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Ok, that's a big question. But there was a column in the editorial section of the Tulsa World this morning (Nov. 19, 2014) by Charles Murray titled "Parents lose credit for children's IQ". He reports on 2 different studies, one by Kevin Beaver of Florida State University. He could find little evidence to indicate that a child's home life had any significant effect on the child's IQ. That doesn't say that there is none. The other study was by 6 authors from King's College, London. They applied Genome-wide Complex Trait Analysis to determine how much a child's IQ depends on genetics and how much on environment. According to their analysis a child's IQ does not have much to do with their family life. There are effects that depend on the environment in some complex way, but it is not dependent on the family for development. If a child is deprived in some way then that may affect his IQ, but it isn't clear how a child living a normal life will be affected.

The lesson we are supposed to come to from these studies is that we should love and support our children and let them develop as they will. There doesn't seem to be much we can actually do to help them develop a higher IQ.

One caveat,Charles Murray is the author of "The Bell Curve", 1994. This is the book where he claimed there are significant differences in intelligence between the races, and whites are at the top of the heap.

Bill Gill


C is not the speed of light in a vacuum.
C is the universal speed limit.
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Murray missed the boat. More and more it appears that, given the opportunity Asians out perform other races!

Part of the problem comes from the way IQ tests work. They require instruction and learning, and this introduces bias. People brought up in a subsistence farming community in a third world country will not understand many of the concepts examined in an IQ test. Testing raw intelligence is a very difficult thing. A child surrounded by jungle will grow up with all the skills required for his/ her future within their community and they may indeed be future leaders or wise elders. However they may also be unable to visualise amounts greater than two, instead saying "many".

We test for the skills we admire and find useful, and are very scornful of deviation-- in fact we are getting worse in this area as the computer marks more of our tests and we acquire the skills to collate knowledge and forget the pleasure in using our abilities to explore knowledge for its own sake.

I don't think that children should be forced past their natural ability, but I do think they ought to go as far as they can. Most research has, sadly, shown that most of us have inherited our intelligence at birth, and it may well be we cannot expand as far as we would like. If a child is to be smart, providing the means for him/her to explore the world in reality, in books, in computers, and activities will help. But it should be done without coercion or disappointment when the child proves to be, like most of us, not as bright as all that!

Last edited by Ellis; 11/20/14 05:01 AM.

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