Re: Intelligence on the X chromosome

catherine yronwode (
Fri, 23 Aug 1996 09:43:55 -0800

Charles Arthur wrote:
> In article <>, wrote:
> > Matt Beckwith wrote:
> >
> > > The X chromosomes of a daughter come from both parents.
> >
> > Yes, but the (hypotehtical) intelligence genes that are *expressed* may
> > come from one parent or the other or both (or so the current theory
> > goes). Remember -- multiple alleles, cross-over, dominance versus
> > recessiveness, all that stuff.
> And yada yada yada.
> Could I throw a small-sized spoke into these tremendously excited wheels?
> Someone mused a while back (I paraphrase) "Hmm, intelligence on the X
> chromosome, I wonder what evolutionary advantage that confers?"
> Which triggered off all this marrying-in marrying-out stuff. However, I
> have to say that from where I sit, this is all getting the cart before the
> horse. If we assume that intelligence is X-linked (not definitely true,
> but fun to use for a hypothesis) then we have to ask: what would the
> evolutionary outcome be? How would this affect the species?
> It might be that groups which are patriarchal and matrilinear benefit. But
> their social structure doesn't impose the genetic position of
> intelligence-influencing genes. It's the other way round. I think some
> people have been confusing cause and effect a little. Just wanted to be
> sure people have their genes on the right way round, if that's OK.

Right. right, of course. We were not hypothesising a breeding program to
*enhance* intelligence -- we were merely playing around with the idea
that, given a society that rewards intelligence by making rulers of
smart folks, what breeding program -- uh, i mean *social system* --
would best serve the smart ruler's desire to pass along his or her own
intelligence genes? The answer "patriarchal-matrilineal" filled the

catherine yronwode -------------------------
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