There was a bit of a spat about my own trade last week. Intelligence, so Michael Gove’s special adviser told us, is due to genetics. Dominic Cummings is convinced that a child’s fate lies in its DNA. He claims that as much as 70 per cent of academic performance is genetically derived – and that the quality of teaching, as a result, fades into the background.
That statement, and many like it, shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how biology works.
Heritability is, crucially, a statement about populations, not individuals. It certainly does not mean that seven tenths of every child’s talents reside in the double helix, and that teachers hence become irrelevant. If anything, it means the opposite.
Read the full, original story here: There’s much more to IQ than biology and DNA
- “Genetics outweighs teaching, Gove adviser tells his boss,” Guardian
- “What I actually said about genes, IQ and heritability,” Telegraph
- “Dominic Cummings may disagree, but wealth is considerably more heritable than genes,” Guardian
- “Intelligence is just another privilege you inherited from mummy and daddy,” Spectator