Societal Impacts Of Genetic Study Of Intelligence

1327 WordsApr 29, 20176 Pages
SOCIETAL IMPACTS OF GENETIC STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE: Throughout history racism has been centered on phenotypic differences between races such as skin color. Also, there was a multitude of false information that was created by racism, for example, the claim that certain races have the predisposition to be less intelligent than others. In 1994, Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray published The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. This controversial bestseller differences between races and classes were the result of differences in inherited intelligence which could not be changed. This has caused many people in the scientific community to question if the study of intelligence can remain societally neutral. Roberts…show more content…
These study methods allow researchers to look for similarities and differences within the genome of individuals of different intelligence levels. Using single nucleotide polymorphism testing, researchers are able to look at single base pairs within the genome and make comparisons within a population. With the technology that has developed in the last few decades, the study of intelligence has become much more complex and in depth which has allowed geneticists to see trends that they have not seen before. POLYGENIC: With the new genetic study technologies of the twenty first century, researchers are able to conduct genome-wide analysis studies as well as single nucleotide polymorphism studies which can be used to determine which genes, if any, code for intelligence. A study by Benyamin et al. (2014) used single nucleotide polymorphism testing to compare the genomes of 17,989 children. The authors looked for genes in which children of similar intelligence shared many single nucleotide polymorphisms. However, the authors did not find any single nucleotide polymorphisms that reached a genome-wide significance value. Thus, the authors concluded that this result points to intelligence being the result of the aggregate effect of many genes within the genome and not just one specific “mother gene”. However, while
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