The Questions We Should Ask About Intelligence

February 20, 2015 11:10 PM

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The Questions We Should Ask About Intelligence

Scientists have largely given up the idea of “innate talent,” as I said in my last column. This change might seem implausible and startling. We all know that some people are better than others at doing some things. And we all know that genes play a big role in shaping our brains. So why shouldn’t genes determine those differences?

Biologists talk about the relationship between a “genotype,” the information in your DNA, and a “phenotype,” the characteristics of an adult organism. These relationships turn out to be so complicated that parceling them out into percentages of nature and nurture is impossible. And, most significant...

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