Re: Flynn Effect explained?

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Sun Apr 22 2001 - 14:10:02 MDT

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Subject: Re: Flynn Effect explained?

> > The book THE BELL CURVE I believe suggests a different cause.
> to that book along about 1900 the economy had become high tech enough that
> began sweeping up all the High IQ types to serve it's needs. According to
> TBC the congregation of the GT (the upper 5% or the IQ curve) has
> all through the 20th century.
> It seems to me this phenomena might explain the Flynn effect.
> Ron H.
Miles Storfer has a more synthetic explanation, unifying the Flynn effect,
with neocortex and myopia increase in a neo-Lamarckian explanatory framework
(of all things):

"International Journal of

Autumn 1999:
Special Monograph Issue on
Myopia, Intelligence,
and the Expanding Human Neocortex:
Behavioral Influences and Evolutionary Implications


In Volume 98, Numbers 3-4 of the the International Journal of Neuroscience,
Dr. Miles Storfer, The Foundation for Brain Research, Delray Beach, FL. USA,
proposes that the prenatal development of human intelligence can be
influenced by our parents' postnatal environment - not by altering the DNA
sequences of our protein-coding genes, but by changing the "developmental
blueprint for gene expression" that unfolds in the womb (to wit, changes in
the timing and extent of gene expression in environmentally-stressed
portions of the developing neocortex).

Briefly, the monograph:

documents that three events have swept the developed world over this past

(a) a very large increase in the size of certain association areas of the
(b) a gradual, but very substantial increase in measured intelligence; and
(c) an upsurge in the prevalence and severity of myopia;

suggests how these events are related;

presents findings strongly suggesting that these changes are mostly
inherited, and begin to unfold prenatally;

buttresses this emergent theory with findings from animal studies; - and

suggests how the non-Mendelian inheritance mechanism, genomic imprinting,
might enable the impetus for adaptively-induced changes in the timing and
extent of prenatal gene expression to be encoded on developing sperm in a
manner that permits their conveyance across the germline barrier. This could
explain the rapidity and enormity of phenotypic change in complex mammals
despite no speedup in rates of molecular evolution, and the overwhelming
dominance of two-sex mammalian reproduction.
If true, the implications of this proposed adaptive inheritance theory are
enormous. They include:

our children are not doomed to enter the world from the same (neocortical)
starting point as our grandparents, except for changes arising from random
mutation, fitness for survival and the other well-articulated neo-Darwinian
inheritance mechanisms; and

cultural differences in the "shape" of intelligence are in large part an
outgrowth of differences in ancestral child-rearing and educational
practices - and can be altered over very few generations "

I've also heard of another, but I can't find the reference right now. The
idea is that recent improvements in obstetrics has lead to more successful
births of largerbrained babies.

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