A year ago, there was no gene associated with IQ. Now, researchers have more than 500 genes that may influence a person’s IQ. But experts claim that performing genetic testing to find how smart a child will be is doomed to fail.
Researcher Robert Plomin proposed the idea in a research paper dubbed “The New Genetics of Intelligence.” Plomin is studying the possibility on 13,000 pairs of twins. He argues that commercial genetic testing for IQ could enable parents to assess children’s mental abilities and make informed choices about schooling.
Plomin is an advocate of precision education. However, his ideas are not new. Online services are already offering DNA reports for IQ. But service like the 23andMe still refuse to assess its clients’ IQ based on their DNA, saying that some clients may receive the info poorly.
On the other hand, not all researchers think DNA tests for academic prospects are a good idea. According to a recent research paper, kids who underwent the test would have the info attached to them as an “RFID tag” all their lives.
A Gattaca-like World in the Making
In other words, everyone will be able to read you which is quite scary.
A world where people are slotted according to their inborn ability—well, that is Gattaca. That is eugenics,
UC researcher Catherine Bliss told MIT News.
What’s more, IQ tests are not 100% failproof. Some areas of expertise like verbal ability, math, or spatial reasoning come with higher scores. These areas have often been linked to better health, social status, happiness, and income. Plomin thinks those areas can make all the difference in a person’s life.
Yet, so far, Plomin’s team has failed to offer any strong associations between genes and IQ. Plomin was also involved in an experiment in China, which was later put on halt for trying to create “genius babies.”
His research has so far generated only genes responsible for tiny effects on a person’s IQ. So, at this point, a DNA IQ test is not reliable enough to even discuss about it.
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