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Evolution of Genius
02-03-2010, 10:00 AM
Post: #1
Evolution of Genius
Why don't we have a traceable line of genius?
Why does genius occur so rarely and stupidity more than it's share?
Where are the genius descendants of Beethoven, Bach, Handel the Liszt (sorry) goes on?
Why doesn't the genius gene or genes carry through?
Is it because it is of no benefit to Humanity?
And yet aren't we all enriched by their genius?
Not just art but science and maths as well and innovation of all sorts?
If evolution can and does produce genius, why doesn't it continue to evolve?
I don't think that, as a proportion of the population, there are more smart people than there were 1000 yrs ago.
I accept that 1000yrs is a small sample but do you get my drift?
Shouldn't the population be getting smarter if evolution is working? (well..lol)
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02-03-2010, 10:37 AM
Post: #2
RE: Evolution of Genius
(02-03-2010 10:00 AM)minus459 Wrote:  Why don't we have a traceable line of genius?
Why does genius occur so rarely and stupidity more than it's share?
Where are the genius descendants of Beethoven, Bach, Handel the Liszt (sorry) goes on?
Why doesn't the genius gene or genes carry through?
Is it because it is of no benefit to Humanity?
And yet aren't we all enriched by their genius?
Not just art but science and maths as well and innovation of all sorts?
If evolution can and does produce genius, why doesn't it continue to evolve?
I don't think that, as a proportion of the population, there are more smart people than there were 1000 yrs ago.
I accept that 1000yrs is a small sample but do you get my drift?
Shouldn't the population be getting smarter if evolution is working? (well..lol)

First of all, there does not seem to be a 'genius gene'.

Quote:IN THE ANGRY DEBATE over how much of IQ comes from the genes that children inherit from parents and how much comes from experiences, one little fact gets overlooked: no one has identified any genes (other than those that cause retardation) that affect intelligence. So researchers led by Robert Plomin of London's Institute of Psychiatry decided to look for some.

...

Plomin cautions that ""this is not a genius gene. It is not even the gene for general intelligence; at most it is one of many.'' (About half the differences in intelligence between one person and another are thought to reflect different genes, and half reflect different life experiences.) The gene accounts for no more than four extra IQ points. And it is neither necessary nor sufficient for high IQ: 23 percent of the average-IQ kids did have it, but 54 percent of the genius kids did not.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/92569

We are smarter on average than our ancestors of a million years ago because big brain genes cames along. But big brains are also a problem. They make childbirth much more dangerous and make the children more vulnerable for longer because their brains need more time to mature. These factors limited how big human brains were going to get. Based on fossil skulls, hominid brain size does not seem to have changed much for hundreds of thousands of years. So any variation in intelligence is going to be based on brain organization. But since the brain learns most if its intelligent behavior, evolution is not going to be doing a whole lot in this department. There is just not a whole lot of selection pressure.

In the present day, and for thousands of years in fact, it has been possible to be increasingly stupider - at least in terms of brain capabilty - and still survive long enough to have offspring and to keep those offspring alive until maturity. This is called civilization. But civilization also presents better environmental factors in fostering intelligence.

So genetics does not have all that much to do with it.
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02-03-2010, 10:59 AM
Post: #3
RE: Evolution of Genius
Now you are proposing the nature v nurture argument. Not within the scope of my questions. Many of our geniuses have been child prodigies, where nurture can have had very little or no effect. If a child can write a symphony at age 7 I don't think nurture had much influence.
Only in line 4 did I mention genes and I wasn't necessarily speaking literally.
The question remains: Why doesn't genius reproduce?
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02-03-2010, 11:24 AM
Post: #4
RE: Evolution of Genius
(02-03-2010 10:59 AM)minus459 Wrote:  Now you are proposing the nature v nurture argument. Not within the scope of my questions. Many of our geniuses have been child prodigies, where nurture can have had very little or no effect. If a child can write a symphony at age 7 I don't think nurture had much influence.
Only in line 4 did I mention genes and I wasn't necessarily speaking literally.
The question remains: Why doesn't genius reproduce?

The answer remains: because genes do not have a lot to do with it.

From time to time a combination of genes may result in an exceptional brain that also has the good fortune to have an opportunity to be noticed. But the fact that the set of genes that lead to genius have not become a commonly inherited set clearly indicates that genius does not have sufficient statistical advantage for that to happen in the present world.

I do not understand your comment that child prodigies cannot be the result of environment. Consider this:

Quote:Some researchers believe that prodigious talent tends to arise as a result of the innate talent of the child, the energetic and emotional investment that the child ventures, and the personal characteristics of the individual. Others believe that the environment plays the dominant role, many times in obvious ways. For example, Laszlo Polgar set out to raise his children to be chess players, and all three of his daughters went on to become world-class players (two of whom are grandmasters), emphasizing the potency a child's environment can have in determining the pursuits toward which a child's energy will be directed, and showing that an incredible amount of skill can be developed through suitable training. It is noteworthy that Laszlo Polgar himself was a modest chess player.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_prodigy
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02-04-2010, 07:56 AM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2010 07:57 AM by minus459.)
Post: #5
RE: Evolution of Genius
My comment concerning child prodigies meant that environment alone cannot explain it. The example you give of Lazlo's daughters (sry sounds like a porn film Wink) doesn't explain whether they became grand masters at age 5 or 35. What it does demonstrate is that the math necessary to conquer chess is emenantally teachable.

Parousia wrote :"The answer remains: because genes do not have a lot to do with it.

From time to time a combination of genes may result in an exceptional brain that also has the good fortune to have an opportunity to be noticed. But the fact that the set of genes that lead to genius have not become a commonly inherited set clearly indicates that genius does not have sufficient statistical advantage for that to happen in the present world."

It's a bit of an ask to say on the one hand that genes don't have a lot to do with and then say that from time to time a combination of genes may result in an exceptional brain. The rest of that sentence is without doubt a determinant for genius. But to dismiss genes so flippantly and to then claim them for an exceptional brain is contradictory. What you seem to be claiming is that genius is determined primarily by situation.
I have to strongly disagree.
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02-04-2010, 11:27 AM
Post: #6
RE: Evolution of Genius
(02-04-2010 07:56 AM)minus459 Wrote:  My comment concerning child prodigies meant that environment alone cannot explain it. The example you give of Lazlo's daughters (sry sounds like a porn film Wink) doesn't explain whether they became grand masters at age 5 or 35. What it does demonstrate is that the math necessary to conquer chess is emenantally teachable.

Parousia wrote :"The answer remains: because genes do not have a lot to do with it.

From time to time a combination of genes may result in an exceptional brain that also has the good fortune to have an opportunity to be noticed. But the fact that the set of genes that lead to genius have not become a commonly inherited set clearly indicates that genius does not have sufficient statistical advantage for that to happen in the present world."

It's a bit of an ask to say on the one hand that genes don't have a lot to do with and then say that from time to time a combination of genes may result in an exceptional brain. The rest of that sentence is without doubt a determinant for genius. But to dismiss genes so flippantly and to then claim them for an exceptional brain is contradictory. What you seem to be claiming is that genius is determined primarily by situation.
I have to strongly disagree.

My point was that genes that result in an exceptional brain have little to do with the dispersion of those genes throughout the population - that being the 'it' you were originally discussing. In today's world, being a genius is no longer such a competitive advantage in being able to produce progeny. Civilization protects even the stupid and education tends to level the playing field.
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02-04-2010, 12:14 PM
Post: #7
RE: Evolution of Genius
Parousia it was simply a question that I thought may have elicited some response. It would seem that only you and I are interested. I was certainly playing devils advocate, but thankyou for your participation.
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02-04-2010, 12:24 PM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2010 12:30 PM by Parousia.)
Post: #8
RE: Evolution of Genius
(02-04-2010 12:14 PM)minus459 Wrote:  Parousia it was simply a question that I thought may have elicited some response. It would seem that only you and I are interested. I was certainly playing devils advocate, but thankyou for your participation.

I suspect everyone else is too busy playing "My God's better than your God"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwBFknwvzek

EDIT: Or maybe it is more like this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyt6byJP3Ac
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02-04-2010, 12:32 PM
Post: #9
RE: Evolution of Genius
I think you may be right. But if you quote me I'll deny all Knowledge Wink
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02-05-2010, 02:07 PM
Post: #10
RE: Evolution of Genius
Quote:Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.
— W. H. Aude

well I must be a genius by that definition.
maybe to become a genius is not that difficult?
just become YOU and not a EWE?

namaste

NATURE cannot be HIDDEN only VEILeD with NARRATIVES that defy NATURE

CodeX4 and the Reconciliation of Science and Religion
http://kachina2012.wordpress.com/about/
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