Why are white people considered to be the brightest

The genetics of geniuses should prove themselves in China's brightest

Intelligence genes have never been found, that could change: In China, 1,600 children with IQs over 150 were recruited.

Is intelligence in the genes, is it even in a single gene? That is completely unanswerable, because the most intelligent people in particular have never been able to agree on what it is, intelligence. At least you can help yourself, however good or bad or controversial: the IQ has been around for a little over 100 years. It measures and shows what a brain can do in certain fields: Einstein had an IQ of 160 - the average person has around 100 - and he could also play the violin. So he wasn't just one-sided. That is why people looked for his death in the folds of his brain. That turned into a robber story, in which the brain was driven across the United States in a car. The seat of Einstein's intelligence was not found, and certainly not that of intelligence in general.

But it has to live somewhere, and of course the main candidates are genes. Studies on twins have shown that over half of the variability in intelligence resides somewhere in the genome. Where? In a gene or one of its variants? Or in the interplay of many variants of countless genes? If the latter, one should give up hope: Even with the comparatively simple rule over body size, so many genes play a role that the situation is completely confusing. It looks no different so far with intelligence, all poking around in the genome has brought nothing. Most recently, Robert Plomin (King's College London) failed in 2010, although he looked at 350,000 gene variants from 7,900 children.

Maybe there were just too few children, especially: too few highly intelligent ones. Plomin wants to focus on the latter in the future, on people with an IQ of 150 and more. They are rare, Plomin estimates that among his 7900 there would be "two, maybe three" (Nature 497, p.297). That's why he teamed up with Stephen Tsu. He is a theoretical physicist at Michigan State University and also advises the Genomic Institute in Shenzhen, China. And there, in China, he has recruited young geniuses - in science Olympics and the like - 1,600 in total, all with an IQ of 150 or more. He not only made friends with this in the USA - “China is Engineering Genius Babies” was the headline of VICE magazine - but Plomin took it: “I don't expect us to find much, but I would be happy if it was something tangible is. "jl

("Die Presse", print edition, May 28, 2013)