Decoding Genius podcast

I’m interviewed in episode 2 of this podcast. ABOUT THE DECODING GENIUS PODCAST What exactly is a Genius? Are they born that way or can you become a genius? The world is now so interconnected that a single genius, whether a young Aussie creating mind-controlled machines or a ten year old building a high tech …

More

Genius (Nautilus Magazine)

The article excerpted below, in the science magazine Nautilus, is an introduction to certain ideas from my paper On the genetic architecture of intelligence and other quantitative traits. Super-Intelligent Humans Are Coming (Nautilus, special issue: Genius) Genetic engineering will one day create the smartest humans who have ever lived. Lev Landau, a Nobelist and one of …

More

The myth of the smarter Atheist

Ever since I published my previous article on the average IQ of students by college major, I’ve received several requests to analyze the correlation between IQ and religiosity. Below, I’ve written up an analysis of the existing published literature on the topic. I hope this serves as a springboard for future conversation on the topic …

More

Success, Ability, and all that

I came across this nice discussion at LessWrong which is similar to my old post Success vs Ability. The illustration below shows why even a strong predictor of outcome is seldom able to pick out the very top performer: e.g., taller people are on average better at basketball, but the best player in the world is …

More

Chimp intelligence is heritable

A natural place to look for alleles of large effect are the otherwise conserved (from mouse through chimp) variants that are different in humans. See The Genetics of Humanness and The Essential Difference. My guess (without checking the paper to see if they report it) is that test-retest correlation for chimps is well below the …

More

Cognition über alles

Slides for a brief introduction to my panel at the University of Chicago Conference on Genetics and Behavior later this week. See also One hundred thousand brains. Some relevant comments, from an essay by David Deutsch: It is uncontroversial that the human brain has capabilities that are, in some respects, far superior to those of …

More

The Neanderthal Problem

The NYTimes magazine describes efforts to resurrect extinct species such as mammoths. Let’s suppose this is possible. Perhaps it will even be possible with Neanderthals, Denisovans, Homo Erectus and other pre-modern human types. Consider the following thought experiment. Imagine thousands of Neanderthals on some privately held land in Siberia, perhaps the secret project of a reclusive …

More

Neanderthals dumb?

This figure is from the Supplement (p.62) of a recent Nature paper describing a high quality genome sequence obtained from the toe of a female Neanderthal who lived in the Altai mountains in Siberia. Interestingly, copy number variation at 16p11.2 is one of the structural variants identified in a recent deCODE study as related to …

More

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen

I am curious about what serious chess players think of Elo scores across generations — is there a Flynn Effect? Current world champ Magnus Carlsen has the highest score of all time. It seems possible that due to computer training today’s players are much better than those of the past — we’ll never know how …

More