Home » Education, Mind, News » Is intelligence inherited? Jane North and Jane South take the state IQ test.

Is intelligence inherited? Jane North and Jane South take the state IQ test.

Here.  At three years old, they both scored the same. But …

For example:

Jane North: Her mother read to her long before she was born (a guided-reading program for expectant mothers).

Jane South: In her world, adults read landlord’s notices, bills, and sometimes the TV listings. No one reads for pleasure.

and

North: Her class at the advanced prep school is studying “Unemployment: A Social Issue.” She has shown great skill in drawing charts.

South: Her mother keeps warning her that if she loses her job as a hospital janitor, they’ll lose the apartment too. They may have to move out of state to live with her sister.

Will the two girls still score the same at ten years old?

The “it’s-in-the-genes” approach to genetic inheritance overlooks the fact that an inheritance of any kind is an opportunity, not a prophecy. More at The Best Schools.

How the inheritance is treated matters. That is as true of IQ potential as of any other factor.

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9 Responses to Is intelligence inherited? Jane North and Jane South take the state IQ test.

  1. The “it’s-in-the-genes” approach to genetic inheritance overlooks the fact that an inheritance of any kind is an opportunity, not a prophecy.

    Smarts and talent only go so far. Other critical factors include discipline, a work ethic, delay of gratification, an obsessive personality that will not allow one to give up too easily — but perhaps even more importantly, an inspiring mentor.

    My innate musical talent could best be described as minimal. But I had a wonderful piano teacher who taught me from the age of seven through high school (and later in college). She was a graduate of the Eastman Conservatory (in the same league as Julliard) and the wife of the chairman of the department of music at Washington State University.

    She had extremely high standards. I still have the Czerny exercise scores with her notes about which exercises I was expected to complete for the next weekly lesson. She taught me pianistic technique and music theory, but even more importantly musical interpretation. Even when every note I played was performed with precision, accuracy, articulation and pianistic virtuosity, she would always point out where I had erred in ignoring the composer’s interpretative instructions.
    When it came to musical interpretation she taught me how to recognize “what works musically,” and always told me when I went out to perform: “Think about what you want to say.”

    How blessed I was by Ruby Bailey! She gave me a gift that has lasted a lifetime.

    Would that all children could be blessed by such a wonderful mentor.

  2. I don’t think that your examples proves anything. We know for a very long time that environment influences the IQ (food intake, stimulation, etc..). It’s like saying that athlete’s like fitness can be influenced by ones life style (Mc Donald’s diets vs fruit & veg diets) and therefore genes don’t have an influence on someone performance.

  3. Not sure of the point of the OP.

    Obviously when talking about “genetic inheritance” what you want to know is what is “in the genes”. Hence, duh, an

    “it’s-in-the-genes” approach to genetic inheritance.

    Nobody thinks that the phenotype is anything other than partially determined by the genotype, and it is well known that IQ scores are strongly influenced by factors other than genetic ones.

    Is anyone disputing this?

    You seem to have constructed a straw man out of a tautology!

  4. As for you, Gil, you have left out the feedback between natural talent and opportunity. No-one hearing you could doubt your natural talent. I fully agree that without the opportunities you had, that talent wouldn’t have come to fruition, but equally, without your natural talent, I doubt if you’d have a) had the dedication and enthusiasm to make those opportunities for yourself or b) made such good use of them even if you’d had them.

    That is a point that Flynn makes re IQ – that there is a Matthew effect at work – those with more native talent are more likely to find themselves in environments where that native talent is maximised, especially if those environments are otherwise difficult to access. In other words inequality of opportunity tends to amplify genetic differences.

    Conversely, in systems of musical training where pretty well every child succeeds (e.g. the Suzuki system, at least in Japan) you can pretty well guarantee flawless technique, but not great musicality.

    You seem to have both, and that is worth attributing to your inheritance as well as to your opportunities.

    In other words, to you :)

  5. Dear Liz,

    On a scale of 1 to 10 of innate musical talent I’ll admit that I’m probably above average. (My claim about my talent being minimal is based upon my experience with musicians who are much more innately talented than I, with whom I have been associated all my life.)

    At the low end of the scale is tone-deafness (that is, not being able to match pitch). At the high end of the scale is perfect-pitch, and the ability to hear music and reproduce it on a musical instrument, almost without thinking. (Ruby and her husband had perfect pitch, as did their three children, none of whom ever pursued music seriously.)

    I don’t have perfect pitch; I have what’s called relative pitch. I can lift music from recordings, but only through a process of listening, experimenting, and using my knowledge of music theory to reproduce what I hear.

    For me, the big breakthrough was hearing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto when I was in seventh grade. It put me into what I can only describe as a state of ecstasy. It was so beautiful, so passionate — it touched my soul (a soul lost in the nihilism and darkness of atheism and materialism).

    I thus vowed that I would learn that concerto, no matter how long it took, and no matter how much effort it might require.

    I did eventually learn it, and performed it at Kimbrough Hall at Washington State university during my senior year of high school, with Ruby’s husband Jerry playing the orchestra part on a second Steinway concert grand.

    A week after that performance Jerry died of pneumonia at the age of 36.

  6. Gil, have you seen this yet?

    Bluejay: The Mind of a Child Prodigy – video
    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7186319n

  7. Again there is the attempt, based on evolutionary presumptions, to say the absurd and foreign concept.
    That people have innately different scores of intelligence.
    This is a idea that never was part of the anglo-American civilization.
    People do not have or bring intelligence from their mothers womb in any way like the length of the arms destiny.

    There is so far to go before drawing the conclusion of anything other then free will.
    How would one know who is innately smarter?
    Any result can have other reasons before genetics!

    Its all evolutionary inventions.

    by the way DArwin insisted women were biologically intellectually inferior to men. only by careful breeding could this be changed over time.
    So modern ideas of evolution teaching women are as smart as us are already a rejection of old Chuck .
    They teach this in the schools because its not PC and of coarse they couldn’t criticize it if it was taught. The constitution etc.

    All babies are born without any intelligence but only a thinking being and a memory to aid that.
    Women are not yet and not likely ever to be as smart pound for pound as men but only because of motivation differences as in the past.
    Few women engage origin issues relative to men as case in point.
    they don’t care but if they did they could compete all things being equal.

    WE are made in the image of the great God. We think like a God. not like nature or rather not with a mere brain machine.
    We will think in the afterlife with no need of a brain just like God.

    This smart-is-us-not-you might just be a great wedge for creationism in these modern times.
    The evolution folks might once again be making a mistake.

  8. Dear BA77,

    Detractors can call me crazy if they like, but I figured out at a very young age that if atheism and materialism is true, life has no ultimate purpose or meaning. This seemed like an inescapable conclusion to me. But I figured that all those university professors must surely know what they are talking about, and that I should just suck it up and live with the “scientific” reality that I’m just an accident of materialistic processes that did not have me in mind.

    I now realize that my soul always knew otherwise, and that I had been deceived. The “science” that taught me I was solely the product materialistic processes turned out to be less-than-worthless speculation, based upon a perversion of genuine scientific investigation.

    My refuge in my youth was classical music, through which I now believe I heard the voice of God, speaking to the cries of my heart and my lost soul.

  9. I don’t have perfect pitch either, Gil, although I have good relative pitch, and can sightsing just about anything.

    But pitch sense is a very minor part of musical talent, I’m sure you’d agree. I’ve known musicians with perfect pitch who were less good musicians that musicians with relative pitch.

    Even when it comes to playing in tune, sometimes I’ve found that musicians with perfect pitch have an actual handicap, as their perfect pitch is “in” concert pitch, equal temperament, and there are far more musical pitches than that particular set!

    My first “wow” movement was a performance of Britten’s War Requiem :)

    I still have flashbulb recall of that concert.

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