Why did I fail my biology test Friday? Some might imply that it’s my lack of studying habits, but I tend to just wonder why I’m not as clever as Albert Einstein was. Are geniuses born with their above average intelligence? Did they read all their life like our teachers always advise us to do, or did they accidentally fall into radioactive waste and form unusually large brains like those lucky Marvel superheroes? Many people continue to question this mystery, but there have been many experiments preformed to figure this out.
For decades, scientists have debated between nature v. nurture, and which is more influential to a person’s intelligence. Some have stated that genetics make up 80% and environmental 20%, whereas other studies have shown intelligence to have only 40% influence, leaving environmental with 60% (1). Recently, numerous researchers have concluded a 50/50 ratio.
On the genetics side of the debate, one of the most promising experiments to represent the genetic factor are twin studies. They are solid evidence because the twins used in the study share the same environment, along with a common genetic make-up. On average, most of the identical twins received a very similar IQ score (1).
A more recent February article from King’s College London, shows a breakthrough by linking brain structure to intelligence. They began to test adolescent children and found that the thickness of your cerebral cortex can affect your intellectual ability. Teenagers with a thinner cortex in their left cerebral hemisphere did not perform as well in their testing. They have made these connections but confess that this contributes to about 0.5% of the total genetic variation (2). Researchers are still looking for the remaining determinants.
Aside from genetics, the environment you are raised in, influences you tremendously. Children born in bad neighborhoods without a good educational program can cause the child’s intelligence to suffer. This gives reason to raise money and create many safe educational programs in gang infested cities across America. Studies have also shown low scores from specifically large families or single parent families (1). This is because the guardian has less time to show affection and care to their children.
There are numerous articles proving drugs can...