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inheritance


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Showing 1-25 of 44 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Feb 2013 17:26:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Feb 2013 17:27:23 GMT
DB says:
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Posted on 23 Feb 2013 17:27:44 GMT
It is called 'education', DB.

Posted on 23 Feb 2013 17:37:06 GMT
J. Forbes says:
It is called serendipity. :-)

Actually, it's not. If you wish to explore this further, DB, you will find that there is a statistical explanation. Very bright people tend to have less bright children, and very stupid people tend to have less stupid children. It's called regression to the mean. Wiki has an article on it.

So don't be put off having children. The likelihood is that your sprogs will be brighter.

You can thank de Lawd for that!

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2013 18:00:47 GMT
Ian says:
2 of the three factors you listed are clearly not genetic/inherited.

And genetics is more complex than you realise- if a man of 5'7" and a woman of 5'5" have 2 a child; how tall will it grow?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2013 18:02:18 GMT
Ian says:
"So don't be put off having children. The likelihood is that your sprogs will be brighter."

That may be what's putting her off; we wouldn't want bright kids who ask difficult questions instead of believing what they're told, would we?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2013 18:16:31 GMT
Bellatori says:
You might like to read the following
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1520-iq-is-inherited-suggests-twin-study.html

Mind you the next question is What is IQ? to which the answer is probably Don't know!

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2013 18:43:34 GMT
J. Forbes says:
Well, yes, it is inherited.

But it's also diluted, hence the regression towards the mean. A genius's children are likely still to be brighter than average.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2013 21:04:53 GMT
James Smith says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2013 22:29:45 GMT
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In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2013 23:49:31 GMT
DB says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2013 00:01:25 GMT
J. Forbes says:
It's based on observations, many thousands of them. But not my work, which is why I gave you a phrase to search for if you wanted to explore the matter further.

Posted on 24 Feb 2013 00:12:47 GMT
Ian says:
As far as I'm aware the search to find the genes responsible for intelligence in humans has not been very successful.

The evidence we do have varies considerably but seems to suggest that intelligence is about 1-2 thirds inherited and 1-2 thirds environmental. i.e. an intelligent couple is more likely to have intelligent children. That's often the way with genetics; genes just make things more or less likely, the environment is frequently the deciding factor on whether a gene is expressed and how strongly.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2013 00:40:31 GMT
DB says:
I.N and J Forbes

Thanks for the effort, but I still don't feel that my question is completely answered.

It wasn't a purely random question. It comes from a discussion I had with my mother today.
Her neighbours are farmers. Land and poultry. Neither of them are well educated or knowledgeable and have only known farming.
Their two boys went to local schools and worked alongside their father on the farm as children.

However, both boys have turned out to be brilliant professors of physics. They have been involved in many projects and they lecture all over the world.
The farm is now their hobby, and they say it is therapeutic to be able to work on the land occasionally.

It begged the question
Are their people of great intelligence who have children who struggle at school and possibly are not academic at all?

My question isn't one of atheism v theism, it is just one of curiosity.

Posted on 24 Feb 2013 01:10:11 GMT
J. Forbes says:
It must be quite rare that two brothers both become professors of physics.

I fear that there isn't a straightforward answer to your question. Every parent would like to know how to make their children intelligent, happy, attractive, successful and good.

I am sure that being good parents and providing plenty of stimulus at an early age is useful, but it is by no means a pre-condition.

Some years ago, I met a girl at a party who spoke perfect English with a very slight colonial accent (I thought South Africa). It turned out that she spoke six languages, and English she reckoned to be her worst. She had a Dutch father and a Portugese mother and her parents spoke French to each other (and to her when they were all together). Each parent taught her their own language.

In due course she acquired German, Spanish and English, and when I met her she was studying Italian.

Without false modesty, she admitted she was clever, and said she thought that learning three languages as an infant had stimulated her brain. I have heard the same from other people.

So, likewise, perhaps learning to talk to farmers and chickens is a useful step on the road to Academe.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2013 02:39:18 GMT
"If two people are simple souls, not academics and have had poor education, how can they produce a child who can go on to be a world renowned professor?"

How can a simple joiner groom an underage girl, and start an entire religion?

"How do two simple brains produce such a complex brain? "

How do bronze age camel jockeys and fishermen convince people in the 21st century that they knew best?

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2013 10:16:03 GMT
Ian says:
"Well-educated" and "knowledgeable" are environmental factors. It's possible that the parents were also very intelligent; being farmer might not be an academically demanding job in the way that being a professor of physics is, but there are plenty of very intelligent people in all kinds of jobs.

There certainly are children of intelligent people (university professors, doctors, lawyers, etc.) who struggle at school (I've taught a few). As I said before research is extremely varied but seems to suggest that the intelligence of an individual is somewhere between 1-2 thirds inherited. If we take the average of that it would suggest that a couple both of whom have a high IQ is about 50% more likely to have children with a high IQ than a comparable couple both of whom have a very low IQ.

It's hard to say exactly what the other factors which affect intelligence/IQ are but they are likely to include diet and how stimulating their environment is. As J. Forbes has said; being exposed to multiple languages at an early age may help to build pathways in the brain. It has often been claimed that learning a musical instrument increases childrens' academic ability - whether this is a genuine effect in the brain which strengthens pathways or increases links between left and right hemispheres is less clear. It's quite possible that encouraging children to practise something like playing an instrument for half an hour at a time just enables them to sit and work for longer periods of time than children who have never had such an experience.

Because it's a statistics game there is no guarantee of success; I have taught many bi-lingual children and although some are certainly bright, plenty of them had nothing useful or interesting to say in either language.

Although statistically it is unlikely that one particular farming couple would have 2 children both of who go on to be physics professors, there are so many farmers in the world it's almost inevitable that somewhere there is such a family. And I'm sure there are plenty of other farmers who have 2 very intelligent children who choose to be farmers like their parents rather than using their intelligence to become academics.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2013 11:25:08 GMT
C. A. Small says:
friend of mines ex girlfriends father was ex parachute regiment, and fought at Arnhem. An incredibly hard worker, though not academic at all. His wife was a local village girl of average education. His daughter left school after her O levels ( average grades). His son went to Oxford and got a first in a science ( not sure which one) of which his father was immensly proud.

The son had a breakdown and disclosed he hated academia with a passion and became a baker. As far as I know he is very happy working for a small bakery.

Posted on 24 Feb 2013 11:32:44 GMT
J. Forbes says:
It's very true that lack of opportunity has consigned many intelligent people to jobs which don't use their intelligence.

The music thing is very interesting. Music is incredibly complex, and people like Bach, Beethoven and Mozart have to be regarded as being amongst the most intelligent people who ever lived.

Bach, incidentally, was taught Latin, Greek, French, and Italian, and obviously spoke German. He married a second cousin, Maria Bach, which helped to keep the musical genes in the family. As a consequence, perhaps, two of his four surviving children are also important composers.

To me, it is tragic that music in Bach's time was almost all religious, and the only way to earn a living from music was to play in or compose for a church or chapel (many of which were of course private). Had he been born later, what wonderful music might he have written. As it is, his secular music, whilst superb, is very limited in quantity. And his religious music is, well, religious.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2013 14:22:01 GMT
DB says:
J Forbes

The idea that learning languages at an early age can contribute to stimulation of the brain is interesting.

The parents of the two boys were German in origin, and their grandmother who lived with them only spoke German. They were therefore by necessity bi lingual from being toddlers.

From the example in your post, perhaps this is what made the difference.
It would be interesting to know how learning language affects the brain.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2013 05:39:54 GMT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2013 06:46:30 GMT
Last edited by the author on 25 Feb 2013 08:31:48 GMT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2013 11:50:24 GMT
There you go. in a lot of schools in scotland they are starting to teach Gaelic again, simply because it seems to stimulate the brain and make kids more intelligent.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2013 12:19:34 GMT
Ian says:
"Communication iof information is the basic demand of DNA." yes, correct. In the same way that text on a page communicates information.

" in order to provide DNA with the most extensive amount of information about the environment as possible " no.

DNA knows nothing. Text on a page is information, but a paperback book knows nothing of its subject. DNA carries information but is not intelligent or informed.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2013 12:40:06 GMT
Ian says:
I suspect the reasons for teaching gaelic are more political than educational. Significant numbers of non-gaelic speakers in Glasgow are choosing to put their children into the Gaelic School because it is so well funded rather than because of a desire for their kids to learn gaelic or a belief that it will improve their brains (learning Chinese or Spanish might prove more useful).

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2013 15:37:29 GMT
Spin says:
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  44
Initial post:  23 Feb 2013
Latest post:  26 Feb 2013

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