# Do You Think Intelligence Is Inherited Or Learned?

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### #1 Noire

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 05:55 PM

Is intelligence inherited genetically from your parents or is it knowledge that you pick up along the way and the way you use that knowledge? Some people say it's your education that gives you intelligence but I've talked to people who never graduated high school and are more intelligent than some university students I know.

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### #2 Racoon

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 07:20 PM

Lets face it. You can't fix stupid.

You can't stop some people from doing unbelievably Dumb things..

I think you have to take that into Natural Selection.

### #3 Chemical

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 03:53 PM

While intelligence is inherited genetically, it may not be developed to its full potential without education. I found that education, travel, interacting with different people from differen cultures and backgrounds can affect your level of intelligence.

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### #4 Under the Rose

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:14 PM

There are many facets to "intelligence" and from what I have observed of humans and other species, the capacity for learning, and preferred avenues, would appear to be largely genetic. Developing that capacity to full potential then depends upon external influences and learning opportunities. In horses, the mare is considered to be 60% of the outcome because of the influence she has in shaping the early learning of the foal. As a one who practices imprint training of young foals (immediately after birth), I can state that the most important skill we teach a foal is to be receptive to new things, to be comfortable with change.

Given the rapid pace of development that our species has experienced, we are witnessing an increased capacity for advanced learning in ever younger children. This would seem to offer some support for the hypothesis that intelligence is both hereditary and learned.

### #5 sanctus

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 01:26 AM

From personal experience it has to have to do a lot with the surroundings and opportunities you get, rather than purely genetic. In my extended family, I am the only one with a PhD, so far not even someone else having a master...this does not prove that it is not genetical, but that there are also other factors (i.e support from family, people you interact with, etc...)

### #6 Under the Rose

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:07 AM

I would also think that the potential for increasing intelligence depends upon the range and availability of experience that an individual is (safely) exposed to. We are capable of inductive and deductive reasoning, extrapolation and conceptual and abstract thought, yet we do require some sensory input and data with which to work, it would seem to me.

On another forum, I once asked if we had any data on infant brain activity in utero and was advised that there was an ethical line regarding such studies. It has long been contemplated among some, that the fetus in the womb is capable of sensory input during late gestation and I would speak softly to my mares and their unborn foal while grooming them, gently rubbing their swollen abdomen. While I have no way of knowing if this affected the development of the foal, the attention was certainly appreciated by the mares and all of them were completely trusting of my presence around their newborn.

### #7 Allanah

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 01:52 PM

I think it might be a bit of both. Some people are obviously quite a bit smarter than their parents. I've seen some geniuses be born from people aren't the smartest. I think it depends on the person. Some people have the ability to learn a lot but don't put forth the effort.

Personally, I'm pretty good at school but quite often I don't put forth the effort I should. I think that happens quite often.

### #8 arissa

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 06:18 AM

I think it is a bit of both, Kurt Lewin gets into this pretty well too. For me I do agree that you can't "fix stupid" but many people are totally fine going about their day in their little daze. Those who have the urge to better themselves who have the means to do so, normally will. I think you really need the drive too, if you don't have that then you are just going to lack like most expect you to.

### #9 Under the Rose

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 09:09 AM

Today's technology opens a lot more doors for ongoing learning, whether it is taking formal education on-line or just improving one's vocabulary and general knowledge in areas of personal interest. I agree that the drive to pursue knowledge must come from within and would be equally genetic and also learned behavior. It would also be incumbent upon one's health, nutrition and energy levels as well as having time and access to the internet. Free public access is provided by some venues but those are frequently limited in availability and often one must make an appointment to book time for them, so not always an easy solution.

### #10 ErlyRisa

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:26 PM

Today's technology opens a lot more doors for ongoing learning, whether it is taking formal education on-line or just improving one's vocabulary and general knowledge in areas of personal interest. I agree that the drive to pursue knowledge must come from within and would be equally genetic and also learned behavior. It would also be incumbent upon one's health, nutrition and energy levels as well as having time and access to the internet. Free public access is provided by some venues but those are frequently limited in availability and often one must make an appointment to book time for them, so not always an easy solution.

I don't think anyone has ever really had an excuse for learning, even pre-internet: Libraries, and book mobiles are not new concepts, and too add universities don't exactly patrol the vicinity NOT letting you sit in on a Lecture. (ie. You can learn for free)

I found that there are other types of people that learn for a given "monetary value"...so that they have something in the "western world" to offer. This is somewhat sad: I like people that like learning period. Not because they need to bring in the bacon.

I hate people that get away with "sucking the teat of an establishment", and there is a beautiful song that illustrates this: https://www.youtube....h?v=uiP6nN4Soks , it puts the world into perspective...intelligence has nothing todo with it, the beauty of the song is that, for the intelligent, it provides an avenue for providing a complete Orwellian system that may actually work (1984) -> It's time to PRE-Tend the sheep. What sucks the most is that if your intelligent you should just be one of the sheep...it's easier. What is more interesting is that in today's day and age there are LESS sheep....and to note the ones that are intelligent (based on average) are actually the most sheepish.

I actually love the way it's actually easier to herd them today (socialism - via the internet) Humans are so addicted to "knowing", that you can throttle and pass opinion very easily to that which plucks anyones heart string, I call this the IKEA solution. (That which is intelligent gets to sell **** to sheep)

### #11 arissa

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:35 PM

People used excuses, they just had no real truth to it. I think the only thing that might work is living in the far off woods without transportation and you were one of the people who live off the land and off the grid. That is not really an excuse either, it is a personal choice.

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### #12 Eclogite

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 04:26 AM

From personal experience it has to have to do a lot with the surroundings and opportunities you get, rather than purely genetic. In my extended family, I am the only one with a PhD, so far not even someone else having a master...this does not prove that it is not genetical, but that there are also other factors (i.e support from family, people you interact with, etc...)

I could not help but be touched by the charming naivety that linked intellignce to obtaining a Ph.D.

There does seem to be some confusion in some of the responses, between knowledge and intelligence. They are quite distinct.

As to the source of intelligence, you can find much research that will provide a figure this way, or that. My gut feel is that a meta-study would come out fairly close to 50:50, plus or minus 15 percentage points either way.

### #13 sanctus

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 05:29 AM

Completely agree Eclogite, I do not think that obtaining a PhD makes you any more intelligent it is more showing your willingness "to make a very substantial effort towards a goal you gave yourself". That said, I said the above mainly because I so often hear that it requires intelligence...even more when you say it is astophysics...so people do use it as a measure of intelligence. So yes, since I did not elaborate on this it was very naive. Sometimes, considering the sacrifices, I wonder if doing a PhD is an intelligent choice at all :-).

### #14 Boerseun

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 04:49 AM

My two girls are poles apart in everything. The one is introspective, an introvert, and incredibly intelligent. The other one is the exact opposite - she loves people, she's an extrovert, full of laughter, holds no grudges, but as far as intelligence is concerned, she ranks on average with the other kids in her class.

Yet, they have both grown up in the exact same house, under the exact same conditions, with access to the exact same toys (there goes the early-exposure to intelligence-enhancing toys theory) and books and parental love.

My point is that I'm much more inclined to lean towards the nature side of the argument, rather than nurture. Intelligence is inherited, and there is nothing you can do about it. You can merely expose an already-intelligent kid to a stimulating environment and build on what's already there, but you can't turn a kid with average intelligence into the next Einstein.

My $0.02. ### #15 ErlyRisa ErlyRisa Questioning • Members • 439 posts Posted 30 August 2014 - 05:53 AM My two girls are poles apart in everything. The one is introspective, an introvert, and incredibly intelligent. The other one is the exact opposite - she loves people, she's an extrovert, full of laughter, holds no grudges, but as far as intelligence is concerned, she ranks on average with the other kids in her class. Yet, they have both grown up in the exact same house, under the exact same conditions, with access to the exact same toys (there goes the early-exposure to intelligence-enhancing toys theory) and books and parental love. My point is that I'm much more inclined to lean towards the nature side of the argument, rather than nurture. Intelligence is inherited, and there is nothing you can do about it. You can merely expose an already-intelligent kid to a stimulating environment and build on what's already there, but you can't turn a kid with average intelligence into the next Einstein. My$0.02.

--Actually, yeah you can: Seen the movie Battlefield Earth, or maybe I'm the bimbo in this convo?

### #16 Eclogite

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 05:58 AM

Yet, they have both grown up in the exact same house, under the exact same conditions, with access to the exact same toys (there goes the early-exposure to intelligence-enhancing toys theory) and books and parental love.

No. One of them is older. One of them is younger. That is a huge difference.

### #17 Boerseun

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 11:28 PM

They differ by sixteen months. I'm comparing the youngest to what the oldest one was like, sixteen months ago. If you have kids of your own, you'll know what I'm on about.