Thursday, April 20, 2006

IQ and Genetics

Those who claim that IQ is mostly genetic are making some serious implicit assumptions with some far reaching consequences.

First let us define what IQ means:

The measure of intelligence as given by specific tests.

The only ambigouous concept in the previous sentence is intelligence, so we must define it:

the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge, or the facutly of thought or reason.

The last definition is most revealing for thought or reason is a part of the mind, hence intelligence is also a part of the mind, so IQ is a measure of this part of the mind. Now what does it mean for IQ or intelligence to be mostly genetic? It means that intelligence is mostly determined by the structures and processes in the brain, because this is the only way genetics can possibly influence intelligence. There is an implicit assumption in the last sentence, namely that the mind is in the brain, for if the mind were not in the brain then how could genetics possibly alter it? The brain is simply a physical object hence, it obeys the laws of physics, as such it is nothing more than a very complicated machine. Since the mind is in the brain and brain is nothing more than a machine, the mind is nothing but a machine or an algorithm. Since IQ is a part of the mind and the mind is an algorithim or machine, IQ is nothing but an algorithm or machine. Hence, in principle, anyone can learn this algorithm and "reason" at a higher IQ level. All one needs to do is simply pick the "IQ" algorithm of a person with a higher IQ.

This goes to show that the proponents of the genetic theory have implictly given us the keys to raising everyone's IQ, which is quite paradoxical.

John G.