Re: virus: Memes and Genes, stupid

Duane Hewitt (
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 18:56:53 -0700 (MST)

On Mon, 20 Jan 1997, Lior Golgher wrote:

> Duane Hewitt wrote:
> [CLIP]
> > 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.
> Ooooh, that kind of linkage is a fallacy.

How so?

> We differ off humanoid apes at less than 2% of DNA, just like we differ
> off rabbits in less than 8% of DNA.

I don't see how this necessarily invalidates my point.

> We have different jaws, different bone structre which supports different
> standing, and different attributes such as hairiness.
> The difference in intellectual capacity is the clearest to us, but its
> greatest cause isn't the brain, which only swelled about 2 times bigger,
> but actually the tongue bone - this inch-by-inch piece which enable us
> to humm something greater than "haba haba".

The most important differences in the brain are not quantitative (in terms
of size) but qualitative (in terms of structure). If the brain did not
evolve speed centers the tongue would be useless. Parrots can make
vocalizations but have not evolved higher reasoning.

> There are kinds of innate defects. Some Mongoloids for example have
> intellectual problems. But those have nothing much to do with the
> evolutionary branching of Homo-Sapiens-Sapiens of other apes.

If by Mongoloids you are referring to people with Down Syndrome there is a
genetic basis to their intellectual problems.

> We have much clearer evidence of nutrition's effect over intelligence.
> Why not care for balanced nutrition before we start your suggested
> dilution? It's cheaper and more efficient.

I didn't suggest any dilution. I agree with you that lack of nutrition
can have a significant detrimental effect upon intelligence but that does
not prove that people's capacities are equal if they are equally well

Duane Hewitt