Lion of the Blogosphere

Genetics of height and intelligence

Height, like intelligence, is a complicated polygenic trait involving hundreds, probably thousands, of genetic variants. But unlike intelligence, it’s not politically incorrect to study the genetics of height, or to assume that if a particular ethnicity is very tall or very short, then it’s because of genetics.

Thus, it’s interesting that scientists have discovered a single genetic variant that contributes to Peruvians being short.

The same techniques could be used to investigate intelligence. It would be beneficial to study the smartest ethnicity (Ashkenazi Jews) and extremely low-intelligence ethnicities like Aboriginal Australians and southern African Bushmen. I’m sure if we did that, we could discover additional genetic variants related to intelligence.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 15, 2019 at 9:43 AM

Posted in Biology

17 Responses

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  1. Somebody has to fund researching gene variants; they don’t fund themselves. It’s a lot easier to get funding to investigate physical differences, like height, than intelligence. What if you discover that science supports wrongthink? Who wants to throw their career away on scientific truth?

    Mike Street Station

    December 15, 2019 at 10:19 AM

    • This will probably happen in China, if it already is not, and they aren’t publicizing their results.

      BTW I do think environment plays *some* part in results, if not the actual raw material. All of the great Ashkenazi Jewish intellectuals were non-Orthodox. What’s going on with the Orthodox? They spend their lives chewing over sacred texts.

      If you take the Harpending-Cochran theory seriously (I do), that has implications for intra-Jewish specialization of intellect. The smarter Jews basically left Judaism.


      December 15, 2019 at 10:31 AM

      • “BTW I do think environment plays *some* part in results, if not the actual raw material. All of the great Ashkenazi Jewish intellectuals were non-Orthodox. What’s going on with the Orthodox? They spend their lives chewing over sacred texts.”

        They are wasting their high IQ on studying the Talmud instead of doing useful things for mankind.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 15, 2019 at 10:34 AM

      • Or they might have a lower IQ than the Jews who are doing things. We should test.

        BTW, I followed the link to the height article and saw, on the side, this link:

        Sounds good. They are broadening the definition of disadvantaged to include poor whites. They even have a picture of a Great White Defendant who “turned his life around,” just like a rapper!


        December 15, 2019 at 11:24 AM

      • PS so their genes don’t incline them to be useful, then?


        December 15, 2019 at 11:40 AM

      • Not entirely. Remember the very observant Reichmann Brothers who ran the Olympia & York real estate firm (into the ground, for sure, but it was fun while it lasted), or Eli Black, a rabbi who ran United Fruit (at least until he leaped to his death in 1975)? Oh well. . .


        December 15, 2019 at 4:33 PM

      • I bet the Orthodox could be smart, but they never use their smartness because fundie Judaism is preventing them from learning science and engineering. They have the same root problem as evangelical Christians and Muslims.


        December 15, 2019 at 9:34 PM

    • Actually, there is funding for a project to steer young people away from even thinking of genetics and intelligence. Someone on West Hunter pointed out this article:

      Biology textbooks used in American high schools do not go near the sensitive question of whether genetics can explain why African-Americans are overrepresented as football players and why a disproportionate number of American scientists are white or Asian.

      But in a study starting this month, a group of biology teachers from across the country will address it head-on. They are testing the idea that the science classroom may be the best place to provide a buffer against the unfounded genetic rationales for human difference that often become the basis for racial intolerance

      The history of today’s racial categories arose long before the field of genetics and have been used to justify all manner of discriminatory policies. Race, a social concept bound up in culture and family, is not a topic of study in modern human population genetics, which typically uses concepts like “ancestry” or “population” to describe geographic genetic groupings.

      But that has not stopped many Americans from believing that genes cause racial groups to have distinct skills, traits and abilities. And among some biology teachers, there has been a growing sense that avoiding any direct mention of race in their genetics curriculum may be backfiring.
      The new curriculum acknowledges there are minor genetic differences between geographic populations loosely correlated to today’s racial categories. But the unit also conveys what geneticists have reiterated: People inherit their environment and culture with their genes, and it is a daunting task to disentangle them. A key part of the curriculum, Dr. Donovan said, is teaching students to “understand the limits of our knowledge.’’

      In the pilot study that helped Dr. Donovan secure a research grant from the National Science Foundation, students in eight classrooms exposed to a rudimentary version of the curriculum were less likely than others to endorse statements suggesting that racial groups have defining qualities that are determined by genes. The new study will measure the curriculum’s effect on such attitudes by asking students to fill out surveys before and after the unit.

      Frau Katze

      December 15, 2019 at 10:50 AM

      • So they are actually teaching anti-science in science classes.


        December 15, 2019 at 1:54 PM

      • Interesting comment from one participating student. He said they spent many weeks one this, but a day or two would have been sufficient. I think I would resent that amount of wasted time.

        December 15, 2019 at 2:58 PM

      • “The new study will measure the curriculum’s effect on such attitudes by asking students to fill out surveys before and after the unit.”

        They want to test the students to see how well their propaganda worked. Then they’ll use the surveys to fine-tune their propaganda to make it as effective as possible. Just so ya know, the difference between cats and dogs is purely environmental and cultural having nothing to do with genetics.


        December 15, 2019 at 8:41 PM

      • Teaching kids that biology and race are totally unrelated is a great way for them to suspect the opposite. Of course that doesn’t excuse the waste of resources.


        December 15, 2019 at 9:23 PM

  2. “It would be beneficial to study the smartest ethnicity (Ashkenazi Jews)”

    “ 54]Intelligence Project Edit”

    “A Chinese project focused on the research of the genetic basis of intelligence launched in August 2012. American physicist Steve Hsu joined as a scientific adviser and one of the project’s leaders.[55] It was done on 2,200 samples mostly from the United States,[47] out of which 1,600 were of individuals who participated in the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth and reportedly have IQs over 160, collected by American psychologist and geneticist Robert Plomin.[55][56]”


    December 15, 2019 at 11:55 AM

  3. […] of the Blogosphere has an interesting article up about the genomics of height and intelligence. He […]

  4. Ashkenaki Jews the smartest ethnicity?

    Well, then I guess I’m bringing the mean way down.


    December 15, 2019 at 4:28 PM

  5. Keep dreaming. We’ve been hearing this nonsense for 25 years now. Enormous amounts of money was already been spent and it simply didn’t work. DNA is not what you think it is. The p-hacked observed correlation papers about “gene variants” are completely useless.


    December 15, 2019 at 10:25 PM

    • Enormous amounts of money, oil, and blood were spent on everything since Y2K and we are still worse off than we were then.

      My 2¢

      December 17, 2019 at 10:50 PM

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