Now, in one of the largest studies ever conducted on chimp cognition, researchers report that those individual differences are due in no small part to genetic makeup. The study appears Thursday in Current Biology.
Genes determine about half of the variability in chimp intelligence and environmental factors the other half, according to primatologist William Hopkins, of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and colleagues. (Pictures: "How Smart Are Planet's Apes? 7 Intelligence Milestones.")I know that similar work involving people finds that most of what determines intelligence is genetics, although environment is an important factor as well. This article says that in humans, intelligence is about 85% inherited. I have seen 80% as a result of other studies. Yet this is a fiercely criticized concept in leftist circles, perhaps because it implies that no matter how much we do to improve the environment of poor kids, we are not going to be successful at making them as smart as middle class and upper class kids. There are going to be poor kids with great intelligence; bad luck, bad parenting, and governmental policy all play a part in creating poverty. But overall, there are limits to what government programs to help the poor can do to counteract what is often
UPDATE: A reader suggested that being of lower intelligence is not a problem. Because of the association of intelligence with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, being of lower intelligence is sometimes a blessing.