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China Thinks We're Born With Our Brains

Americans tend to think that our IQ is a combination of the genes we were born with and the way we were educated, but the Chinese think that at least half of the variation in intelligence quotient, or IQ, is inherited. The average person's IQ is 100. The average Nobel laureate's IQ is 145.

In the February 16-17th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Gautam Naik writes: "At (a) Hong Kong facility, more than 100 powerful gene-sequencing machines are deciphering about 2,200 DNA samples, reading off their 3.2 billion chemical base pairs one letter at a time. These are no ordinary DNA samples. Most come from some of America's brightest people--extreme outliers in the intelligence sweepstakes."

He quotes researcher Zhao Bowen, whose IQ has been tested as very high, as saying, "People have chosen to ignore the genetics of intelligence for a long time. People believe it's a controversial topic, especially in the West. That's not the case in China." However, the truly important genes that affect IQ variations have not yet been identified.

While scientists have identified some genes that can significantly lower IQ (such as mental retardation), the genes that make the difference between an average IQ and a an extraordinary one have not yet been identified.

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