Friday, August 7, 2015


From Genes influence academic ability across all subjects, latest study shows by Hannah Devlin. Devlin is reporting on two separate issues. Notable is that this is in the UK's Guardian which tends to be inimicable to such findings.
The findings add to growing evidence that school performance has a large heritable component, with around 60% of the differences in pupil’s GCSE results being explained by genetic factors.
You may feel you are just not a maths person, or that you have a special gift for languages, but scientists have shown that the genes influencing numerical skills are the same ones that determine abilities in reading, arts and humanities.

The study suggests that if you have an academic Achilles heel, environmental factors such as a teaching are more likely to be to blame.
The evidence keeps piling up and there are all sorts of outliers and counterfactuals that have to be vetted on an on-going basis, but it appears to me that individual academic outcomes are 60% inherent capability from heritable IQ and 40% of the variance is due to external circumstances. From other research, my best estimate is that overall life outcomes are 60% IQ, 15% general culture, 15% familial culture and 10% experiential circumstances.

That breakdown is more a stake in the ground than a hard claim. The research is so voluminous, often initially contradictory, so full of cognitive pollution and advocacy, etc. that it can be difficult to discern what the current state of play might be. 60:15:15:10 is my best guess.

You can see why it is so contentious. If you accept 60:15:15:10, then it has material implications for governmental, familial, labor, education and other policies.

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