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A Brave New World?

April 17 2012 at 9:31 AM
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KeithDB  (Premier Login KeithDB)
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Nearly 35 years ago, as an undergraduate, I took a course in "Differential Psychology."  The course in "individual vs. group differences" was essentially a "nature vs. nuture" course as applied to mental traits.  We studied the contribution of genetics vs. environment for a wide variety of things including schizoprhenia, other pyschopathology, addiction, criminality and just extroversion vs. introversion.  However, nearly half the semester involved the studying the comparative influence of genetics vs. environment for intelligence and I found that discussion particularly fascinating. 

We reviewed a wide number of statistical studies evaluating the question.  Many of the studies involved identical twins raised apart from each other.  Because they are identical genetically presumably any differences in their intelligence would be attributable to environment while similarities beyond those of the general population should be attributable to genetics. 

What we reviewed in the late 70s indicated that genetics had a strong contribution to intelligence but there was also an environmental component.  Even so, it appeared that the genetic contribution might be as high as 80% (which means environment could still move intelligence by around a standard deviation, both up and down, creating two standard deviations of variance from a poor vs. enhancing environment). 

To say the least, the research has moved on.  Scientists are now identifying the specific genes associated with high IQ. 

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/16/specific-genes-linked-to-big-brains-and-intelligence/

It will only be a matter of time before parents can test for the presence of these desirable high IQ genes in utero.  Or to take it even further, they could artificially fertilize any number of "bench embyros" and then pick only those containing the most desirable high IQ genes to inseminate. 



"The world is a mess and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Headsupcall
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Re: A Brave New World?

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April 17 2012, 7:48 PM 

I was prepared to point out that what was thought to be true in science 35 years ago is not true today, but saw that you already did that. Maybe you're finally getting the message, with that informative post.

 
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KeithDB
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Re: A Brave New World?

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April 18 2012, 4:09 AM 

Once again you say I said something I did not say. The science I said I reviewed fully 35 years ago is fully consistent with what I said was being presented today. It has simply advanced further, to explain more completely the observations and understandings of 35 years ago. Whereas 35 years ago the analysis was strictly statistical with cause inferred, the causes of those statistically observations are now being directly observed.

It's much how modern genetics has casually explained Mendel's statistical observations of dominant and recessive traits in peas. It didn't contradict Mendel's work, but added to it with deeper understanding.


"The world is a mess and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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(Login JEL1945)
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Generalizations

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April 18 2012, 4:30 PM 

Not all science of 35 years ago has been found to be untrue. Perhaps you are confusing the fact that much has been adding with untruth. Actually some of today's science can be traced back centuries. It's authoritarian true believers who are most often found to be peddling untruths.

Science is about building on fact not about proclaiming eternal truths.

 
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KeithDB
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Re: Generalizations

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April 19 2012, 4:03 AM 

The question is not whether some science from 35 years ago has been found to be untrue, it has. The question is whether I said this particular science, that I mentioned in my OP from 35 years ago, has been found untrue. Contrary to what Hedsup says, I simply did not say that.


"The world is a mess and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.


    
This message has been edited by KeithDB from IP address 69.208.139.134 on Apr 19, 2012 4:24 AM


 
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