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Is intelligence heritable?

Is intelligence heritable?

  • Intelligence is in no way heritable

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
This is sort of a spin-off to fractal's thread about intilligence being increased.

Do you believe intilligence is heritable?

Please look at the poll options before voting.
 
Last edited:

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
I think intelligence is 100% heritable. You either are intelligent or you're not.
Sure environment could help you increase the intelligence you already have.
Intelligence is in your genes, it's your ability to observe and catch things right away and this is something already given to you.
 

fractal

Eye see what you did ther
I believe that some part of intelligence is inheritable, and that inherited intelligence and the acquired intelligence work in synergy. This is because I've observed that smart people usually have smart siblings if any. Now while one might argue that this might be because they are raised together in intellectually stimulating environments, one must also consider that the fields in which they develop are usually different.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
There are also cases where intelligent kids don't have intelligent parents. [I know these people personally.]. When I first heard about this case I was surprised at these intelligent kids and wondered how it could happen so.
Then I was told that the grandparents of these kids [from one parent side] were intelligent people who were even awarded with a few prices in the fields they were specialized in.
So that's why intelligence is heritable.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
It's impossible to say definitively to what degree intelligence is heritable and how much of it depends on the environment. There are so many environmental factors that can affect a child's intelligence - environmental toxins, lack of proper stimulation, poor nutrition - in a negative way, it's really impossible to determine how heritable intelligence is.
 

Sim

Registered Member
According to what I've read, certain studies propose that intelligence is almost half/half genetic and acquired, with a slight lean towards genetics. Identical twin studies showed a 58% correlation, for example, supported by examinations of other relatives.

Assuming this is true, that means still 42% is acquired and trainable. That's a lot. You probably can't make an Einstein out of someone with very bad genetic factors, but raising him/her slightly above average is still possible with good education and training. Likewise, a person with very good genetic traits regarding intelligence will probably not become a total dimwit, even when his/her talents are not trained but neglected, but by neglecting nurture, a genetically very gifted child may still turn out average in the end.

But intelligence, as measures by science, is a controversial thing anyway. It does not really allow many conclusions, for example regarding professional and social success in life. Even people who are really good at IQ tests and who are very smart may fail, and vice versa, because other factors are important too: Emotional stability, social skills, empathy, self-reflection and so on. IQ tests don't measure that.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
I think intelligence is 100% heritable. You either are intelligent or you're not.
Sure environment could help you increase the intelligence you already have.
Intelligence is in your genes, it's your ability to observe and catch things right away and this is something already given to you.
I agree with this. I think intelligence is just something you're born with, but environment and upbringing has a big effect on your capacity to use it.
 

Dabs

Registered Member
Intelligence comes from your gene pool.
Sure you can gain more intelligence by watching how life goes and how society reacts...but intelligence is in you.
Makes you wonder tho doesn't it??.....how one family can have a very smart child and then along comes another child with something like Down's Syndrome.
I'm not saying Down's Syndrome people are not intelligent...just saying, it's an obvious when you look at a family with one bright child and one who is not so bright.....people will 'gossip' and wonder~
But maybe they are bright, and we just don't see it.
Vincent VanGogh....one of my favorite painters.....always said that "oh what I could have showed the world what I was capable of doing, if I didn't have to deal with this madness".......he was bi-polar aka manic-depressive.
Bi-polar people are considered to be some of the most intelligent people around.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

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I think intelligence is mainly a product of effort. Between your extreme outliers--people with obvious mental handicaps and the exceedingly gifted--everyone strikes me as about equally intelligent. Einstein himself notably said that, "[g]enius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration." Some people just don't think and puzzle over things, whereas others spend most of their time doing it. Obviously, the later are going to come off as more intelligent in a conversation and on tests. The propensity to think seems mainly a matter of how an individual was raised, how intelligent they consider themselves to be, and what they take to be the expectations of their peers.

Humans in general are not even overly more intelligent than the most intelligent of other animals. There is a noticeable gap, but most of what we take to be signs of vastly superior intelligence on our part, is simply learned behavior. The greatest human achievements appear to be the result of emergent intelligence. That is to say that as a collective humans demonstrate more intelligent behavior than as individuals. A deep examination of the history of invention bears this out, with things we often learn to be the product of individual genius, really being minor modifications on existing technology. Unlike with some other species who demonstrate emergent intelligence, though, ours is strongly bilateral or even trilateral; with its results emerging from the actions of people across generations and continents, as opposed to just from people being in close spatial proximity (where I suppose someone could question if we even demonstrate emergent intelligence :)).

So, well intelligence is clearly heritable to a point, I think the range of intelligence we find across individuals not effected by brain-effecting disease or genetic defects is pretty small; at least as far as we take intelligence to be something innate.
 

Smelnick

Creeping On You
V.I.P.
I would think intelligence is inherited. My father is a very smart man. Although he didn't choose to use his intelligence, you can tell he's very smart. Smart people can choose to make dumb decisions. This is because intelligence is only as good as the knowledge it has to use. You can be smart as a whip, but if you're not learning smart things, you wont do smart things.
 
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