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Last Updated: January 18, 2012  52 views

Do you think it matters where our genes come from?

in: Ideas and Thoughts

A few days back a Chennai based rich couple has placed an online advertisement seeking a sperm donor preferably an IITian for artificial insemination. The compensation for this donation will be Rs 20,000. They are looking for IITian as the donor as they desire to have a child with very high IQ and intelligence.  The advertisement reads “The donor should be an IIT student, healthy, no bad habits, tall and fair, if possible”. Most of us will take this advertisement as utter nonsense and ridiculous. One IIT Madras student has commented “This is insane. How can sperm from an IITian make any difference? Intelligence cannot be measured. You can only identify intelligence in a person, but one cannot measure intelligence by the institution he comes from.”

This news has invoked heated debate on many online social networks, forums and news websites whether it matters where our genes come from? The whole incident is quite thought provocative. The fact of the matter is the couple believes that intelligence of any child depends on his or her genes and smart and talented parents would have a super intelligent kid.  However, intelligence is a very difficult concept to define. Intellect is described as “the power of the mind to think in a logical manner and acquire knowledge”. One can divide intelligence into various subcategories such as reasoning, problem solving, and memory etc. And to crack IIT JEE, I guess, you need to have all these stuffs in place.

According to latest researches on the relationship between genes and intelligence, there are many genetic and environmental factors which do influence intelligence but still the scientists are not hundred percent sure. It is still considered a complex trait. Even if we agree that genetics does play some role, it is the hard work, dedication and consistency that make a person intelligent. If the Chennai Couple is right, Albert Einstein’s or Newton’s relatives should be the brightest of all in the world.

In in end, I would like to conclude with a famous joke:

A beautiful dumb blonde met up with Bernard Shaw and said “we should mate and our children will have my beauty and your brilliance”.. for which Bernard Shaw said “Madam, what if the vice-versa happens – i.e our children are born with my ugliness and your stupidity”



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    Nice article..

    Neha Awasthy on February 18th, 2012