We could have many more geniuses

Picking up from the last post as to the advantage of being average in looks, intelligence and health the reason is because such an individual has a relative paucity of deleterious genes which would otherwise disrupt the smooth development of the fetus in the mother.

A word or two about clarification of a couple of terms.  Intelligence.  The average person has an IQ score of 100.  Those who score higher than that are said to be “highly intelligent” — much more than the average person.   But the highly intelligent person is someone who scores high on one of the accepted standard intelligence tests. Such tests have a restricted number of types of problems can’t possibly grade a lot of other mental attributes which only a full life can reveal.

Many, if not most, of those whom we call “geniuses” turn out to have quite modest IQ scores.  In contrast, many of average IQ score have astonishing mental abilities.  The reason for this is that potential intelligence can be prevented from development by a lack of informational experience or badly blunted by stress and emotional circumstances in childhood . This is why there is a roughly 50:50 contribution of nature and nurture in the potentiation of intelligence.

To clarify what we mean by beauty, or lack of it, we need to know that any genes that depart from being a ‘standard’ gene will detract from beauty. Every gene, however, carries variations or mutations and every one of our 24,000 genes will carry one or more of them.  While many mutations make no difference in the functioning of a gene, particularly when in the fetus, most mutations have some effect either then or later in life.  These can vary from the trivial to the most extreme handicap or killer disease.

Take the length of a nose, for example. This will not be the result of a ‘nose’ gene in the fetus — there’s no such thing.  A dozen or so genes might have been involved, some acting sequentially, some simultaneously.  Each of the genes will have at least one mutation or variation that will affect the time that its gene will express itself.  The result of many different permutations can make all the difference between a grotesque nose and one that is hardly discernible from the average of any particular ethnic group.  Even a nose that is one or two millimetres longer than average though hardly noticeable consciously will unconsciously register as lass than perfectly beautiful.

Thus, as you can imagine, there is a high correlation between health and beauty.  A girl who ‘sleeps’ her way to the top of the social heap — or not sleeps her way as she judges each man — may not be solely to do with her beauty but also to intelligence enough able to simulate the social habits and intelligence of each social level she aspires to.

As already mentioned, there is only roughly a 50:50 correlation between intelligence and beauty because full development of the brain is so susceptible to childhood experience.  But there is also another reason for the less than perfect correlation and this is because the nerve cells that become the brain are the earliest to grow in the fetus.  This means that they associate with more genes that develop in the fetus for other aspects of the body.  They permutate with far more other genes than any other genes.

Even the few genes that have been associated with intelligence — the so-called ‘brain genes’ account for no more than 1% or 2% of IQ scores.  Hundreds, perhaps thousands of genes are involved in accounting for our intelligence.  If, say, there’s a critical number of 250 ‘brain genes’ then it means our intelligence depends on having a relatively low number of mutations in those genes, whether trivial or deleterious, compared with the same 250 genes in others’ DNA.  Also bear in in mind that intelligence is also dependent on childhood experience as well.

So perfectly average-looking people are far from having the highest possible IQ test scores !   Here’s an opportunity for a couple of thought experiments — something that Einstein was fond of doing !  Compare in your mind’s eye the beauty of the shoppers in your average supermarket and those who are dipping in and out of jewellery shops along Oxford Street. No contest!  Try a more serious thought-experiment.  Imagine a crowded supermarket in the most deprived town or city in England. You’ll be seeing an appreciable number of good-looking shoppers and some who are actually extremely good-looking.  These will be as close to being a line-up of a Miss World contest.  Size-for-size they’ll all be between a few millimetres of one another.

We could have many more geniuses that those who presently dribble out of elite universities.

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