Genes don’t matter, eh?

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Gauff now lives in Delray Beach, Florida. Her father, Corey, played basketball at Georgia State University and her mother, Candi, ran track at Florida State University. Her natural athleticism is obvious but her mental strength and her character are equally impressive, helping her to handle the pressure of being considered “the next big thing”.

That is, of course, about a tennis player.

The Guardian’s happy to say that genetic endowment matters.

Yet if the same thing were said about brains they’d be horrified. Even though we do have really compelling evidence that IQ is heavily gene influenced when it comes to smarts we’re all that tabula rasa, aren’t we?

Odd how fashion influences science, isn’t it?

36 thoughts on “Genes don’t matter, eh?”

  1. The Killer Question on this is: “If intelligence isn’t at least partly genetic, then how did it evolve?”

    I asked that question on here once, and the only answer put forward was “It didn’t”. Make of that what you will.

  2. Intelligence in the human race is created by conformity to social justice rules as spelled out by the Guardian and New York Times.

    (You wouldn’t understand the science behind this, and it’s fascist to ask for details.)

  3. It used to be that it was fiction which required ‘the willing suspension of disbelief’. Now it’s every bloody thing.

  4. Hey varsity level parents? Woah…wait. Britons don’t really have any scale to measure that achievement by. Is it like saying Dad played for Edinburgh Academicals and mum had a half blue?

  5. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Hallowd Be

    could be worse.

    What if her dad played for Hamilton Academicals and her mother was a Blue Nose ?

  6. What compelling evidence do we have that IQ is inherited exactly ?I mean it doesn’t sound impossible but it does sound like a hideously difficult thing to prove.

  7. @ Newmania
    What we can do is calculate the probability that the observed pattern of intelligent parents having, usually, intelligent children if IQ was not inheritable. Like several other SJW fantasies the probability is way off the scale of my five-figure statistical tables.
    A second approach was the twins study, comparing the performance of sets of identical twins who had been separated at birth to see how much effect the different environments had.
    We can safely state that that the probability that intelligence is not inheritable is less than one in a trillion.

  8. Ok but if intelligence is complex and a product of many interacting genetic inputs and, no doubt environmental ones as well an observable statistic in identical twins, does not show there is ordinarily necessarily any significant inherited ability in itself
    Without thinking too hard about it , lets say Prof Genius has a child with Mrs Clever .Sadly young dim is as likely to take after his Uncle thicko ( exactly as likely)

    So even if IQ has a genetic component , that would not help you predict anything is any given case

  9. You can’t win with science deniers.

    You could show them two pictures:

    1) The Olympic 100M sprint final
    2) The Olympic 100M breaststroke final

    And they would insist doggedly, that there are no differences between racial groups.

    Just for a bonus, they will claim a man who cuts his penis off is now magically a woman.

    You cant debate with the mad.

  10. @ Newmania
    Rubbish! The child does not inherit anything from Uncle thicko.
    Uncle thicko may (probably will) share *some* genes with his brother/sister, but, on average, only 50%.
    So you are “young dim” by saying “exactly as likely” when the average probability is only 50%.
    I stated, *firstly* that we could calculate the probability of observed reality if inheritance was not inheritable – we can only do this approximately because there are too many leading zeroes

  11. Regarding evolution, they will say intelligence stopped evolving when humans were all still in Africa, like giraffe necks or something.

    I suppose they’ll say the trade off between brain size and surviving child birth met equilibrium millennia ago and intelligence is all about brain size because we’re all blank slates etc etc. That’s how I’d argue it if I wanted to push that agenda anyway.

  12. @ Hallowed Be
    Not quite – Georgia State and Florida State aren’t Russell Group intellectual standard but Florida State is quite good at sport – which is more relevant to the debate – just as Loughborough is better at many sports than Oxford.

  13. @ Newmania
    I KNOW that mathematical ability is inheritable. My sisters and I all came top in Maths as did both my sons. A large percentage of my male relatives below the age of 70 are computer programmers; after I made contact with my eldest first cousin (too old to be a programmer) I learned that he had an Engineering degree.
    As to IQ – my parents met at Oxford, so on the theory accepted by myself and honest people we expect their kids to be, more likely than not, above-average. SJWs say we should be merely average. Taking myself, my sisters and my elder son (younger son is autistic, which could be genetic or due to birth trauma, so we cannot measure his IQ but he’s got two degrees so presumably not below average) the odds on the SJWs being right are less than 1 in 20 billion (probably less than 1 in 100 billion but I choose to be conservative when using data near the limits of its reliability).
    There are not yet 20 billion people on the planet.
    I did occasionally use the comment “I am the family dunce” as a throwaway line.

  14. @john 77 July 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Loughborough: isn’t that where bob sleigh, cycling and other olympics are based? iirc they’re engineering is also rated

  15. @ Pcar
    I don’t know about bobsleigh (above my wage bracket) but Yes, it is good at Engineering and was before it became famous for sport

  16. “The Guardian’s happy to say that genetic endowment matters.

    Yet if the same thing were said about brains they’d be horrified.”

    If the same thing were said about sex hormones they’d be horrified.

  17. “Newmania
    July 1, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    So even if IQ has a genetic component , that would not help you predict anything is any given case”

    Well, actually, it would. That there are a lot more possible outcomes than the AA, AB, BA, BB outcomes of a simple two allele calculation doesn’t change the fact that if you know the genes responsble, know their variations, know which are present in a grouping then you can predict the likelyhood that any particular outcome will happen.

    We, obviously, don’t know which genes are responsible for intelligence yet though. That doesn’t change the fact that if intelligence is inheritable (and it is) that you could predict the likelyhood of parents with any particular gene mix having intelligent children.

    Now, there’s still a significant environmental component – you have to exercise that potential to get the most out of it, just like top athletes are both genetically endowed *and* spend a lot of effort training.

  18. @ Agammamon
    Well said!
    Minor quibble is that only potential intelligence is inheritable – actual outcome is affected on the downside by all sorts of things from malnourishment or drugs during pregnancy, birth trauma,malnutrition (especially vitamin deficiency) during formative years, brain damage, drug abuse …

  19. What compelling evidence do we have that IQ is inherited exactly ?I mean it doesn’t sound impossible but it does sound like a hideously difficult thing to prove.

    Look around you, you moron.

    Do all your clever friends have stupid children. Do any stupid friends have really clever ones? Maths ability runs in families. Music ability runs in families too, for that matter.

    We inherit height, build, hair colour, skin colour, athleticism, mental traits (depression, schizophrenia, etc), personality types etc. To suspect that the only thing we don’t inherit is intelligence is deliberate mind-dumbing obtuseness.

    Also, any amount of studies have shown conclusively that we do.

  20. @Chester Draws

    +1

    To suspect that the only thing we don’t inherit is intelligence is deliberate mind-dumbing obtuseness.

    + 100

  21. John 77
    Newmania
    Rubbish! The child does not inherit anything from Uncle thicko.
    Uncle thicko may (probably will) share *some* genes with his brother/sister, but, on average, only 50%.

    You obviously come from a long line of people who do not understand how genes work .
    Siblings have 100% of the same genetic material ( give or take a mutation) .In each child different genes are expressed. The ribbon comes together like a zip but the side which is expressed is random.
    When the genes are passed on the expressed / unexpressed lottery is yet again randomised so it is a fact that your children are genetically as much like your siblings as they are to you

    Look it up .

    This means first cousins are exceedingly closely related which is why it is also very dangerous for them to reproduce and ( see Hapsburg / inbred loon)

    Now look at the maths of relatedness , you will find that you do not have to go back many generations for pretty much everyone to be related . The genes swirl around in a river , you might say

    So in a population everyone is so closely related as to make the idea that some are genetically better than others quite difficult, shall we say

    More broadly a lot of the assumptions about so called racial determinism are quite flawed at a conceptual level.
    Africans are not one race, or one genetic group and the group “black people” is like the group” Tall people ” , it is not really a thing
    The idea that slave populations are better at sport , for example cannot explain why the vast Brazilian slave population has produced few or no sprinters , probably all playing football

    Don’t get me wrong I am not saying there is no science to be done , I am just saying the half baked science passed around by closet racists and what not is usually pretty silly

  22. “So in a population everyone is so closely related as to make the idea that some are genetically better than others quite difficult, shall we say”

    With regard to what is directly inherited, swap “better” for attributes that you can more readily see, and then try adding a couple of tablespoons of tabasco.

    “The idea that slave populations are better at sport ”

    WTF has slaves got to do with who wins the long distance events or who wins the sprints. And who on earth could suppose that Africans are all one race in this sort of discussion.

  23. “You obviously come from a long line of people who do not understand how genes work .
    Siblings have 100% of the same genetic material ( give or take a mutation) ”

    I’m really pretty certain that my sisters are XX and I am XY. Siblings, therefore, even at the most simplistic level, do not have the same genetic material.

    Enjoyably, this sort of mistake always does immediately follow the “But you just don’t understand, do you?” statement.

  24. I will be generous and assume that newmania is not a fool but is descended from shrek and the bridge-dwelling goat botherer.

  25. really pretty certain that my sisters are XX and I am XY. Siblings, therefore, even at the most simplistic level, do not have the same genetic material.

    The point is that you have genetic inheritance that is not expressed in you but is still potential and may be expressed when re shuffled into the next generation ( its called the allele ..I think).
    So lets say I have three children ( which I do) and lets say in each case they are a different combination of my wife and I, which they are.( I hope)
    When we pass on our genes its like we pay down a pack of cards and each card is adjacent to one that is face down .
    So our come these differing versions of us
    But when they have children the pack will be thrown back into the air and the face down cards are as likely to be face up.
    So genetically we are more alike than might be supposed .
    I don`t think I was right ( you note how I can change my mind ). Otherwise each generation would have twice as many genes as the one before so … I may have read some thing about wasps by Richard Dawkins and forgotten half of it.

    The main idea though ,that we are all much closer genetically than you might think is right and there is a long and ignoble history of misusing Darwinism to justify all sorts of crap ( and in the case of the Nazis Linguistic archaeology as well ..as in the Aryans )

  26. “The main idea though ,that we are all much closer genetically than you might think is right”

    Of course, and Jordan Peterson’s lobster example (300 million years or whatever it is) always amuses in a slightly different context.

    And – anecdotal sure, but statistically clear – perhaps now go back and re-check John’s maths in his example above. And which might indeed be off at one end of the distribution curve.

    There is no inconsistency between the two.

  27. @ Newmania
    You obviously come from a short line of people who have no understanding of what you are saying.
    Each of us inherits half of the DNA of each parent, not 100% of it. DNA does not double each generation. So siblings (apart from identical twins) are not identical.
    You may not agree with my reasoning but you cannot dispute my conclusion. If you wish to postulate another reason why siblings differ, feel free.
    *On average* siblings will share 50% of DNA but it can range from 0% to 100%, so it is NOT true that that they are 100% of the same genetic material (apart from identical twins) and it is only pure random happenstance if they are as alike to each other as they are to either parent.
    You might do better to look up stuff whenever you tell me to look it up. “Allele” is just a new trendy name for what we used to call “gene” – what each of us has “at a genetic location” – and wikipedia states that we inherit one “allele” from each parent. So you are making yourself look arrogant and stupid at the same time.
    I probably share some genes with my uncle (who wasn’t a thicko, incidentally) but I certainly do not share 100%.
    With 7 billion people in the world we have to go back a very large number of generations to find out that we are all related – which does NOT mean that we are all the same (e.g. some Europeans have traces of Neanderthal DNA and some East Asians have traces of Denisovan).
    IMPORTANTLY, being different is not the same as better. I have a right to be different, but *not* to claim to be “better” (unless we are discussing maths at which I have the good fortune to know the difference between 50% and 100%).

  28. @ Jack C
    Tim isn’t a WASP.
    I am a bit under half-Welsh, with various other races in my ancestry so less than 50% Anglo-Saxon.
    Dunno about anyone else (although I suspect dearieme and BraveFart are Scots)

  29. I’m really pretty certain that my sisters are XX and I am XY.

    Trans denier! Bigot! Report to NiV for re-education.

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