Anybody hear about this? http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/11/us-intelligence-idUSBREA1A0CR20140211
Yeah, read about it a few days back. Interesting.
As is so often the case with the way news organizations write their articles to be sensational, it’s only near the end of it where they admit that there are many factors which determine intelligence, and this is only one small part. Research in the past have shown that different people have different numbers of interconnecting axions and dendrites in the neurons, that the refractory time between pulses is different among people, etc.
Sure there are many other factors: many other genes. Or maybe it’s the mysterious “something else,” as Pinker recently put it. What we do know is that anytime anyone tries to look for any environmental factors impacting our personality, they never find anything–again, according to Pinker.
Yeah, but Pinker’s an egotistical jerk who thinks he’s the only one who knows anything. Try raising one identical twin from birth on a healthy diet, and the other with extreme deficiencies in protein, vitamins, essential minerals (all environmental factors), and measuring their relative intelligence at, say, sixteen.
An Australian researcher found that creatine, used by athletes to help them build muscle by allowing the nerves associated with them to fire more frequently, when given to college students (5 gm/day) increased memory test scores by 19%. Sorry but taking creatine isn’t a genetically driven factor.
I second what Occam says
I have taken a couple of pyschology courses in the past year, and news articles like this is one of the things the instructors cautioned against.
News journalists are not trained in scientific procedure and often incorrectly summarize results. “Gene discovery” was even one the spefici examples
we were given which the news doesn’t give the full story.
On a further note, I should note an interesting assignment one of the psychology classes gave
We were told to get a news article about science, and then go back to the original study article (published in a scientific journal). We were to then compare the news portrayal with what the study actually states. We then shared our results with each other
About half of us reported flaws in the medias presentation. A few found extremely bad reporting of the studies.
They ranged from things like
- leaving out the researcher’s admission that other variables needed to be studied.
- Leaving out crucial detials of samples used in the studies.
This course taught me to be very skeptical of using the news as a source.
It’s probably true that environment doesn’t have a lot to do with actual IQ, but it does affect the expression and development of IQ.
Take a child with a high IQ who has never been taught mathematitcs or physics, for example, and that child, in adulthood will be lost in a math and physics classroom as an adult. His high IQ will probably not make up for his lack of education. By the same token, a child with a high IQ who is malnourished, abused, and suffering the effects of poverty will also not do very well in any intellectual pursuit. Environment does matter.