patterns as well and they learn more slowly... And if they understand a given topic, their understanding is often superficial.

 

Was that a deliberate typo?

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Also, if people choose their mates based on intelligence, it would be possible to significantly increase the average IQ of the population in just a few generations.

The best one could hope for would be a small increase in "average" IQ scores on a given IQ test - and even that might not happen. You might easily find yourself breeding a high frequency of schizophrenia, instead - or something else more strongly correlated with somewhat higher perceived "intelligence" in some particular culture, than whatever it is you want.

 

How did you plan to prevent the stupid people from breeding the "average" down, by the way?

 

 

 

If I'm not mistaken, that's how Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence developed.

I doubt you have seen any evidence that Ashkenazi Jews chose their mates based on "intelligence" over a period of several generations. There is (probably) no such thing as "Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence".

 

You will continue to confuse yourself in this matter for as long as you accept sociological and cultural classifications as genetic categories. Starting with the concept of "intelligence" itself, which is problematical, every single category you have attempted to argue genetic inheritence from has been a muddled grab bag of various inherited code dominated by sociological factors and aspects.

 

Bigots are not just shallow, mean, and distructive, you know. They are also wrong - physically and scientifically and empirically in error.

Edited by overtone
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Sorry for what I wrote before, but I stand by that, but of course I could of written it differently.

 

I also think that you should stop going on about IQ. In this world, no one cares about IQ. People care about how good you work. You could have the of IQ of 150, but if you were a lazy slob, were would you get in life. Have your kids have a hard work effort.

 

And also when I said,

 

I hate this thread, because it is biased, and think it is wrong that you want to make your kids your own science experiment.

I meant that if you want to be smart, become smart. I find it wrong that you want to live through your children's intelligence. You are making it out like everyone has to be intelligent; but you must remember, we need those people to drive the trash trucks, or work at the supermarket. If everyone was super intelligent, no real work would get done, and what I mean by real work is surviving.

 

Also, you should correct your typo, the irony was sickening...

 

Stephen Hawking once said,

 

"People who brag about their IQ's are losers"

 

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There is a serious degree of misunderstanding of how genetics works. DNA isn't rigidly expressed. How your genetic code is interpretted and what results it produces when building you is highly dependent on environment and this has been found to be especially true of intelligence. Brain development is highly dependent upon proper nutrition and an engaging environment.

 

It is a complex organ and sub-par building materials will result in a brain that reaches less than full potential. A hazardous, stressful environment which discourages mental development will also hinder mental development in comparison with a secure environment that fosters learning.

 

It's enough of an effect that people with "average" genetic intelligence can have well above average intelligence while those with "exceptional" genetic intelligence can be comparatively stunted. And choosing a partner based on her own intelligence won't tell you whether she's someone who has exceeded her potential despite average genetics because of environmental factors, or whether she's someone who has exceeded her environment because of even more exceptional genetics. You could get lucky or wind up with a lemon either way.

 

The single best thing you can do to improve the intelligence of your children is to properly care for them, not choosing a mate for her presumed genetics. Adequate nutrition and encouragement to enjoy learning won't turn an average person into Einstein, but they will allow your child to reach his or her full potential which will probably be above what most people achieve regardless of how "natively" smart they are.

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Also, if people choose their mates based on intelligence, it would be possible to significantly increase the average IQ of the population in just a few generations. If I'm not mistaken, that's how Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence developed.

 

That is a very unlikely scenario. Within the Ashkenazi Jews social status was largely coupled to family lines and there is no evidence that e.g. higher intelligence would improve reproductive success. Moreover, as it is a very closed society there is only a small gene pool on which selection could work. If there was a genetic basis a founder effect would be more likely. At the very least the high incidence of certain genetic diseases is probably the result of that.

 

On the other hand, Ashkenazi Jews highly value scholarship, similar to many Asian cultures, which incidentally also score above average on IQ tests.

 

Edit: I vaguely remember a few papers on this, but IIRC the one paper that argued for selection was more speculative and was based on conjecture instead of hard data (which is admittedly not an easy task).

Edited by CharonY
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