At Kings College London, researchers have published a study claiming that genetics are responsible for nearly 60% of variations in test scores analyzed from more than 11,000 high schools.
The scores of identical twins (who share 100% of their genes) and fraternal twins were used in the study.
Environment and circumstances in the home are responsible for 36% of variations.
Robert Plomin, lead author of the study explained : “Some children find it easier to learn than others do, and I think it’s appetite as much as aptitude. There is a motivation, maybe because you like to do what you are good at.”
While identifying specific genes responsible for influencing the ability to score high on a test would be difficult, the researchers implied that “schools aim to give an equal education to all children, genetic differences impacting educational success are apparent.”
Plomin said that genetic variations when juxtaposed against learning abilities should be taken into consideration when designing school programs.
Plomin explained: “Education is still focused on a one-size-fits-all approach, and if genetics tells us anything it’s that children are different in how easily they learn and what they like to learn. Forcing them into this one academic approach is going to make some children confront failure a lot, and it doesn’t seem a wise approach.”
Earlier this year, Gerald Crabtree published a study entitled, “Our Fragile Intellect” and concluded that human intelligence is on a downward spiral.
Genetic alterations, according to Crabtree, have led to an obvious decline in our species intellectual capabilities.
Crabtree states: “New developments in genetics, anthropology and neurobiology predict that a very large number of genes underlie our intellectual and emotional abilities, making these abilities genetically surprisingly fragile.
Analysis of human mutation rates and the number of genes required for human intellectual and emotional fitness indicates that we are almost certainly losing these abilities.”
It is asserted that modern man cannot mentally cope with stress conditions that our genetic ancestors would have been able to handle.
The study goes on to say: “I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas, and a clear-sighted view of important issues. Furthermore, I would guess that he or she would be among the most emotionally stable of our friends and colleagues. I would also make this wager for the ancient inhabitants of Africa, Asia, India or the Americas, of perhaps 2000–6000 years ago. The basis for my wager comes from new developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology that make a clear prediction that our intellectual and emotional abilities are genetically surprisingly fragile.”
Crabtree estimates that in 120 generations the entire human race will have sustained two or more mutations that will have had negatively affected human intelligence and emotional stability.
He explains: “The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples before our ancestors emerged from Africa.”
The theory is that between 2,000 and 2,500 years ago our ancestors determined our intellectual abilities by their genetic mutations.
Rare mutations could have evolved more than 3,000.
It is also a measure of the type of intelligence we have developed as we are not in constant fight of flight mode; although our psycho-sematic reactions differ from this suggestion.
It is already possible to choose a child who is genetically pre-disposed to traits of the parent’s design.
23andMe applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a patent to preserve rights to the family traits inheritance calculator (FTIC), a tool devised 4 years ago to assist in genetic assessment of babies in utero.
23andMe is owned by Anne Wojcicki, estranged wife of Google founder Sergey Brin. This corporation was funded by Google and Google Ventures with an initial investment of $161 million.
In order to determine the genetic traits possible future children will inherit from their parents, clients have their saliva swabbed.
Currently, 23andMe claims that the corporation “never pursued the concepts discussed in the patent beyond our Family Traits Inheritance Calculator, nor do we have any plans to do so.”
The FTIC will decipher, as expressed by the patent , “what eye colors their child might have or if their child will be able to perceive bitter taste or be lactose intolerant.”
Indeed, the clients can peruse a “shopping list” of genetic traits that can be enhanced or suppressed such as:
• Muscle development
• Athletic abilities
• Personality traits
• Development of cancer and other diseases
• Extended life span
Wojcicki said: “You could say whether you want a kid with blue eyes or green eyes, a long lifespan, or less risk of colorectal cancer. Or more risk of colorectal cancer, if that’s what you’re into. The system then runs the database of your genes against others, to recommend a mating match that would be likely to produce a child with said traits.”
This designer baby tool assesses if genetic traits can be overcome or avoided.
According to 23andMe: “The proposed 23andMe calculator is akin to asking someone to be your baby daddy (or mommy) because you think the kids you’d have with them would be cute. That’s a stupid reason to raise a child with someone, but it’s not morally reprehensible. In the TV show Parks and Recreation, the perpetually single Ann Perkins asks the manic and muscled Chris Traegar to make a baby with her. They’re not dating, but she chose him out of other possible baby daddy choices because of his looks (hot), health (A+), and ambition (intense). She wants those traits passed onto her kid.”
The patent for the FTIC would have allowed for more “calculated” donors in sperm and egg clinics that will facilitate recipients can evaluate the genetic possibilities when combined with the donor and their own.
The Center for Genetics and Society (CGS) explained that the FTIC will not be used in donor clinics.
Mary Darnovsky, executive director of CGS expounded : “It would be highly irresponsible for 23andMe or anyone else to offer a product or service based on this patent. It amounts to shopping for designer donors in an effort to produce designer babies. We believe the patent office made a serious mistake in allowing a patent that includes drop-down menus from which to choose a future child’s traits.”