Re: how many bastards are there, anyway?

catherine yronwode (
Sat, 17 Aug 1996 12:42:51 -0800

John Varela wrote:
> In <4uu00h$>, Matt Beckwith <> writes:
> >>It was an incidental issue which arose out of a discussion of the
> >>ramifications around a recent discovery that a boy's intelligence is
> >>inherited from his mother, not from his father ... the gene for
> >>intelligence (but don't ask me to define the term) having now
> >>apparently been established as being carried on the X chromosome.
> >
> >This I find difficult to believe. Perhaps they found a gene on the
> >X-chromosome which determines IQ to a certain extent. But I bet
> >there are others on other chromosomes. It just wouldn't make sense
> >to have a person's intelligence only determined by inheritance from
> >the mother. And nature usually evolves life forms that make sense.
> I saw news reports about intelligence being inherited only from the
> mother. It caused me to wonder how this interacts with the current
> controversy over whether intelligence can be measured with a single
> number, such as IQ. If intelligence is found on only one or a few
> genes, it would seem to support the single-number advocates.
> I saw no discussion of this question in the press reports, nor did I
> see any description of how they defined the "intelligence" that is
> only inherited on the X chromosome. If the definition of intelligence
> is IQ, and IQ is inherited on only one gene, then to say that
> "intelligence" is inherited from one gene looks like circular
> reasoning to me.

The news ran in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc. At no time
did anyone (scientists or reporters) claim that there is ONE gene for
intelligence. At no time did anyone claim that this affects the
inheritance of intelligence by WOMEN. One research team claims to have
has identified several genes for intelligence and all are located on the
X chromosome. Thus men would inherit intelligence from the mother only
but women could inherit from the mother or father or both.

This is the sort of information that drives some people into raging
fury, so i will not defend the issue beyond stating that the research
was published in a peer-reviewed journal and was thereafter accurately
reported in the popular press. Accretions of misinformation (the
reduction to "one gene", the idea that women inherit intelligence from
their mother only) and arguments over whether IQ itesting is a
reliable/unreliable measure of intelligence are none pf my business.

catherine "given that these findings are true, any geneticist can help
you plan a breeding program to increase intelligence in your offspring
(in fact, such a breeding program already exists and has existed for
several thousand years among one cultural group of human beings)"

catherine yronwode -------------------------
news:alt.lucky.w - discussion of folkloric amulets, charms, & talismans
LUCKY W AMULET ARCHIVE ------ --- sacred sites, geometry, archaeoastronomy