Request for information on "genes and Intelligence"

Joan Manuel ar282 at
Mon Feb 24 08:52:44 EST 1997

K M Hampson (K.M.Hampson at wrote:
: Hi,
: I am a final year student at Sheffield University reading Genetics, I 
: am currently undertaking my library project entitled "genes and 
: Intelligence". The aim of this project is to assess the degree of 
: hertitability of intelligence.
: Please forward any information my email is K.M.Hampson at
: Thanks in advance
: Kim Hampson

I assume that you are also going to address the social implications of 
the heritability of intelligence.

Just remember when you write up your project that what is 'superior' is
constantly changing, and what is most adventagous in one generation can
quickly become a detriment when the environment (inevitably) changes. This
is the real problem with eugenics.  We can only determine what was
superior in the past. 

A second problem with eugenics is that if you allow the elites to choose
who will reproduce, they inevitably simply find measurements that describe
the difference between themselves and others, and then define their end of
the scale as 'superior'. This is essentially what an I.Q.  test is.  If
stupid people were in charge, they would suggest a test of your ability to
figure out how magic tricks are performed.  Intelligent people do poorly
at this because they follow all of the 'misleadings' of the performer

I once met the captain of a fishing dragger who had a knack for finding 
fish, he was one of the best in the fleet.  I doubt he scored over 80 on 
an I.Q. test, and if you told me he was actually 'retarded', I would 
never have quibbled.

Joan L. Manuel, Ph.D			Department of Biology,
E-mail: manuel at		Dalhousie University,
or: ar282 at		Halifax, Nova Scotia
					Canada.  B3H 4J1

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