Some think the Flynn effect—the finding that IQ rose steadily during the 20th century—proves that genes play little to no role in intelligence. The key to the puzzle is understanding what will happen when breakdancers take over the world.
The Flynn Effect -- the finding that IQ rose quite a bit during the 20th century -- raises quite a few paradoxes. Working backwards, the average IQ of people living in 1900 would be just under 70. Working even further backwards, Aristotle's IQ can be estimated to have been -1000.
How can this be? Are you really smarter than Aristotle? Read on. Read More
Aristotle, a founding father of Western Philosophy was a genius, right? Actually, I did the calculation and it turns out you are smarter than Aristotle. Not only smarter, but according to the calculation, Aristotle wouldn't understand a word coming out of your mouth. Confused? So are a lot of intelligence researchers. Read on. Read More
We live in a society where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This idea is commonplace in discussions of economic inequality. Recent research, from a variety of different disciplines, is showing how this idea also applies to the development of genius in subtle but shocking ways.
In the "Ugly Duckling", a young swan goes from awkward and ugly to graceful and beautiful. This kind of transformation is also seen in abilities, and those who go from average to extraordinary are typically labelled "late bloomers". How are late bloomers possible? How can a nuanced understanding of genes contribute to our understanding? Read More
Every season, hundreds of thousands of contestants audition for the myriad of television talent shows that exist. To make it far in these shows, you have to possess an "X Factor", a certain unidentifiable quality that makes you stand out from the rest. How may a nuanced view of genes contribute to our understanding of this factor? Read More
Can anyone be a Mozart? New research sheds some light on this question, by suggesting that while practice is certainly an important factor in music achievement, other factors may play as much, if not more of a role. Read More
Every parent wants to think his or her child is special. And rest assured, parents—your child is special. At least, there is no other child on earth with the same precise mix of genes, experience, and pattern of strengths and weaknesses. But is every child gifted? Probably not. Read More