Monday, June 25, 2007

Brains are plastic! Brain are hard-wired!   posted by p-ter @ 6/25/2007 08:29:00 PM

When talking about the genetics of intelligence, it's inevitable that some people feel a sense of moral outrage and grasp at any argument they can find to soothe it. Case in point:
[W]hile many behavioral traits have a heritable component, it's not anything like what the naive extremists among the cognitive science crowd think. There are no genes that specify what you will name your dog [WTF? -ed]- in fact, most of the genes associated with the brain have very wide patterns of expression and functions that are not neatly tied to behaviors: how does an allele of an adhesion factor map to your performance on a math test? It doesn't, not directly.
And how does an allele in a transcription factor map to your susceptibility to diabetes? Or how does an allele in some unknown gene map to your weight? Or how does an allele in a fatty acid gene map to Alzheimer's disease? They don't, not directly. Luckily, people are working on figuring out how that mapping function works.

This inanity was inspired by agreement with this post where some crazy...oh...wait:
So you're perfectly happy to agree that there is genetic variation in the human population which affects the facility with which various cognitive skills are learned, and so mental ability?

A: Sure.