IQ is genetically inherited. It’s best for children—and parents—that we admit itby Philip Ball / March 16, 2016 / Leave a comment
Psychologist Oliver James’s claim, in his new book Not In Your Genes, that personality traits such as intelligence are not genetically inherited has been widely and rightly denounced by scientists. It is flatly contradicted by an abundance of hard data, which shows for example that IQ may have as much as 80% of an inherited component. To suggest otherwise amounts to scientific denialism.
James has said the turning point came when he read a comment in 2014 from Robert Plomin, a behavioural geneticist at King’s College London and a leading expert in the genetic aspects of intelligence, saying that after searching for 15 years for genes relating to inheritance, “I don’t have any.” Many candidate genes have been mooted, only for the evidence of an effect to evaporate when larger samples are analysed. Later in 2014 Plomin was part of an international team that identified three genes with an apparently robust link to IQ—but collectively they seemed able to account for just 1.8 IQ points.