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The background knowledge for genetic racial intelligence differences

 
burt
 
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burt
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10 February 2019 08:22
 
hannahtoo - 10 February 2019 08:06 AM
Abel Dean - 09 February 2019 08:04 PM
hannahtoo - 09 February 2019 07:45 PM
Abel Dean - 09 February 2019 06:53 PM
hannahtoo - 09 February 2019 06:36 PM

I wonder, Mr. Dean, how do you judge the Northerners in the Civil War?  Were they misguided in fighting for emancipation of the black slaves?

I am opposed to slavery, and I have an intermediate judgment of the North of the Civil War. The freedom of the slaves may not have been worth the death of nearly a million whites followed by a monstrously powerful federal government persisting forever. Had Northerners correctly anticipated the cost of the war, I expect they would have allowed the South to secede. From the beginning, America should never have had slaves. Southerners oppose slavery today, so they tend to have a misleading perception of the politics of the Civil War in defense of the South. They think it was all about states’s rights. Yeah, it was, but specifically it was about the right to own slaves. One way or the other, Lincoln’s victory crippled states’ rights of every sort, not just the right to own slaves.

I consider the racial tensions in the US today to be largely a continuing fallout from the institution of slavery.  The people you call “liberals” today hold similar principles to those of the people who fought against slavery, supported the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.  (It is kind of amazing that the Voting Rights Act needed to be passed nearly 100 years later.)

Martin Luther King inspired us to judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  I see aspiring to that standard as essential for a just society. 

I agree with you that “whites will become a slimmer minority with time.”  It is natural that there will be more and more intermarriage.  I disagree with your siege view of the future, however.  It is based on whites trying to wall themselves off from others.  Can you imagine instead a future in which people of color continue to become more educated and more entrepreneurial and share in solving humanity’s problems?

“Can you imagine instead a future in which people of color continue to become more educated and more entrepreneurial and share in solving humanity’s problems?”

Yes, I think that would be great. From the beginning, I have suggested a way to do exactly that, and it was dismissed, denounced and ridiculed as racist. I suggested genetic editing for greater intelligence of the disadvantaged races. We have not effectively separated our ideals of human nature from our beliefs about human nature, but we have allowed the former to govern the latter. It would be great if Martin Luther King was correct in every way, not just in some ways. Suppose that the color of our skins objectively had no statistical relation to anything about our brains. That is the way the universe ought to be. That isn’t the way it is. Our delusions about human nature mean that we have wrong beliefs about the future. It will be increasingly difficult to get a multiracial utopia in a world that has persisting objective racial inequities of every sort.

Using genetic editing for greater intelligence is impractical, even if it were theoretically plausible (which I doubt).  What would be the fate of all the inevitable failed trials (damaged children) created in the quest for this goal?

Would it not make more sense for our society to improve education and increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged people?  Prejudice has unquestionably held people back.  Society’s efforts should go toward helping all members to achieve their potential. 

Imagine a plantation owner back in the early 1800’s.  Could he fathom that a black man, or even a man of mixed ancestry, would someday be accomplished, eloquent, and charismatic enough to be elected President of the US?  Certainly not.  And to guarantee the inferior status of the blacks, they were denigrated, brutalized, denied education, and their family ties were broken.  The legacy of this treatment continues into the present.  Our nation has been slow to awake from the nightmare and see the light of day.

That’s what Dean’s afraid of, that they will become the majority and take revenge. Guilt and ignorance covered by a political ideology of racial purity.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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10 February 2019 10:03
 
burt - 10 February 2019 08:22 AM
hannahtoo - 10 February 2019 08:06 AM
Abel Dean - 09 February 2019 08:04 PM
hannahtoo - 09 February 2019 07:45 PM
Abel Dean - 09 February 2019 06:53 PM
hannahtoo - 09 February 2019 06:36 PM

I wonder, Mr. Dean, how do you judge the Northerners in the Civil War?  Were they misguided in fighting for emancipation of the black slaves?

I am opposed to slavery, and I have an intermediate judgment of the North of the Civil War. The freedom of the slaves may not have been worth the death of nearly a million whites followed by a monstrously powerful federal government persisting forever. Had Northerners correctly anticipated the cost of the war, I expect they would have allowed the South to secede. From the beginning, America should never have had slaves. Southerners oppose slavery today, so they tend to have a misleading perception of the politics of the Civil War in defense of the South. They think it was all about states’s rights. Yeah, it was, but specifically it was about the right to own slaves. One way or the other, Lincoln’s victory crippled states’ rights of every sort, not just the right to own slaves.

I consider the racial tensions in the US today to be largely a continuing fallout from the institution of slavery.  The people you call “liberals” today hold similar principles to those of the people who fought against slavery, supported the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.  (It is kind of amazing that the Voting Rights Act needed to be passed nearly 100 years later.)

Martin Luther King inspired us to judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  I see aspiring to that standard as essential for a just society. 

I agree with you that “whites will become a slimmer minority with time.”  It is natural that there will be more and more intermarriage.  I disagree with your siege view of the future, however.  It is based on whites trying to wall themselves off from others.  Can you imagine instead a future in which people of color continue to become more educated and more entrepreneurial and share in solving humanity’s problems?

“Can you imagine instead a future in which people of color continue to become more educated and more entrepreneurial and share in solving humanity’s problems?”

Yes, I think that would be great. From the beginning, I have suggested a way to do exactly that, and it was dismissed, denounced and ridiculed as racist. I suggested genetic editing for greater intelligence of the disadvantaged races. We have not effectively separated our ideals of human nature from our beliefs about human nature, but we have allowed the former to govern the latter. It would be great if Martin Luther King was correct in every way, not just in some ways. Suppose that the color of our skins objectively had no statistical relation to anything about our brains. That is the way the universe ought to be. That isn’t the way it is. Our delusions about human nature mean that we have wrong beliefs about the future. It will be increasingly difficult to get a multiracial utopia in a world that has persisting objective racial inequities of every sort.

Using genetic editing for greater intelligence is impractical, even if it were theoretically plausible (which I doubt).  What would be the fate of all the inevitable failed trials (damaged children) created in the quest for this goal?

Would it not make more sense for our society to improve education and increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged people?  Prejudice has unquestionably held people back.  Society’s efforts should go toward helping all members to achieve their potential. 

Imagine a plantation owner back in the early 1800’s.  Could he fathom that a black man, or even a man of mixed ancestry, would someday be accomplished, eloquent, and charismatic enough to be elected President of the US?  Certainly not.  And to guarantee the inferior status of the blacks, they were denigrated, brutalized, denied education, and their family ties were broken.  The legacy of this treatment continues into the present.  Our nation has been slow to awake from the nightmare and see the light of day.

That’s what Dean’s afraid of, that they will become the majority and take revenge. Guilt and ignorance covered by a political ideology of racial purity.

Well, in some places, disadvantaged people will take revenge.  Especially if the the powers-that-be refuse to address their needs.  It is not a racial thing.  It was behind the French Revolution and the Troubles in Ireland.  I can’t see any way that labeling “blacks” as “less intelligent, and in need of genetic engineering” could be helpful for easing discontent.  It seems to be more of an incitement.

The other point, which may have been mentioned in one of these threads, is whether intelligence is the primary element needed to stave off social calamity.  Even leaving out cultural advantages and disadvantages, having intelligence does not necessarily equate with a benefit to society.  Intelligent people may be selfish.  They may be devious, ignorant or wrongly informed, lazy, impractical, just like people of any IQ.  The worst villains in history have been smart people.  Humanity needs not only bright people, but people who are compassionate, honest, hard-working, sensible, etc.  We need some humility and the ability to get along with others. 

 

[ Edited: 10 February 2019 10:09 by hannahtoo]
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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10 February 2019 10:43
 

Revolutions are not acts of revenge.  They are the breaking of chains.  Counter Revolutions sometimes carry that motivation.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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10 February 2019 12:07
 
Abel Dean - 09 February 2019 06:20 PM

I don’t know what you mean by the “predicament,”  and I never said anything about genetic superiority.

There was no need to.

May I ask if you have an ammunition stockpile?

Back when Obama was elected, sales of ammunition exploded from fears of a bullet-ban. Stockpiles were quickly gathered for that inevitable day when caravans of inferiors come up the driveway to take their revenge and the stuff.

I received links to discount ammo sites from co-workers. I was asked if I got my ammo yet. I answered that I don’t have a gun. This always came as a surprise. We talked politics a lot. It is assumed that, once I was shouted at, screamed at, threatened with immediate firing or offered to be let out along the side of the road, my mind would get with the program.

When I was granted a salaried, white-collar position, change was assumed to come with it. How can I still be a ‘liberal’ when my mind is no longer emotionally fogged by resentment and envy? Is there another reason to be a stinking liberal?

Since Trump’s election, all conversation has ceased. We all know who is on who’s side.

 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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10 February 2019 12:23
 
Nhoj Morley - 10 February 2019 12:07 PM
Abel Dean - 09 February 2019 06:20 PM

I don’t know what you mean by the “predicament,”  and I never said anything about genetic superiority.

There was no need to.

May I ask if you have an ammunition stockpile?

Back when Obama was elected, sales of ammunition exploded from fears of a bullet-ban. Stockpiles were quickly gathered for that inevitable day when caravans of inferiors come up the driveway to take their revenge and the stuff.

I received links to discount ammo sites from co-workers. I was asked if I got my ammo yet. I answered that I don’t have a gun. This always came as a surprise. We talked politics a lot. It is assumed that, once I was shouted at, screamed at, threatened with immediate firing or offered to be let out along the side of the road, my mind would get with the program.

When I was granted a salaried, white-collar position, change was assumed to come with it. How can I still be a ‘liberal’ when my mind is no longer emotionally fogged by resentment and envy? Is there another reason to be a stinking liberal?

Since Trump’s election, all conversation has ceased. We all know who is on who’s side.

No. I believe in the right to bear arms, but I don’t own guns. I would not trust my own judgment as a gun owner.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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10 February 2019 12:46
 

There is a punchline there, but I will resist it. I take the same position.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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10 February 2019 16:53
 
LadyJane - 10 February 2019 10:43 AM

Revolutions are not acts of revenge.  They are the breaking of chains.  Counter Revolutions sometimes carry that motivation.

That could be a better way to say it.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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10 February 2019 16:58
 

Revenge is an instinctive human universal, and it is never excluded from the company of tribal antipathy. The Haitian Revolution ended in 1804 with almost all whites getting slaughtered. The blacks lost their chains, but they also needed their revenge.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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10 February 2019 17:59
 
Abel Dean - 10 February 2019 04:58 PM

Revenge is an instinctive human universal, and it is never excluded from the company of tribal antipathy. The Haitian Revolution ended in 1804 with almost all whites getting slaughtered. The blacks lost their chains, but they also needed their revenge.

And your way of making a bloody revolution in the US less likely is to…?

Offer people of color the option of genetic engineering their children?

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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10 February 2019 18:16
 
hannahtoo - 10 February 2019 05:59 PM
Abel Dean - 10 February 2019 04:58 PM

Revenge is an instinctive human universal, and it is never excluded from the company of tribal antipathy. The Haitian Revolution ended in 1804 with almost all whites getting slaughtered. The blacks lost their chains, but they also needed their revenge.

And your way of making a bloody revolution in the US less likely is to…?

Offer people of color the option of genetic engineering their children?

Yes. It is an unlikely solution, as it would first require a drastic widespread scientific paradigm shift. That may happen after the completion of the All of Us Research Program, but I expect it will require the thought leaders to get on board first.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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10 February 2019 20:49
 
hannahtoo - 10 February 2019 08:06 AM
Abel Dean - 09 February 2019 08:04 PM
hannahtoo - 09 February 2019 07:45 PM
Abel Dean - 09 February 2019 06:53 PM
hannahtoo - 09 February 2019 06:36 PM

I wonder, Mr. Dean, how do you judge the Northerners in the Civil War?  Were they misguided in fighting for emancipation of the black slaves?

I am opposed to slavery, and I have an intermediate judgment of the North of the Civil War. The freedom of the slaves may not have been worth the death of nearly a million whites followed by a monstrously powerful federal government persisting forever. Had Northerners correctly anticipated the cost of the war, I expect they would have allowed the South to secede. From the beginning, America should never have had slaves. Southerners oppose slavery today, so they tend to have a misleading perception of the politics of the Civil War in defense of the South. They think it was all about states’s rights. Yeah, it was, but specifically it was about the right to own slaves. One way or the other, Lincoln’s victory crippled states’ rights of every sort, not just the right to own slaves.

I consider the racial tensions in the US today to be largely a continuing fallout from the institution of slavery.  The people you call “liberals” today hold similar principles to those of the people who fought against slavery, supported the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.  (It is kind of amazing that the Voting Rights Act needed to be passed nearly 100 years later.)

Martin Luther King inspired us to judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  I see aspiring to that standard as essential for a just society. 

I agree with you that “whites will become a slimmer minority with time.”  It is natural that there will be more and more intermarriage.  I disagree with your siege view of the future, however.  It is based on whites trying to wall themselves off from others.  Can you imagine instead a future in which people of color continue to become more educated and more entrepreneurial and share in solving humanity’s problems?

“Can you imagine instead a future in which people of color continue to become more educated and more entrepreneurial and share in solving humanity’s problems?”

Yes, I think that would be great. From the beginning, I have suggested a way to do exactly that, and it was dismissed, denounced and ridiculed as racist. I suggested genetic editing for greater intelligence of the disadvantaged races. We have not effectively separated our ideals of human nature from our beliefs about human nature, but we have allowed the former to govern the latter. It would be great if Martin Luther King was correct in every way, not just in some ways. Suppose that the color of our skins objectively had no statistical relation to anything about our brains. That is the way the universe ought to be. That isn’t the way it is. Our delusions about human nature mean that we have wrong beliefs about the future. It will be increasingly difficult to get a multiracial utopia in a world that has persisting objective racial inequities of every sort.

Using genetic editing for greater intelligence is impractical, even if it were theoretically plausible (which I doubt).  What would be the fate of all the inevitable failed trials (damaged children) created in the quest for this goal?

Would it not make more sense for our society to improve education and increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged people?  Prejudice has unquestionably held people back.  Society’s efforts should go toward helping all members to achieve their potential. 

Imagine a plantation owner back in the early 1800’s.  Could he fathom that a black man, or even a man of mixed ancestry, would someday be accomplished, eloquent, and charismatic enough to be elected President of the US?  Certainly not.  And to guarantee the inferior status of the blacks, they were denigrated, brutalized, denied education, and their family ties were broken.  The legacy of this treatment continues into the present.  Our nation has been slow to awake from the nightmare and see the light of day.

White people have tried to reconcile racial divisions largely by magnifying and highlighting the right tail end of the disadvantaged bell curve. The occupants of the disadvantaged bell curve know that this is no solution. It takes dealing with the whole bell curve. The path toward the genetic upgrading of the human species will be fraught with tragic errors, and at least one nation I expect will be willing to bear the human costs of such errors before perfecting it: North Korea. The human brain is the most complex single object in the known universe, but its complexity has an upper limit, as does the human genome. The progression of science and technology has no upper limit.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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10 February 2019 23:25
 
Abel Dean - 10 February 2019 08:49 PM

White people have tried to reconcile racial divisions largely by magnifying and highlighting the right tail end of the disadvantaged bell curve. The occupants of the disadvantaged bell curve know that this is no solution. It takes dealing with the whole bell curve. The path toward the genetic upgrading of the human species will be fraught with tragic errors, and at least one nation I expect will be willing to bear the human costs of such errors before perfecting it: North Korea. The human brain is the most complex single object in the known universe, but its complexity has an upper limit, as does the human genome. The progression of science and technology has no upper limit.

I must admit that I have not read through this entire thread, so pardon me if I’m asking a redundant question here. But it seems to me, Abel Dean, that you are a strong proponent of eugenics.

Would this be a fair assessment?

You would be in favor of genetically altering, through artificial means, races you consider to be mentally inferior? Is this correct?

 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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11 February 2019 04:50
 
Cheshire Cat - 10 February 2019 11:25 PM
Abel Dean - 10 February 2019 08:49 PM

White people have tried to reconcile racial divisions largely by magnifying and highlighting the right tail end of the disadvantaged bell curve. The occupants of the disadvantaged bell curve know that this is no solution. It takes dealing with the whole bell curve. The path toward the genetic upgrading of the human species will be fraught with tragic errors, and at least one nation I expect will be willing to bear the human costs of such errors before perfecting it: North Korea. The human brain is the most complex single object in the known universe, but its complexity has an upper limit, as does the human genome. The progression of science and technology has no upper limit.

I must admit that I have not read through this entire thread, so pardon me if I’m asking a redundant question here. But it seems to me, Abel Dean, that you are a strong proponent of eugenics.

Would this be a fair assessment?

You would be in favor of genetically altering, through artificial means, races you consider to be mentally inferior? Is this correct?

Yes, that’s true. To support eugenics in the early 20th century meant making a moral trade-off. It meant accepting moral evils, such as forced sterilizations, marriage rules, and killings, for the sake of a moral good: better genes among all future generations. It was thought to be a fair trade among progressive liberals of the early 20th century, but eugenics lost all of its appeal when the leader of Germany loved the part about killing. Coming up in the 21st century, the moral trade-off will not be necessary. We will have the benefit of better genes among future generations but without the forced sterilizations, without the marriage rules, and without the killings, because we now have CRISPR. Americans are already in broad support of using such genetic editing to remove deadly genetic diseases, and this technically counts as eugenics. One way or the other, I expect the word, “eugenics,” will be the word favored by the critics of any sort of CRISPR application to the human species, both the morally questionable and unquestionable applications, because it really is all technically eugenics.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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11 February 2019 06:35
 

Mr. Dean may not be aware of how scientific experimentation works.  There are always failures along the way to any success.  Lots of failures.  Years of failures.  It is not possible to know the results of human genetic engineering without doing trials on humans.  Not just cells in a lab.  Not just mice.  Any experiments claiming to change intelligence will need to show results in humans who grow old enough to test their intelligence. 

How could it be moral to do experiments on great numbers of human children, in the effort to improve intelligence, knowing that an untold number would be harmed?

Currently, there are all kinds of experiments going on with cancer treatments.  The media touts efforts to create customized chemotherapies which target particular genes in cancer cells in the effort to avoid harming normal cells.  Sounds clever.  Trials of treatments like this are often done on cancer patients for whom standard treatments have not been effective.  This was the case for my sister-in-law.  But, of course, the new drugs have other side effects.  My sister-in-law could not tolerate these, and she died.  I know the researchers learned from this failure.  But it illustrates the principle that many lives are lost on the road of human health science.  My sister-in-law was destined to die from the cancer in any case, so she consented to participate in the experiment.  It was her choice as an adult.  However, it is not moral to experiment on unborn children who have a non-fatal condition; that is, below average intelligence by Mr. Dean’s standard.

And of course, even getting to the point of using CRISPR or any other technique for gene therapy, the genes for intelligence would need to be identified.  The standard techniques for verifying the function of genes involves experimentation with damaging or deactivating the genes to observe the result.  Again, immoral.  In the very simplest case, nature has already done the damage, as in sickle cell anemia, in which only one base pair is changed.  It is likely, however, that a complex trait such as intelligence is controlled by a large number of genes.

This article from the National Institutes of Health lists several references:
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/traits/intelligence

[ Edited: 11 February 2019 06:38 by hannahtoo]
 
burt
 
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burt
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11 February 2019 08:11
 
hannahtoo - 11 February 2019 06:35 AM

Mr. Dean may not be aware of how scientific experimentation works.  There are always failures along the way to any success.  Lots of failures.  Years of failures.  It is not possible to know the results of human genetic engineering without doing trials on humans.  Not just cells in a lab.  Not just mice.  Any experiments claiming to change intelligence will need to show results in humans who grow old enough to test their intelligence. 

How could it be moral to do experiments on great numbers of human children, in the effort to improve intelligence, knowing that an untold number would be harmed?

Currently, there are all kinds of experiments going on with cancer treatments.  The media touts efforts to create customized chemotherapies which target particular genes in cancer cells in the effort to avoid harming normal cells.  Sounds clever.  Trials of treatments like this are often done on cancer patients for whom standard treatments have not been effective.  This was the case for my sister-in-law.  But, of course, the new drugs have other side effects.  My sister-in-law could not tolerate these, and she died.  I know the researchers learned from this failure.  But it illustrates the principle that many lives are lost on the road of human health science.  My sister-in-law was destined to die from the cancer in any case, so she consented to participate in the experiment.  It was her choice as an adult.  However, it is not moral to experiment on unborn children who have a non-fatal condition; that is, below average intelligence by Mr. Dean’s standard.

And of course, even getting to the point of using CRISPR or any other technique for gene therapy, the genes for intelligence would need to be identified.  The standard techniques for verifying the function of genes involves experimentation with damaging or deactivating the genes to observe the result.  Again, immoral.  In the very simplest case, nature has already done the damage, as in sickle cell anemia, in which only one base pair is changed.  It is likely, however, that a complex trait such as intelligence is controlled by a large number of genes.

This article from the National Institutes of Health lists several references:
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/traits/intelligence

There are other issues involved, too. We don’t really know what makes up intelligence as such. The IQ folk design their tests to involve a multiple number of different factors but don’t have much understanding of how environment and cultural influence these. Are the influences all is the same direction? Are there cross-influences? And so on, ad infinitum. The important consideration here is that whatever it is, intelligence is not something arising from single or even a few genes, rather the basic cognitive capacities that underlie the general “g” factor will be influenced by multiple genes, gene regulatory networks, and epigenetic factors. And there is no reason at all to suppose that editing one factor will result in an overall positive result. Further, with likely hundreds of genes involved there is an averaging effect where lowering results in some genes are balanced out by higher results from others; e.g., lower verbal ability (mea culpa) may not only be compensated by greater spatio-visual ability, and these abilities may exist in an “opponent-process” sort of relation so that editing genes involved in verbal ability to produce a higher test score might well have the side effect of reducing spatio-visual capacity.

 
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