Monday, January 28, 2019

All babies are born equal, no matter their race or class


Babies born in similar circumstances will thrive regardless of race or ­geography, Oxford-led research has found, quashing the idea that race or class determines intelligence.

In a scientific first, the team of ­researchers tracked the physical and intellectual development of babies around the world from the earliest days after conception to age two.

“At every single stage we’ve shown that healthy mothers have healthy ­babies and that healthy babies all grow at exactly the same rate,” said Prof ­Stephen Kennedy, the co-director of the Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute.

“It doesn’t matter where you are living, it doesn’t matter what the colour of your skin is, it doesn’t matter what your race and ­ethnicity is, receiving decent medical care and nutrition is the key.”

The INTERGROWTH-21st Project, led jointly by Prof Kennedy and Prof José Villar at Oxford, involved nearly 60,000 mothers and babies, tracking growth in the womb, then followed more than 1,300 of the children, measuring growth and development.

The mothers – in locations as diverse as Brazil, India and Italy – were chosen because they were in good health and lived in similar, clean, urban environments. Their babies scored similarly on both physical and intellectual development.

The study should help settle the debate over the role of genetics in determining intelligence, which has been rumbling since the publication of Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve in the Nineties. The book argued that a “cognitive elite” was becoming separated from the general population.

“There’s still a substantial body of opinion out there in both the scientific and lay communities who genuinely believe that intelligence is predominantly determined by genes and the environment that you’re living in and that your parents and grandparents were living in and their nutritional and health status are not relevant,” said Prof Kennedy. “Well, that’s clearly not the case.”

Comments by John Ray of Dissecting Leftism - Do-gooder BS gets really extreme here.  What they did was equalize the mothers in major ways and then discovered that their babies were equal too!  If a student had handed me a research proposal as dumb as that, I would have failed it.  IQ, health and much else is inherited and IQ is quite well related to physical health, wealth, social position etc. So the equalizations they did would have strongly equalized IQ as well

But that's not the worst of it. They examined IQ only up to age 2.  That is also hilarious.  You cannot reliably measure IQ at age 2. Any scores you get at that age have little or no relation to scores at ages 16 or 30 (for instance)

What a shemozzle!  Totally unwarranted inferences from a brainless study.


My Take - When people come from families with good intelligence and good health and then attain wealth and social position, it's reasonable that their children will inherit those same qualities allowing them to also attain wealth and social position. Being raised in that environment makes a difference, but it's genes that still are the major component in who and what people are and do. 

Can we overcome our genetic weaknesses? Of course, but  it takes a personal commitment.  Calvin Coolidge once said: Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

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