The more equal the society, the more genetic inheritance matters

As social equality grows, as people are less held back by childhood poverty and bad environments, genes matter more, not less. Satoshi Kanazawa’s series on genetics and intelligence should be read in its entirety. Today’s sermon is found here.

So contrary to the popular misconception, genes largely (though, even for adults, never completely) determine intelligence.  In fact, intelligence is one of the most heritable of all human traits and characteristics.  For example, intelligence is just as heritable as height.  Everybody knows that tall parents beget tall children, and nobody ever questions the strong influence of genes on height, yet they vehemently deny any influence of genes on intelligence.  Nobody ever claims that playing basketball makes you taller just because basketball players are very tall.  Yet they claim that education makes you more intelligent just because more educated people are more intelligent.

No one is arguing genetic reductionism: the notion that intelligence derives entirely from genetics. The point is that, as we have made society more fair, less haphazard, and better fed, genetic heritage matters proportionately more.

The same issues were dealt with in the fascinating television series Hjernevask, Brainwash, in which comedian Harald Eia interviewed Norwegian social ideologists (I do not say scientists) for their views on heritability versus environment, and contrasted them with what scientists were saying in the US and Britain.

The TV series resulted in the Nordic Council of Ministers shutting down the institute of ideology that produced the talking heads.

In his documentary, Mr. Eia just went, in the company of a camera team, and asked some innocent questions to the leading researchers and scientists of the NIKK. Then he took the replies and brought them to leading scientists in other parts of the world, notably in the UK and the US, asking them to comment on the findings of their Norwegian peers. As was to be expected, the results of the Norwegian bogus science provoked amusement and incredulity among the international scientific community – especially because it was based on mere theory, never supported by any empitrical research. Mr. Eia filmed those reactions, went back to Oslo, and showed them to the NIKK researchers. It turned out that, when confronted with empiric science, the “Gender Researchers” were speechless, and completely unable to defend their theories against the reality check.

What is more, the bogus was exposed to ridicule in front of the entire TV audience, and people began to ask why it was necessary to fund with 56 million Euro of taxpayers’ money some ideology-driven “research” that had no scientific credentials at all.

Could we please get some Canadian comedian – Rick Mercer where are you? – to ask a few innocent questions of our own university ideologues?

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