We should regard intelligence as just another privilege you inherit from mummy and daddy

My latest blogpost at the Spectator on the strange inability of people to recognise, or understand, the role of hereditary factors in intelligence, especially clever people.

The Guardian reporter called these findings ‘eye-catching’, yet there’s nothing remotely surprising that nature plays a large part in differences in intelligence, any more than it would do in height. Recognising that tall parents often have tall kids would not be to say that diet ‘doesn’t matter’, yet in the study of intelligence a false dichotomy is presented — nature v nurture, rather than nature and nurture.

For anyone with even the slightest interest in evolutionary biology it would be exceptionally strange if the human brain, uniquely among mammalian organs, was not affected by heritability, but had instead been created by a New York Times-reading God who thought that evolution was offensive. And yet this blank slate idea still directs policy, and the result is that teachers often get blamed when it all goes wrong.

Comments so far

  1. Anti-heredity is a passing fad of the left, everyone knows that decades ago they supported eugenics even more than did the right. now people like Toynbee just look silly we could do with an iron wall separating humanism from the state just like religion should be separated from the state regarding things like creationism in school classrooms.

What do you think?