“genetic architecture of intelligence”

posting’s gonna be light this week ’cause easter’s fast approaching. but i’ve got some videos for ya!

via john derbyshire (and konkvistador!), stephen hsu’s really great presentation “Genetic Architecture of Intelligence.” enjoy!


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21 Comments

  1. If Hsu is right that in ten years for about ten thousand dollars you will be able to select the smartest out of a collection of twenty embryos to be your son or daughter, then that ten thousand dollars will probably be the best the investment you ever make.

    Reply

  2. @hbd chick “posting’s gonna be light this week” Well here is something for you. Off topic but you might be interested. I and a friend had a paper published by the journal African Entomology. This is idependent research. The title is “Fluctuation of fertility with number in a real insect population and a
    virtual population”

    Reply

  3. “Fluctuation of fertility with number in a real insect population and a
    virtual population”

    Oh boy, we get to learn your real name!

    Reply

  4. @Linton Herbert
    “I and a friend had a paper published by the journal African Entomology.”

    Congrats

    (sorry typed too fast first time)

    Reply

  5. @ Luke Lea –

    Maybe, but IVF itself is associated with a slightly increased risk of birth defects for unclear reasons.

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    1. @Janon “IVF itself is associated with a slightly increased risk of birth defects for unclear reasons.” I think the last I heard it was because it changed methylation patterns on DNA although not the base sequence. Methylation is important because changes in it are involved in growth and development, not to mention any possible connection with kin recognition.

      Reply

  6. Janon
    “Maybe, but IVF itself is associated with a slightly increased risk of birth defects for unclear reasons.”

    Maybe they shouldn’t use medical students as sperm donors.

    Reply

  7. Janon
    “IVF itself is associated with a slightly increased risk of birth defects for unclear reasons.”

    Maybe they shouldn’t use medical students as sperm donors.

    Reply

  8. @Linton Herbert
    Potentially highly significant seems to me if it can be extrapolated to human populations and the secular transition from industrialization.

    Reply

  9. @Greying wanderer “Potentially highly significant seems to me if it can be extrapolated to human populations and the secular transition from industrialization.” We’re working on that. With good luck something will turn out in a couple years. With bad luck something might show up in about a year, but I hope that doesn’t happen,

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  10. Do you have any proof that medical students make up most of the donors? I think it’s more of an old joke than a reflection of reality.

    The risks associated with IVF may not have much to do with the donated gametes but the technique itself. Drugs are used to promote release of eggs, and of course both types of gametes and then embryos are physically manipulated. For a technology that in the near future will only allow one to select the embryo with the suspected best combination of intelligence alleles from among the set possessed by a person and his spouse, not reach for the stars with the absolute best set of alleles (unless the couple chooses donors and forgoes having a child of their own blood), the risk of birth defects may be a significant deterrent. Then there is the issue that the embryo predicted to be most intelligent might be lacking in other departments such as height or facial morphology. It is not my experience that smart, ugly, short people are either the most happy or successful people in the world.

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  11. Janon
    “The risks associated with IVF may not have much to do with the donated gametes but the technique itself.”

    Sure it might and probably is but…what if it’s (at least partially) not?

    “Do you have any proof that medical students make up most of the donors? I think it’s more of an old joke than a reflection of reality.”

    No, it’s just an idea i got from reading that a lot of clinics (in the past?) were setup in universities / medical schools. The point being that people with high intelligence don’t necessarily have fewer genetic problems in other areas.

    “It is not my experience that smart, ugly, short people are either the most happy or successful people in the world.”

    Exactly. Hence why i think reducing genetic load is likely to be the best option long-term as that would (slightly?) improve everything with each generation rather than just selecting on one trait.

    However if the risks of IVF are at least partially to do with the load of the donated sperm then i think the best results would come from using sperm from highly selected special forces personnel as they are selected on the basis of both health and intelligence.

    Reply

  12. @ Greying Wanderer –

    But you would also be selecting for aggressive personality types with special forces personnel. Too many of those does not a happy society make. And most people don’t want someone else’s kid. They want their kid. This is going to be a tool of the well-to-do, at least in the early phase. I can imagine no great enthusiasm among upper middle class husbands for raising some green beret’s kid. What you propose might be a good idea for the welfare class, but I think we both know that no Western government would go for anything like your plan.

    Reply

  13. @Janon

    “And most people don’t want someone else’s kid.”

    Sure, i was speaking more generally of IVF for infertility which is where i assumed your initial point derived from?

    “IVF itself is associated with a slightly increased risk of birth defects for unclear reasons.”

    My thought, and it’s no more than that, is that getting sperm from medical students or university students (if they do) might be part of that unclear reason i.e. people who have been selected primarily on the basis of intelligence might have a higher chance of physical genetic defects?

    .
    “What you propose might be a good idea for the welfare class, but I think we both know that no Western government would go for anything like your plan.”

    Well i was thinking more of IVF clinics themselves. If things like miscarriages and genetic load have an effect on the success of IVF infertility treatments (and i’m only guessing that they do) then i think special forces sperm would create more successful, healthy pregnancies leading to a fertility clinic being able to advertize that fact – plus special forces types are above-average IQ as well.

    .
    “But you would also be selecting for aggressive personality types with special forces personnel. Too many of those does not a happy society make.”

    Well there’s the thing, aggressive yes but very self-disciplined. Self-disciplined killer types don’t fight much – especially not among themselves as it’s too dangerous. I think a society of soldier-ants would be a very interesting place indeed.

    (nb Soldier-ants not warriors, very different thing.)

    Reply

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