Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.
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i just have 1 question....about things being passed down from parents to children, can the reason that a child is intelligent be that because her parents are intelligent, or is that something that you just aquire on your own??
The old Nature vs Nurture question...
The main problem here is the definition of intelligence. Take IQ testing for example, they are not independant of cultural background, so persons with better education tend to have better scores.
And in the absence of a truly good test for intelligence, it become really hard to have a valid answer to your question.
Any how there is probably both cultural and genetic factors involved in intelligence.
Agreed. There is no doubt that exercise improves your intelligence. However studies also show that coming from smart parents makes you smarter
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
Yes but is it because your smart parents are offering you a better environment (help you at school, makes easier to read, to get some culture,...) or is it simply by passing the good genes? As I said it is really impossible to say because there is no absolute and "culture free" measure of intelligence.
I remember a while ago a scandal about a book that, based on IQ testing in US, was concluding that blacks and chicanos had lower results than the whites. But compltely forgot to take educationnal and cultural factors into account... Which would have made a joke from the book, if some people had not tryed to use these results to reduce school spending (why teach anything to those blacks/chicanos/emigrants, since they are dumb anyway?)
These kind of studies are conducted with twins(or even non-twin brothers) that come from the same parents, but have grown in different environments...
There are many genetic disorders that can make you less intelligent so it seems likely that there are many genes that can also have a positive effect on intelligence.
A good article is: "Genetics of Brain Structure and Intelligence" http://www.loni.ucla.edu/~thompson/PDF/TT_ARN05.pdf
"Genetic influences on brain morphology and IQ are well studied. A variety of sophisticated brain-mapping approaches relating genetic influences on brain structure and intelligence establishes a regional distribution for this relationship that is consistent with behavioral studies.We highlight those studies that illustrate the complex cortical patterns associated with measures of cognitive ability. A measure of cognitive ability, known as g, has been shown highly heritable across many studies. We argue that these genetic links are partly mediated by brain structure that is likewise under strong genetic control. Other factors, such as the environment, obviously play a role, but the predominant determinant appears to genetic."
Paul Thompson has several other publications on the genetics of intelligence: http://www.loni.ucla.edu/~thompson/thompson_pubs.html
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