Re: Better people

Timothy Bates (
Sat, 05 Jun 1999 20:01:42 +1000

Theta 8008 responded to Cynthia's assertion that
>> 1. Some people are much better/smarter than other >people.
>> 2. Most of that difference is genetic.

by saying

>      Where do get the idea that it has ANYTHING at all to do with genetics?
>      ... this area is entirely one of individual intent ...

Despite your "relative certainty", there are exactly no (zero) published studies showing that IQ differences are not heritable (i.e., that the existing variance we observe is not explained by differences in genes).

The American Psychological Association published a very conservative position paper in this area two years ago in response to the Bell Curve. You may wish to read it.

the reference is
Neisser, U., Boodoo, G., Bouchard, T. J., Boykin, A. W., Brody, N., Ceci, S. J., Halpern, D. F., Loehlin, J. C., Perloff, R., Sternberg, R. J., Urbina, S., (1996). Intelligence: Knowns and unknowns. , 51: 77-101.

the abstract is included here without permission

Presents findings of a task force established by the American Psychological Association to report on the issues of what is known and unknown about intelligence. Significant conceptualizations of intelligence are reviewed, including the psychometric approach, theories of multiple forms of intelligence, cultural variations, theories of developmental progressions, and biological approaches. The meaning of intelligence test scores, what they predict, and how well they predict intelligence is discussed. Genetic factors and intelligence, focusing on individual differences, conventional IQ tests, and other tests intended to measure cognitive ability, are described. Environmental factors such as social and biological variables are discussed, and sex and ethnic group differences are addressed. Recommendations for future research are presented.