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Thread: If intelligence is hereditary, why aren't we all smarter?

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.

    If intelligence is hereditary, why aren't we all smarter?



    If you like to think, this is an interesting question.

    I think Razib Khan may have hit on the answer: it doesn't always lead to reproductive fitness.

    See:
    https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2018/...onary-history/

    Just one snippet:
    "So let’s go back to intelligence. What could be the trade-offs? First, there are now results presented at conferences that very high general intelligence may exhibit a correlation with some mental pathologies. Though unpublished, this aligns with some prior intuitions. Additionally, there is the issue where on some characteristics being “species-typical” increases reproductive fitness (an average size nose), while in other characteristics being at an extreme is more attractive (very curvy women with large eyes and small chins; secondary sexual characteristics). Within intelligence, one could argue that being toodeviated from the norm might make socialization and pair-bonding difficult."

    "
    Humans have large brains for our size. We are smarter than other primates. But evolutionary genetics today seems to be coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t a quantum jump, but gradual selection and change. Having a very low intellectual capacity was probably correlated with low fitness in the past (though small brains are calorically less greedy).But, having a very high general intelligencedoes not seem to have resulted in that great of a gain in social or cultural status in comparison to being of normal intelligence. In fact, if the genetic correlation is such that it’s associated with some higher risk for mental instability, it could simply be that a form of stabilizating selection over time kept humans within the “normal range” because that was evolutionarily optimal. Be smart enough. But not too smart that you are weird.
    And, as theorists from cultural evolution have observed, we are a “hive-mind” which leverages collective wisdom. Most of us don’t have to derive mathematical equations, we can use the formula provided to us. Though it’s useful to have a few people around who can invent statistics that the rest of us use…"


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Only my impressions for which I do not have time to document properly: I would say that I completely agree. Compiling a crude statistic It seems to me that genes rarely were samples of abundant and succesful progeny (we could rule out the striking case of the Bach family). In fact they are enlightened minds that are tolerated as exploitable in various ways by the community: praised, admired, appreciated for their skills, but to the test of facts who would change with their lives, often characterized by behavioral and social anomalies?
    If I had to hazard a bet it seems to me that humanity as a whole is more and more fascinated by physical fitness compared to the intellectual, we are more and more aesthetically distant from our apish or semi-primitive progenitors, but we are not so equally from the point of view of intellectual abilities. I fear that the zenith of human intelligence has already occurred centuries ago, and now the parabola has started its descending curve.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Depends on a scale of time. In millions of years or even hundred thousands there is a definite improvement in human/hominids intelligence. Last 100 thousand years maybe less so, thought most likely there is a measurable difference in intelligence between farmers and hunter gatherers. If there is, that means that there was a boost in intelligence during last 10 thousand years, when many hunter groups developed farming, and later developed civilizations. This and perhaps few more evolutionary differences might explain why modern hunter gatherers have such huge problem joining and existing in farmer's created civilizations.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    It is my belief that it is wrong to project apply the observed trends in reproductive fitness today to our recent history. The first advanced civilizations emerged in the metal ages, and were thus likely a result of the selective pressures in place during those periods. Take the European Iron Age with the emergence of warlords amassing incredible amounts of wealth while most of the human population were presumably barely getting by - the very reason most of us are descended from just a handful of men who lived some time between the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages. These periods were much more defining in our evolutionary history than the social dynamics of bourgeois society wherein selective pressures don't matter much at all (mostly everyone reproduces due to institutionalized monogamy).

    Traits that are maladaptive nowadays might have been adaptive in Iron Age Europe and vice versa. Perhaps intelligence used to be more predictive of reproductive success than it is nowadays.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I'm not sure pure intelligence was ever that "adaptive" in the sense that it led to more progeny for the very bright. More likely someone bigger, stronger, more agile, with better coordination and more "street smarts" came along, enslaved the smart ones and stole their "inventions" or ideas as well as their women.

    Maybe I'm being too cynical? I don't think so. Of course, if someone had all that AND high IQ that would be a different story, but there aren't that many such god like figures around/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I'm not sure pure intelligence was ever that "adaptive" in the sense that it led to more progeny for the very bright. More likely someone bigger, stronger, more agile, with better coordination and more "street smarts" came along, enslaved the smart ones and stole their "inventions" or ideas as well as their women.

    Maybe I'm being too cynical? I don't think so. Of course, if someone had all that AND high IQ that would be a different story, but there aren't that many such god like figures around/
    As for highly intelligent women in the past it might have been a curse unless they were adept at hiding it. For a lot of men, I can think of few things more deflating to a certain part of their anatomy than a women who far exceeds them in intelligence...well, in anything, really.

    I've always found it fascinating that it never seems to occur to intelligent men bemoaning the lack of intelligence in their offspring that their choice of mate might have played a part. You don't see that happening with some of the super-SMART, however. I mean, Bill Gates didn't run away with a Las Vegas stripper. There is Steve Mnuchin, however, and Elon Musk. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I'm not sure pure intelligence was ever that "adaptive" in the sense that it led to more progeny for the very bright. More likely someone bigger, stronger, more agile, with better coordination and more "street smarts" came along, enslaved the smart ones and stole their "inventions" or ideas as well as their women.

    Maybe I'm being too cynical? I don't think so. Of course, if someone had all that AND high IQ that would be a different story, but there aren't that many such god like figures around/
    I think we can be sure that what you're describing has happened many times during history and prehistory, but still looking at Europe at emergence of socially complex societies (first in the Aegean and Iberia, then in Hungary around ~1600 B.C.) I can't help but think that the LB/IA chiefs were more than mere brutes. They had the abilities to lead and equip armies, rule over increasingly large stretches of land etc. . Perhaps they weren't always the very brightest, but I think that relatively able men might have had a higher chance of succeeding in such an environent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markod View Post
    I think we can be sure that what you're describing has happened many times during history and prehistory, but still looking at Europe at emergence of socially complex societies (first in the Aegean and Iberia, then in Hungary around ~1600 B.C.) I can't help but think that the LB/IA chiefs were more than mere brutes. They had the abilities to lead and equip armies, rule over increasingly large stretches of land etc. . Perhaps they weren't always the very brightest, but I think that relatively able men might have had a higher chance of succeeding in such an environent.
    I agree to some extent. There were some war leaders whose names we know who were intelligent, i.e. Caesar and Hannibal just to name two, but such men don't necessarily leave a lot of progeny behind them, either because of fate, chance, or the brutality of the struggle for power. Genghis Khan did (although it might just have been a clan ydna), so there's that as well.

    However, what did warrior chiefs do for mankind? What innovations did they create that either increased our chances of survival, or made our lives worth living? The first man, or woman, who first figured out that it might be a good idea to plant the best of the gathered wheat seeds in a place where they would get sun and water, the first person who figured out that warm clothes could be made by using a shard of bone with a hole in it and and some hide, all the way to Guttenberg and Michelangelo, just to name some, are worth thousands of warlords, and may have had no surviving offspring at all. Mightn't we be better off with the genes of the innovators, scientists, mathematicians, writers, artists, etc. than with the genes of Bronze Age war lords?

    Not arguing with you at all. Just musing as I sit in front of the fire re-watching "The Game of Thrones". :) Perhaps we wouldn't be, though. Better off with the genes of highly intelligent people, I mean. Who would want to have the genes of the Grand Maester in King's Landing. Not all highly intelligent people are like Samwell Tarly. Look at Tywin.

    The series also gives some examples of another factor brought up in the article and the paper. High intelligence doesn't necessarily correlate with fitness in part perhaps because it's also more prone to higher levels of mental instability. Some examples: Ramsay Bolton, Cersei, Littlefinger to just name a few. Even Stannis loses it. He destroys his only child because of the mistaken prophecies of the Red Priestess, a mistake that Jon Snow doesn't make. Cersei's insane schemes and her insane and selfish love for her children no matter what they are and do could be said to have doomed her progeny. Someone was bound to kill Ramsay Bolton sooner or later. Richard II provoked rebellion just for being gay and favoring his favorites. I'm not convinced Daenerys and Jon Snow are as "bright" as the villains in the series, but they're having a longer run so far. :) Of course, one can be vicious and insane and be as thick as a plank, too: Joffrey.

    It's all very complicated.

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    We ARE smarter now, that's the thing: or at least some of us. Not all of humanity shares the same evolutionary history (which is blatantly obvious given even the most basic phenotypical differences that dogs and cats can easily recognise), which is why IQ maps like this are the way they are:



    The main driving factor towards this increase in IQ (and changes in other general traits too for that matter) was the advent of large-scale farming, and evolutionary processes only accelerated further with the advent of civilisation in the Metal Ages. If you haven't, you should really read 'The 10,000 Year Explosion'.

    Now, while this trend holds as a whole, it doesn't easily explain why Europeans and East Asians are more intelligent on average than the more typical "farmer" populations from the Middle East (Jews being the exception), especially given that for most of what we would call history the Middle East was the hub of civilisation and intellectual development in all fields. Education and health will play a role, though certainly not a large role given how genetic IQ seems to be (at least 3/4 of the variability is genetic), so I can only hazard a guess and say there has either been a recent period of dysgenics in the Middle East, or eugenics in Europe and potentially East Asia. Eugenics for IQ massively favours improving verbal IQ over spatial IQ, which is why Ashkenazim have sub-par (by European standards) spatial IQs but ridiculously high verbal IQs, and East Asians have (compared to Europeans) lower verbal IQs and higher spatial IQs, which to me means that their period of eugenics was much older than that of Europeans, perhaps dating to the Mesolithic, where spatial IQ would be a lot more important for survival and thus maximum procreation. Indeed, East Asians have the most favourable skull shape for intelligence (with the largest volume due to a low surface area:volume ratio (i.e. shaped more like a ball, or brachycephalic), being wide and short so as to also have a larger frontal lobe), which again suggests an origin of their period of eugenics to the hunter-gatherer era, which would be a potential exception to the premise of the 10,000 year explosion (of eugenics).

    The biggest issue right now though is unrelated to intelligence, but the societal trend towards femininity, as despite being an extremely unmasculine person myself I can definitely say that greatness is inextricably linked to masculinity, and it is the crippling of this boldness that has lead to the current diseased state of the West (people literally cut their penises off and forcefully keep an open wound from closing because they lack this boldness to overcome their dissonant gender dysphoria and have been twisted by society, with the same society cheering to protect this via maternal instincts, imagine the reactions of those living 100 years before us in much happier times). Don't associate masculinity with men and femininity with women, by the way - I mean it more in terms of psychological tendencies. Plenty of women can be masculine - no women at the Olympics will have a feminine mindset, for example; plenty of men can be feminine too, the best example is the strict adherence to political correctness among the Swedes, who by no coincidence are of a phenotype with one of the lowest amounts of sexual dimorphism. If you must put a label on me, I'm a fanboy of German Dinarids - "strong" (not fleshy) noses, with wide foreheads and wide (but not overly wide like Cromagnids) jaws, and short head length.

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    And yeah that was a ramble but I'm pretty sure there's a lot of sense to the IQ part, but maybe only some to the masculinity-femininity part aha

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    We ARE smarter now, that's the thing: or at least some of us. Not all of humanity shares the same evolutionary history (which is blatantly obvious given even the most basic phenotypical differences that dogs and cats can easily recognise), which is why IQ maps like this are the way they are:



    The main driving factor towards this increase in IQ (and changes in other general traits too for that matter) was the advent of large-scale farming, and evolutionary processes only accelerated further with the advent of civilisation in the Metal Ages. If you haven't, you should really read 'The 10,000 Year Explosion'.

    Now, while this trend holds as a whole, it doesn't easily explain why Europeans and East Asians are more intelligent on average than the more typical "farmer" populations from the Middle East (Jews being the exception), especially given that for most of what we would call history the Middle East was the hub of civilisation and intellectual development in all fields. Education and health will play a role, though certainly not a large role given how genetic IQ seems to be (at least 3/4 of the variability is genetic), so I can only hazard a guess and say there has either been a recent period of dysgenics in the Middle East, or eugenics in Europe and potentially East Asia. Eugenics for IQ massively favours improving verbal IQ over spatial IQ, which is why Ashkenazim have sub-par (by European standards) spatial IQs but ridiculously high verbal IQs, and East Asians have (compared to Europeans) lower verbal IQs and higher spatial IQs, which to me means that their period of eugenics was much older than that of Europeans, perhaps dating to the Mesolithic, where spatial IQ would be a lot more important for survival and thus maximum procreation. Indeed, East Asians have the most favourable skull shape for intelligence (with the largest volume due to a low surface area:volume ratio (i.e. shaped more like a ball, or brachycephalic), being wide and short so as to also have a larger frontal lobe), which again suggests an origin of their period of eugenics to the hunter-gatherer era, which would be a potential exception to the premise of the 10,000 year explosion (of eugenics).

    The biggest issue right now though is unrelated to intelligence, but the societal trend towards femininity, as despite being an extremely unmasculine person myself I can definitely say that greatness is inextricably linked to masculinity, and it is the crippling of this boldness that has lead to the current diseased state of the West (people literally cut their penises off and forcefully keep an open wound from closing because they lack this boldness to overcome their dissonant gender dysphoria and have been twisted by society, with the same society cheering to protect this via maternal instincts, imagine the reactions of those living 100 years before us in much happier times). Don't associate masculinity with men and femininity with women, by the way - I mean it more in terms of psychological tendencies. Plenty of women can be masculine - no women at the Olympics will have a feminine mindset, for example; plenty of men can be feminine too, the best example is the strict adherence to political correctness among the Swedes, who by no coincidence are of a phenotype with one of the lowest amounts of sexual dimorphism. If you must put a label on me, I'm a fanboy of German Dinarids - "strong" (not fleshy) noses, with wide foreheads and wide (but not overly wide like Cromagnids) jaws, and short head length.
    Areas with a long history of farming like Natufian culture[thousands of years]India and Aztec culture should show purple[high IQ] on your map compared to nomadic society like Mongolia or Iceland[101+/-]. Also your verbal-spatial IQ is a chicken egg[what came first question] with the backdrop of archaic human admixture[Neandertal] in Europe 100's of thousands of years before modern humans arrived, and successfully mated -creating offspring with admixture with a different skull shape and perhaps use of language fire and tools.

    Be wary of those who graduate from the university of perversity & diversity by destroying and
    demonizing the past, underestimating the present, and glorifying the future.

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    In some places intelligence may have gone down over time. In Middle East for example all the Christian populations seem to have higher IQs than Muslim populations even though they are genetically very similar. Maronites are the best example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    In some places intelligence may have gone down over time. In Middle East for example all the Christian populations seem to have higher IQs than Muslim populations even though they are genetically very similar. Maronites are the best example.
    Interesting, definitely supports my dysgenics argument. However even before the expansion of Islam, the balance of power was shifting from the Middle East to the Mediterranean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    In some places intelligence may have gone down over time. In Middle East for example all the Christian populations seem to have higher IQs than Muslim populations even though they are genetically very similar. Maronites are the best example.
    What about Ashkenazi IQ compared with Sephardic IQ? Side point, natural progression to extremely high verbal IQ would be to invent writing, either on paper and or clay tablets, like the Sumerians or Egyptians.

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    @ToBeOrNotToBe
    I would say even during the 11th century Middle East was still the most advanced place. Decline against Med was probably caused by population decline, climate conditions etc. not human capital decline.

    @Silesian
    Cochran & Harpending work on Ashkenazi makes sense to me. Ashkenazi iq increased in Europe so much because only the Ashkenazi who can do modern day white collar jobs (like finance) stayed alive and reproduced. Sephardi wasn't subject to similar pressure. (I think they score around 96-98)

    Those jobs requires verbal & math iq not spatial so that's why Ashkenazi spatial iq stayed at 98, their ancient Middle Eastern level. This also proves that iq in Ancient Middle East was around at least 98.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    @ToBeOrNotToBe
    I would say even during the 11th century Middle East was still the most advanced place. Decline against Med was probably caused by population decline, climate conditions etc. not human capital decline.

    @Silesian
    Cochran & Harpending work on Ashkenazi makes sense to me. Ashkenazi iq increased in Europe so much because only the Ashkenazi who can do modern day white collar jobs (like finance) stayed alive and reproduced. Sephardi wasn't subject to similar pressure. (I think they score around 96-98)

    Those jobs requires verbal & math iq not spatial so that's why Ashkenazi spatial iq stayed at 98, their ancient Middle Eastern level. This also proves that iq in Ancient Middle East was around at least 98.
    No way IQ anywhere during that time frame was 98 imo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    @ToBeOrNotToBe
    I would say even during the 11th century Middle East was still the most advanced place. Decline against Med was probably caused by population decline, climate conditions etc. not human capital decline.

    @Silesian
    Cochran & Harpending work on Ashkenazi makes sense to me. Ashkenazi iq increased in Europe so much because only the Ashkenazi who can do modern day white collar jobs (like finance) stayed alive and reproduced. Sephardi wasn't subject to similar pressure. (I think they score around 96-98)

    Those jobs requires verbal & math iq not spatial so that's why Ashkenazi spatial iq stayed at 98, their ancient Middle Eastern level. This also proves that iq in Ancient Middle East was around at least 98.
    Interesting. If one could take both groups Ashkenazi/Sephardic who practiced edogamy[in group preference] and brought up in a similar traditional family values/education measure results. As far as spatial, I would argue chess [non verbal competition] as form of strategic spatial reasoning. Has anyone counted the number of Ashkenazi and Sephardic world champions?
    What about the relationship between genes and language/culture? My Jamaican friends sister married into an Ashkenazi family, he pointed this group to me
    http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/e...c-tests-reveal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    @ToBeOrNotToBe
    I would say even during the 11th century Middle East was still the most advanced place. Decline against Med was probably caused by population decline, climate conditions etc. not human capital decline.
    Chance probably played a signficant role in this. The regions that would flourish in the early modern period were culturally or geographically close to Northern Italy and specifically Renaissance/Humanist Florence. If it wasn't for that cultural impetus Europe would probably have remained a 'Gothic' backwater.

    I really doubt IQ is a robust enough measure to account for these developments.

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    @Markod

    Certainly IQ itself is not enough. For example: IQ in North Korea is higher than most of the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    @Markod

    Certainly IQ itself is not enough. For example: IQ in North Korea is higher than most of the world.
    There's also the question whether IQ is actually stable. East German IQ for example increased from 90 to about 100 from the unification until today.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by markod View Post
    There's also the question whether IQ is actually stable. East German IQ for example increased from 90 to about 100 from the unification until today.
    Probably bc they had access to better nutrition due to getting out of poverty
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    People say "The mother of stupidity is always pregnant." But there must be something that compensates for this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silesian View Post
    What about Ashkenazi IQ compared with Sephardic IQ? Side point, natural progression to extremely high verbal IQ would be to invent writing, either on paper and or clay tablets, like the Sumerians or Egyptians.
    Insignificant they are direct relations. What about Western educated European Americans compared to Sub Saharan Africans who live in small villages?

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    3 out of 4 members found this post helpful.
    Gentlemen, all that stuff about visual IQ in Jews being low has to be false. Half of the Chess Grand Masters are Ashkenazi Jews. There isn't a more visually oriented skill. Or look at the number of Ashkenazi Nobel Laureates in science.

    Also, Cochran doesn't seem to know that visual aptitude is tied to higher order mathematical reasoning. Einstein was like that. He reported he didn't learn to read until very late, but he could "see" his mathematical formulas in his mind. In fact, he "conceived his theory of relativity, which produced possibly the most familiarequation of all time (E = mc2), by visualizing himself riding a beam of light. Stephen Hawking hasexplained that “by losing the finer dexterity of my hands, I was forced to travel the universe in my mind,and try to visualize the ways in which it worked” (Johnson, 2014). My brother is a bit like that. He's told me he sometimes doesn't bother running a formula because he can see in his head the form the data results would take on a graph.
    http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literac...gattention.pdf

    "According to the National Research Council (2006), spatial thinking involves three components: “conceptsof space, tools of representation, and processes of reasoning” (p. 3). It involves understanding relationshipswithin and between spatial structures and, through a wide variety of possible representations (fromdrawings to computer models), involves the means to communicate about them. When a child rotatesa rectangular prism to fit into the castle she is building at the block centre, she is employing spatialreasoning, as is the student who uses a diagram of a rectangle to prove that the formula for findingthe area of a triangle is ½b 3 h. Spatial reasoning vitally informs our ability to investigate and solveproblems, especially non-routine or novel problems, in mathematics."

    You can't make a correlation between Ashkenazim and Middle Easterners or Ashkenazim and Europeans. They're a case apart.

    I've also seen results for Christian Lebanese and Palestinians which are higher than for their Muslim compatriots, and, in fact, are quite high in terms of world scores. Before all the chaos that descended on the Middle East Lebanese and Palestinians as a whole had high rates of attendance at university. If becoming a millionaire from nothing counts as intelligent, the Lebanese are very bright. They have produced an extraordinary number of billionaires for such a small population: one in about 500,000 if I remember correctly.

    I don't know. All these populations are endogamous, but perhaps it has something to do with the extraordinarily high rates of first cousin marriage among Muslims in the Middle East, and particularly of the father's brother's daughter variety. I saw some complicated formula somewhere which shows this results in the highest inbreeding coefficient. Perhaps polygamy also has something to do with it? When monogamy is the rule, moneyed, reasonably intelligent families choose mates for their offspring from other moneyed, reasonably intelligent families. When a man can mate with as many women as he can afford, he'll presumably choose looks, no matter what the background or intelligence. Have enough children with low IQ people and you get exponentially more low IQ people, to be harsh about it.

    Every very inbred, polygamous clan I've ever read about eventually produces a group of very low IQ people.

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    Most Muslims in Lebanon and Syria are Christian converts too after the 1800s so i'd like to see some newly updated sources regarding that one Angela.

    Steve Jobs is a Syrian Muslim.

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