Intelligence, Heredity, and Genes: A Historical Perspective
Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Goodey, C. 2006. Intelligence, Heredity, and Genes: A Historical Perspective. eLS. .
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
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The idea of an intelligence specific to humans has not always existed but grew from pre-modern ideas about their cultural and religious status. Galton's attachment of the term ‘intelligence’ to an existing statistical abstraction (the Gaussian curve) enabled this metaphysical concept to be correlated with the physical phenomenon of genetic material, since both were now apparently measureable. Like intelligence, the ‘nature/nature’ and ‘normal/abnormal’ frameworks dominating cognitive genetics are not trans-historical but outcomes of the eugenic mind-set, dependent on it for their validity.
- learning disability;