genes associated with intelligence

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by ZenDrake, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. ZenDrake come to the darkside Registered Senior Member

    there have been recent patterns of selection for brain associated alleles in the last 5 or 6 thousand years for ASPM, and within 30-40 thousand years for another gene, called microcephalin

    how then can it still be claimed by the bio-egalitarians and those of
    their ilk that IQ and intelligence is environmental?
    Do ya'll not bother reading any new genetic research after hearing
    that "we're all genetically the same" six or seven years ago?
    The latest research doesn't bear this out. :m:
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  3. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

    Maybe people are worried this is a slippy slope that leads to Hitler-esque attitudes of intolerance or something.

    It has always been obvious to me that there is range of genetic variation upon all the various capabilities of the brain.
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  5. ZenDrake come to the darkside Registered Senior Member

    it irks me that its become acceptable
    to overlook truths because you're afraid
    some would misuse the information.
    it leads to the accepting of incorrect memes
    by the mass population.
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  7. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

    Bio-egalitarians and those of their ilk”? :bugeye:

    Whoa there young fella, you best get down off that high horse o’ yours.

    --- It is perfectly possible (and indeed, normal for most traits) to be a result of both genetic and environmental influences. Intelligence is no different.

    --- These findings have been reported at a scientific conference only where presenters are free to say whatever they want. It appears the results have not been published. This means that the details have not undergone review and evaluation by experts and journal editors. When this work is scrutinized it could all turn out to be a load of bunk.

    --- IQ testing is a qualitative tool at best. IQ tests are good for testing a person’s ability to perform IQ tests, and not much more. “Intelligence” is a very difficult thing to quantify.

    The article states: “But so far, connections between IQ and specific genes have been just correlations, with little supporting evidence. The new research, Jirtle and other experts said, will need to be replicated before it is considered definitive.”


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    Definitive!?! These findings are also mere correlation and are no different to all the other correlations that are alluded to.

    That’s not to say that this isn’t potentially exciting and valuable research. It might be, but a substandard mass media science report prior to the work being published is no cause to go around talking about what “the latest research does or doesn’t bear this out” and scoffing at people for not reading science literature.

    You could also explain in more detail what is meant by "....we're all genetically the same....”<P>
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2005
  8. Krieg Order Registered Senior Member

    Its pretty well accepted by most of the scientific community that both enviroment and genetics play a role in the development of intelligence.

    And for all of you nutcases that think intelligence is completely enviromental, i guess you have to explain how down syndrome and mental retardation affect cognitive/intelligence abilities, being that they are genetic disorders.

    If a genetic disorder is proven to affect cognitive brain function, that wouldnt be possible if intelligence was based SOLEY on the enviroment.
  9. ZenDrake come to the darkside Registered Senior Member

    General intelligence is a heritable trait that is a risk factor for both the onset of dementia and the rate of cognitive decline in community-dwelling older persons. Previous studies screening for quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that influence general intelligence in healthy individuals have identified four loci, two of which are located within the genes insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor (IGF2R) and the Msx1 homeobox. Here, the authors report the finding of another QTL associated with general intelligence that is located within exon 2 of the cathepsin D (CTSD) gene. A group of 767 healthy adults with a follow-up period of over 15 years have been analyzed for cross-sectional and longitudinal trends in cognitive change using the Heim intelligence test score (AH4-1). The authors observed a significant association (P=0.01) between a functional C>T (Ala>Val) transition within exon 2 of the CTSD gene that increases the secretion of pro-CTSD from the cell, and the AH4-1 score at initial testing on entry to the longitudinal study. Interestingly, CTSD is transported by IGF2R from the trans Golgi network to the lysosome.

    Citation source: Molecular Psychiatry 2003 Volume 8, number 1, pages 14-18.

    these aren't the mainstream fodder that was presented previously,
    hope those are reputable enough for you.
    Heh, those of their ilk... I just like that line.
    I admit, that my language wasn't what could be called "neutral",
    but I was overcome with angst and disgust after another conversation
    elsewhere on the same subject.

    " IQ testing is a qualitative tool at best. IQ tests are good for testing a person’s ability to perform IQ tests, and not much more. “Intelligence” is a very difficult thing to quantify"
    I find it amazing that given the degree in which IQ correlates with success and achievment that its still poo-pooed as non-consequential and only a measure of
    ones ability to take tests.
    And yessssss, I suppose that a lack of essential nutrients (iodine) or
    a lack of emotional/mental stimuli would have an effect on IQ,
    but only in a detracting manner,
    There isn't (to my knowledge) an environmental factor
    that can raise you above what your genes allow for.
    The genes you were born with give you a potential for having
    a 130 IQ, a steady diet of television, a lack of breastmilk as an infant,
    or a lack in dietary necessities might depress the IQ to 100,
    but theres not enough books in the library or enough concerned teachers
    that would raise your IQ to 160; its not in your genetic makeup.
  10. lowefly Registered Senior Member

    Zendrake how then do you account for the differences in scores in persons retaking the tests? I scored different everytime I've taken the IQ test. Does this mean I changed parents?
  11. ZenDrake come to the darkside Registered Senior Member

    lol indeed.
    is this a serious question?
    Why is is that I have to account for your different scores?
    caffiene can help increase test scores as can taking numerous IQ tests.
    I'll bet the differences in scores wouldn't range beyond a standard deviation (15 points) though.
    Did they?
  12. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    You can find a lot more research about this at the site.
    Just click on the subject section - genetics.
  13. lowefly Registered Senior Member

    Why would you have to account, because you're asserting that IQ is a heritable trait and can't change.
  14. lowefly Registered Senior Member

    By the way last I checked taking caffiene isn't heritable.
  15. valich Registered Senior Member

    As stated above: "IQ tests are good for testing a person’s ability to perform IQ tests, and not much more." IQ tests test how well you do on an IQ test.

    Some genes influence brain structure and intelligence. Mother's carrying a fetus who are drug addicts or alcoholics often give birth to retarded children - okay, so maybe you wan't to say that that's an environmental factor, but it's influencieng gene expression in development.

    Genes definitely influence intelligence. My teachers always tell me that when I wear blue jeans that I'm more intelligent in class!

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  16. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I thought that is was generally believed (with good reason) that heredity established an upper limit for most human abilities, both physical & mental, with environmental factors determining how close an individual came to achieving his maximum genetic potential. I do not think that there are any knowledgeable people who believe that intelligence (however defined) is the result of only a few genes.

    I do remember an era when some in the academic community stated that a human infant was a blank slate on which environment wrote, claiming that any one could become a genius or an athletic super star if given the proper environment. Such an opinion has to be utter nonsense, supported by no evidence and counter indicated by all sorts of evidence.

    There are very few with the potential to be Einstein, Neils Bohr, Feynman, et cetera. Similarly, there are very few with the potential to become Carl Lewis, Michael Jordan, or Ted Williams. Environmental factors can obviously cause a person with great potential to be average or worse, but you cannot make a genetically mediocre (or worse) person into genius or an athletic super star via a wonderful environment.

    BTW: IQ tests were either deliberately or accidentally designed to predict success in a typical USA or British educational environment. They were quite successful in doing so, although most knowledgeable people realized that academic success was an indication of only a subset of intellectual skills. The general public, politicians, and other types of ignorant people considered IQ scores indicative of some undefined quality called intelligence.

    The later variants of IQ tests used some formula to adjust for age, since experience was found to have a significant effect on the results. For some people, this adjustment did not prevent changes in score with age, although score was still highly correlated with success in the standard educational institution.

    Since IQ tests were actually excellent predictors of academic success, it is a shame that they were not used as the basis for modifying the nature of our educational institutions. Those tests clearly indicated that there were large numbers of people who had intellectual potential, but who were not likely to realize that potential in a standard educational system.

    When an individual did not do well in school, he was often allowed to be a low achiever or else subjected to classes which merely applied the same methods in a more intense fashion. There were a lot of head start type programs which were moderately successful, but which did not help some tiypes of people who required different methods rather than extra time spent being taught by the standard methods.

    Up to some time in the early 20th century, students who did poorly were sent to so called technical schools which taught trade skills rather than academic skills. This was not a bad idea, and some variant of it should have been maintained.

    I became a programmer in the early 1950's and at various times had to train others in the field. At that time, good programmers were a rare breed, and when a company bought a computer, any employee who wanted to try tended to be given a chance. There were a limited number of experienced programmers available.

    I trained quite a few people who were janitors, low level clerks, et cetera who became excellent programmers. They had low level jobs due to having done poorly in high school and/or college but were actually very intelligent. It is my opinion that such people often need to be taught by being given examples and allowed to try without spending hours reading and listening to lectures, the standard method in our academic institutions at all levels.

    My early experiences in the computer filed convinced me that our educational system needed to use a wider variety of teaching methods.

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