Intelligence is how we think. How well we think. How well we solve problems around us and how fast we think. Higher intelligence means that you have the means to perceive more and find better solutions to problems. Higher intelligence means that you have the means to get a better education, get higher grades, get a better and higher paid job and achieve a higher status in live. Status and wealth are for a man the 2 most attractive factors in the females eyes. And money is important for you children’s future so something that is needed for you to make them attractive for future partners. Being rich is important for your and your offspring’s success but not nearly as important as intelligence. Low intelligence is correlated with crime, being poor, lower grades in school and many other negative factor. The main intelligence is the g-factor. The g-factor is measured by an IQ-test that measures the real intelligence but with a fail margin of approximately 20%. And it measures some fluid intelligence too – which can change over time and can be influenced by environment. Intelligence/g-factor is as much inherited as height, about 80% for the population as a whole. Which means that the g-factor is very much passed on through the genes. This means that a low IQ population will be poorer than a higher IQ population. And it does also mean that you cannot train, force, help or support the poor population or individual to become as rich as a high IQ population. A higher social economic status (SES) is achieved through work. IQ tells you more about your future life and your children’s life than nearly any other factor we can measure. Some populations have lower IQ than other populations. Black people have lower IQ than white people. This is a well known fact that we have discovered by testing and comparison twin studies. This means that the difference between black and white peoples SES is influenced in a high degree by an inherited intelligence that cannot be changed. IQ can be changed by better nourishment, less sickness, more healthy environment and better education. And the Flynn factor shows that IQ is raised by 3 point every 10 years in most countries. The g-factor cannot be changed in a single individual but only for a population as a whole – like height. Men and women have the same IQ but there are many more men in the lower and higher percentage of the bell-curve. Men have to compete for women and will therefore gain more by having their genes “taking” a chance and gambling with the g-factor of the males in a family. Some may die but others may survive and reproduce for more than for the ones that did not reproduce and themselves – it’s mathematics of the survival of the genes.
All this is so well known by every psychologist that they would be bored by reading it again here. But this is not the end of the debate. The debate is: What can we do about it? What does it mean?
Eugenics proposes that we select the best genes and make a great and fit human population. The selection can be made by a state, religious organisations or just be a choice families can have. As blacks have a lower IQ than whites this seems racist towards the black population. But this part of the question is a moral question and not a scientific one.
Science stops at the “is” while the discussion is for the “ought”. Is is not ought. But the moral is not simple. We need to take into consideration the happiness of the individual, of individuals and the group as a whole. Do we want individuals to be free and do as they please? This will create strong competition and a strong selection of the fittest genes such as for the g-factor. Are we focusing on many individuals welfare? This will make sure that we help people that want to be part of our society. We make sure to help the fittest individuals and create a strong and fit cooperative ingroup. Are we focusing on the group? This can make us blindly measure the group as a whole. Will we ignore people with low and high g-factor to focus on the common IQ of the group. A focus on the group can also mean that we make sure that all factors in the group work and that we don’t have too much fighting among individuals and small groups. A focus on the group also means that we must do the selection of genes as all genes cannot survive and sustain themselfes.
Is the g-factor what makes us human?
Many other factors are important too. Factors such as emotional intelligence (EQ) and social intelligence (SQ) are said to be more important than IQ for your welfare and status. And personality traits that we can measure on the BIG5 are also very important 50% heritable and can predict many things. Even political standpoints are 50% heritable. Looks is correlated with job status, job success and other positive things. Looks just might be a more useful factor to select for than the g-factor. Height in males is also correlated with success and leadership which shows that arbitrary and seemingly not useful factors are still appreciated by the stoneage man in a modern society. This means that even though we tried to build a richer country we would have to select for other traits than IQ before selection for IQ. As cooperation is very important in a modern society if one wants to prosper. Probably more so than in a hunter-gatherer society with fewer individuals in it. A society that does not demand that high a g-factor either for acquiring status.
System theory also illustrates that the system is the important thing in calculating factors such as utilitarianism. This means that the happiness of the many is an object of measurement too and not just the individuals freedom. Deselecting random people without it helping the society is therefore immoral. And as the system is more important than any random individual factors such as SQ are in many cases more important than IQ. What would you rather have in your company. A highly intelligent group that had a low SQ. Or a high SQ group with a low average intelligence? The high SQ group would combine their brainpower and would probably in some cases produce more than the high IQ group. We can therefore not just focus on the selection of individually productive individuals to make our group more productive. We have to know the group and know which individuals will make the group more productive and more happy in the long run. What traits are missing in the group? What traits will fit it? We need to somehow calculate positive and negative frequency-dependent selection factors. We can’t always know the answers to these question as individuals. Only the system can know what it needs as an individual or a group will never, even with the help of computers, have enough brain power to predict and guess the structure of the bigger group. It moves too fast and has to many variables. A big group with a high autonomy can sustain and repair itself if individuals focus on cooperation and altruism and force all the mentioned factors upon the group.
Genes and natural selection
Before you start selecting for genes or traits you must look at all the different implications for it. Moral implications and measurable implications. Genes have always been selected by natural selection. This works and have worked for 4 billion years. Humans have selected for specific dog species and birds. But several dog species were selected for looks or traits that we thought were useful to have in a specific problem solving adaption. Dogs have not primary been selected for heath and other positive traits that natural selection would have selected for where undermined. Several dog species and other human selected animals are today suffering from various conditions and would have a hard time surviving in their natural environment. Some dog species have been selected for various weaknesses and illnesses while being selected for other traits. I we want human selection to work on humans we must at least notice the effects in other animals first. And they have not always been positive. Nature is everything around us – not just our arbitrary or naturally selected concept of beauty and usefulness.
What is our goal?
Other genes besides the genes responsible for high intelligence are very important for us humans. Intelligence is very important in a modern society. But our agricultural society has only existed for 12.000 years. That’s not even many years compared to how old Homo is. We just adapt to an environment and are naturally selected for fit genes. Will we need to fly or swim in the future? Will we need to tolerate radiation, pollution and the sun better in 10.000 years time? If so then genes helping us do that may very well be much more important than intelligence. Intelligence is good for small groups and great for big groups but other factors may matter even more in our future environment and even today. Is our goal to help our ingroup fight against our outgroup today? Or do we have a different goal or inborn and acquired moral guides us towards?
What factors and traits are important in humans? What does our moral tell us about eugenics?