[quote author=“George Benedik”][quote author=“mckenzievmd”]The relationship between genetics and mental ability is very poorly understood, but I will be stunned if it turns out to be anywhere near as simple and straightforward as “smart people have smart kids and dumb people have dumb kids).
Tall people have tall kids and short people have short kids. I don’t see why we should expect anything less when instead of bones we look at the brain. (We agree that “whatever the hell” intelligence is, it is located in our brain, right?)
I think the truth lies somewhere in between.
Every now and then short people have a tall kid, and every now and then dumb people have a smart kid. I do think that these are generally exceptions to the rule.
I also think that class structure doesn’t always equal mental ability, but in America I think the correlation is stronger than in most places, because of the general social mobility that has been present here for generations.
In general, I think that more intelligent people rise to the top here and less intelligent ones sink to the bottom. Of course there will always be exceptions, but in the majority of cases this seems to be true.
I saw a study one time, which I wish I could find again, that mapped IQ and economic birth status to economic status at age 50.
What the study found was that birth social status was the primary indicator of economic status at age 50, not IQ, however, it also found that IQ played a large role in moving up in economic status.
In other words:
People who were born poor but had a high IQ generally moved up significantly in economic status.
People born poor with a low IQ generally stayed the same or went lower.
People born wealthy with a high IQ generally stayed wealthy or got more wealthy.
People born wealthy with a low IQ generally stayed about the same or went down slightly.
People with an average IQ generally stayed at the exact same economic status they were born into.
So, overall, most people died in the same economic status that they were born into, but people with higher IQs tended to move up in economic status, while people with low IQs tended to move down.
This should be no big shocker.
What this means though is that people with low IQs tend to pool at the bottom, and people with high IQs tend to get out of low income status.
It should be no shocker that more poor people have low IQs than wealthy people.
Mental ability comes from both “nurture” and “nature”, but low income people also tend to offer lower quality nurture, especially in America, because low income people in America not to be there due to overwhelming national problems or oppression, as in some places, but simply due to their lack of skills, etc., which tend to be due to low IQ, etc., etc.
So, people born low income families are more likely to be genetically predisposed to be of lower IQ, and more likely to have a less helpful environment as well.
Of course there is always variation, so it’s not like anything is 100%, but when you talk about trends, I think that what George says unfortunately has some merit. Lower income people tend to have more kids. Lower income people tend to be of lower IQ. Lower income people tend to have children of lower IQ. It’s a tendency, its not an iron law that is never contradicted, but it is a tendency.