Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Version 2.0 of Montana & Gretzky   posted by Razib @ 10/14/2009 05:09:00 PM

Since we're talking about athletics & heritability, California School Has a Montana and a Gretzky at Quarterback. Unfortunately regression toward the mean implies you'd have to bet against the sons of some of the greatest players in professional sports having anything close to the same impact. On the other hand, having a professional athlete parent is going to increase your odds of being a successful athlete in the pros by orders of magnitude I suspect. The expectation is that children of professional athletes, who are many standard deviations above the norm, will regress back toward the mean as a function of heritability. But the expectation of their athleticism is going to be far higher than the norm, and because there is going be variance around that expectation it also increases the probability that those children will match their parent, or even outperform them. The Manning brothers and Barry Bonds are cases where the offspring are more exceptional than their parent.

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