Strong genetic component in academic success

A British study of 11,000 students taking GSCE exams (high school finals) has demonstrated a high relationship between academic success and genetic aptitudes.

The degree to which students’ exam scores differ owes more to their genes than to their teachers, schools or family environments, according to new research from King’s College London published today in PLOS ONE.

The study, which took place in the UK, looked at students’ scores for their GCSE’s (General Certificate of Secondary Education), a UK-wide examination at the end of compulsory education at 16 years old.

The study followed 11,000 identical and fraternal twins.

The researchers found that for compulsory core subjects (English, Mathematics and Science), genetic differences between students explain on average 58% of the differences between GCSE scores. In contrast, 29% of the differences in core subject grades are due to shared environment–such as schools, neighbourhoods or families which twins share. The remaining differences in GCSE scores were explained by non-shared environment, unique to each individual.

Commit these numbers to memory: 58% genetic/29% environmental/13% individual. The next time you find yourself arguing for the obvious influence of genetics in intelligence, when you are annoying the bien-pensants at the dinner table, cite these figures.

Hernnstein and Murray thought the figure was about 70% genetic and 30% environmental.

No matter how often the obvious link between intelligence and genetics is demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, the environmentarians never adapt their arguments, and the press are shocked, shocked, by the racism of it all.

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