Re: virus: Memes and Genes, stupid

Duane Hewitt (
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 19:54:06 -0700 (MST)

On Fri, 17 Jan 1997 wrote:

> On Thu, 16 Jan 1997, Martz wrote:
> > Perhaps you'd like to support my new campaign.
> >
> > Free to forward, free to copy, free to mutate.
> > ----------------------------------------------------------
> [CLIP]
> > The people with the most kids are the people with the least
> > brains. This propogation of stupid genes carries the seed
> > of mankinds destruction, yet it is dangerous to advocate the slaughter
> > of the senseless. They outnumber us by a huge margin, after all, and
> > are prone to using violence as a debating tool of first resort.
> >
> > I have a solution.
> >
> I have a problem with the direction this argument is taking. Not that
> the stupid shouldn't be neutered (a fine idea), but it overlooks the data.
> Statisticly two idiots are as likely to have genius offspring as two
> geniuses are of having idiot children. The outcome will tend toward the
> mean and therefore idiots are much more likely to have children whose
> intellect is an improvement than the geniuses.
> Both you and Dave Pape assume that intelligence is a wholely genetic
> trait. I see no statistical evidence for this.

In the same vein, what evidence do you have for your assertion of "tend
toward the mean"?

If you admit that any component of intelligence is genetic then this
assertion is undermined. Remember chimpanzees and humans differ only
by 2% in DNA sequence. Therefore it is likely that there are genes linked
to intelligence just as there are genes linked to certain behaviours like
novelty seeking, alcoholism and schizophrenia.

Duane Hewitt