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Study Might Link Genes to Achievement in Education

  1. Jul 11, 2012 #1
    Hm..., my knowledge is limited within this area. Are these genes certainly linked to intelligence? Not too long ago I was reading some literature explaining that no single gene (at the time) was a gene that determined intelligence, so this leads me to believe this research is more simplified and could lead to more confusion.

    Am I wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2012 #2
    Obviously there is a genetic component to at least a certain degree of intelligence...defining levels of intelligence to the inclusion or exclusion of genes seems nearly impossible to conclusively isolate.

    So to answer your question I would say they have found a correlation.
  4. Jul 26, 2012 #3
    This isn’t really a biological issue, it’s a social issue. It’s just another take on the old nature / nuture debate. You always have to be careful not to assume a genetic component or attribute entirely to genetics something that might well, even probably has a strong environmental component. An easy example might be the child of a prominent sportsman that themselves become a high achiever in the same sport. While there very well might be a genetic component to basic ‘sportiness’, and perhaps even a genetic component to specific skills appropriate to a specific sport, still the reason why that child followed their parent into that particular sport is likely to have a strong influence based in the fact that the child grew up among and immersed in the culture and the environment of that particular sport.

    So yes, if both parents are highly intelligent, there is a strong likelihood that a child will be similarly of exceptional intelligence. Part of that might be genetic, and part of it might also be attributable to the early stimulation the child receives. But vitally, there are plenty of examples of people that came from backgrounds that both genetically and environmentally seemed to offer little advantage, and yet those people turned out to be high achievers. At one level, this report is one of those that it might be suggested produced a conclusion that was news to no-one. On the other hand, it is the kind of study that might be used by some with an agenda to advantage some and disadvantage others. At that point, I suppose it does become a matter of political viewpoint. For me, whatever the truth about a genetic component to intelligence, it is no justification whatever for placing unnecessary barriers in the way of those judged not to have the favourable genes.
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