Success Does Depend on Your Parents’ Intelligence: Exam Results Are Influenced by Genes, Not Teaching

Sarah Griffiths, Daily Mail (London), July 25, 2013

Parents’ intelligence really does have a huge bearing on a teenagers’ success at school, a leading geneticist has claimed.

Professor Robert Plomin, from Kings College London, found inherited intelligence could account for nearly 60 per cent of a teenager’s GCSE results, while the school environment, including the quality of teaching, only influences results by a third.

His study was based upon long-term analysis of twins and suggests that their genes play a larger part than the education they receive when it came to their achievement in schools.

Professor Plomin, from the university’s Institute of Psychology, led the research that studied 11,000 twins born in England and Wales between 1994 and 1996. He has since talked to the Department for Education about his findings.

The Telegraph reported that ministers and senior officials are ‘seriously considering’ how the findings could be used in future reforms of the education system.

Professor Plomin told The Spectator that education professionals have been too fast to dismiss the influence of genetics in a bid to avoid labeling children as soon as they start school.

However, he believes that his controversial findings can be used in a positive way to develop education tailored to a child’s unique needs, rather than following a one-size-fits-all curriculum.

In the future, Professor Plomin thinks that genetic scanning could eventually be used to identity particularly gifted children or those with academic weaknesses.

He said that children already label each other, whether it is by academic or sporting ability, and that by reading a child’s genome, adults can predict and therefore influence a child’s academic progression, as well as prevent disease.

Professor Plomin told the magazine: ‘If we can read their DNA, we can tailor the teaching to help a kid with learning difficulties.

‘Surely it’s worse to just sit in a classroom and sink, unable to read because no one has identified that you might have trouble.’

His Twins Early Development Study, which has not yet been published, examined the GCSE results of 11,117 twins and found that their genes had a ‘substantial’ influence on their performance.

The study found that the twins’ genes had a bearing on 52 per cent of their marks in English, 55 percent in maths and 58 per cent in science.

Taking an average across all the subjects, inherited ability swayed 58 per cent of the teenagers’ test scores at the age of 16, while the school environment and therefore the quality of teaching only accounted for 36 per cent.

It could be argued, based on the results of the research, that the present school system is doomed to fail at closing the gap in results between the cleverest and weakest students and it seems that home environment has a limited influence too.

Professor Plomin said: ‘Much more of the variance in GCSE scores can be attributed to genetics than to school or family environment.’

This is not the first study to suggest a strong link between a children’s genes and their intelligence and that the connection may become more noticeable with age.

He added that the genetic influence of a person’s IQ increases as they age, with some scientists considering that it becomes 80 per cent inheritable in later life.

The theory is that small genetic differences become larger as a person ages and creates environments correlated to their genotype.

For example, clever people might seek out intellectually stimulating pursuits like reading and socialise with like-minded people.

A Department for Education source told The Telegraph: ‘As we learn more from science, a decentralised school system with great teachers providing personalised learning will be even more important, so that teachers can make decisions for the best interests of each child.’

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  • dd121

    News flash! This has been known for decades. Of course the left denies it in spite of overwhelming evidence.

    • David Ashton

      They also pretend that such research depends mainly on data supposedly faked by Cyril “Grammar School” Burt and perpetually discredited by Josef “Auschwitz” Mengele.

      • Sick of it

        It would be funny to hear an American government official talking about anything being discredited by Joseph Mengele after said government had brought the sick bast*** to this country following the war. Left hand and right hand aren’t talking to each other.

  • bob

    Facts to liberals is like kryptonite to superman or spinach to kids.

  • So CAL Snowman

    According to liberal ideology you can “teach” a bull dog to run as fast as a greyhound. There really is no genetic difference between the two, they are just dogs.

    • bigone4u

      I’ll always vote an up arrow to any example using dogs, since I love dogs. In my experience dog breeds are just about equally intelligent and loving, but that sniffing ability. Oh my, they’re all good sniffers, but the hunting hounds excel at sniffing the same way that white persons excel in school when compared on average to black persons. Whites seem to excel in intelligence and the ability to love, while blacks excel in running and sniffing.

      • Puggg

        Meanwhile, we pugs have a reputation as toy dogs that precede us.

        I do think that some dog breeds are smarter than others. I have heard that the standard poodle is top dog in that regard.

    • sbuffalonative

      Or an ostrich to fly like a humming bird.

  • sshadow

    The elite left knows this perfectly well, and is probably bored. Their useful idiots, however, are another matter. They have been instructed that IQ tests are not valid. That is dogma and hardly needs to be revisited. They will ignore this racist tripe and continue to search for the holy grail that will equalize test scores in darker and lighter complected students. Since there are no races, but there is racism, increasing funding should take care of these thorny problems quite nicely, thank you. No reason for this eroneous piece of work to see the light of day in the land of diversity er.. the land of the free.

    • sbuffalonative

      They ignore facts by labeling them ‘pseudo science’.

      • WR_the_realist

        Indeed. The $PLC claims that Amren promotes “pseudoscience” precisely because it has articles like the one above.

    • MBlanc46

      “The elite left knows this perfectly well, and is probably bored.”

      Interesting hypothesis. If true, it would make them even more hypocritical than I’d imagined. My guess is that most of them believe their own propaganda. But as the evidence for the biological basis of intelligence becomes overwhelming, your hypothesis might become true.

      • sshadow

        I think it is already true. Just take as an example, Morris Dees of the SPLC. He starts an organization and it acquires $200 mln in a war chest. Only a genius could have accomplished this. Rachel Jeantel couldn’t have. He knows that, and we know that. Why couldn’t she? She is not smart enough. Her IQ is too low. It is so obvious, that a clever operative at the highest levels would know this using 1 % of his powers of rational analysis. These guys are so cunning that their organizatioal structure daily brainwashes their minions by force. If you are a teacher or professor or a liberal comentator, the force is that your job is at stake. Over time a modified Stockholm Syndrome sets in, and these minions begin to believe in a loyalty to their captors. Their emotions ultimately rule and they suspend disbelief in favor of economic survival. Every so often a violator of the “rules” is made to apologize and then is fired anyway. What better reinforcement of the “rules”. It’s not difficult to recognize why this “Force Majeure” is hard to defeat. Why do you suppose that certain topics are simply dismissed as pseudoscience rather than be subjected to the sunshine of scientific scrutiny.

        • MBlanc46

          The pressure on people to conform is great. Promotions go to the people that agree with the boss. Studies that confirm the accepted view are the ones that get funded. The “autonomy of culture” paradigm has been dominant for a century among intellectuals and for more than fifty years in the business and political elite. It’s still easy to marginalize the nay-sayers. It’s going to take a lot of E. O. Wilsons and Steven Pinkers to turn things round.

          • bigone4u

            I was familiar with Pinker, but your mention of E. O. Wilson caused me to look him up. His ideas will be of use in some writing I am doing. One reason I like Amren is that many of the commenters are smart and know lots of things I don’t. So, thanks for mentioning Wilson.

          • MBlanc46

            You’re more than welcome. I’m looking forward to that book.

        • Irishgirl

          Excellent post, sshadow. A couple thoughts on this:

          1. Despite what academics say in public, I think it’s pretty hard not to be a race realist if you teach at a “vibrant” university. When we commiserate with each other about having Tyrone Bellcurvius in our classes, we may use euphemisms but we all know what we’re really saying.
          2. Your Stockholm Syndrome analogy is apt. I love my field, I love teaching and I love learning. But years of trying to teach students who don’t have the intellectual capacity, and frankly shouldn’t be in college in the first place – while being told repeatedly that my perception and daily observations are imaginary or biased – can have a soul-crushing effect. I motivate myself by concentrating on the material. I will not let the politics of academia take away my love of my field.

          • sshadow

            Keep the faith fair lady. You arise from a Western Euro Genomic Stock that is the envy of the world.

  • WR_the_realist

    In the future, Professor Plomin thinks that genetic scanning could
    eventually be used to identity particularly gifted children or those
    with academic weaknesses.

    That won’t be permitted as soon as they realize that whites have a higher percentage of gifted children, and a lower percentage of stupid children, than blacks do. Race trumps all in any public policy. The study itself is unsurprising, Twin studies invariably show that at least half of the variation in IQ is due to genes. And the variation that isn’t due to genes is mostly due to non-shared environment, which is not something anybody knows how to control.

    • Puggg

      They used to have that of sorts. IQ tests.

      But they did away with them when the results showed to be taboo. Except they trot them out when they want to try to get a black murderer out of the death house.

  • Spartacus

    “It could be argued, based on the results of the research, that the
    present school system is doomed to fail at closing the gap in results
    between the cleverest and weakest students and it seems that home
    environment has a limited influence too.”


    You mean the gap in results between the real humans and the dark-skins ? Yup, never gonna close that one.

  • bigone4u

    Science will be ignored in favor of sociology. Folks, blacks are failing to achieve because of white privilege and the institutional racism in our schools. And don’t forget the legacy of slavery. Yep, it’s all a matter of racism and if you dare say otherwise, you are guilty of a hate crime in the eyes of liberals.

  • JohnEngelman

    I hope Professor Robert Plomin and Sarah Griffiths keep their jobs.

    • bigone4u

      They will keep their jobs because there’s still the 40 percent or so that genetics does not explain. Furthermore, good libs can always argue that black IQ is pulled down by poverty, which is the fault of whites. Unlike Jason Richwine, the profs appear to be letting the politicians hash out the policy implications, while they stick to science. Smart move by them. But make no mistake, this research is of great value to anyone who is a race realist.

      • Jack Burton

        The more critical point is that genetics play progressively more of a role as we age, 80+%, which is relevant to the development and maintenance of civilization.

  • Flytrap

    “For example, clever people might seek out intellectually stimulating
    pursuits like reading and socialise with like-minded people.”

    Couple this with Charles Murray’s last book, “America Coming Apart” and you get an idea of where we are headed, favelas and fences.

  • Sick of it

    The DoE official was talking about decentralization of schools while the usual suspects have been pushing school closures all over the country to force further integration. The usual suspects are also pushing for a one size fits all federal curriculum. Irony?

    • Romulus

      There pushing school closures because nearly all the majority black urban centers will go bankrupt without the white tax base. The new federal education standard curricula is called common core. The credo being “I am a world citizen not an American” The goal, of course, is to erase nationalism as all western nations devolve into multi racial, multi cultural lands.

    • willbest

      In Chicago we are closing schools because of hundreds of millions in annual deficit. Perhaps the deficits were by design, but I think it just happens naturally when the taxpayers don’t want to pay for something, but the elected officials by their nature short term thinkers.

      • Sick of it

        They’re doing it in (non-bankrupt) rural areas as well. And with this new study on how diverse neighborhoods are, expect it in a suburb near you.

  • Creepy as a cracker!

    We are back to the old story about the apple and the tree. As much as the left will try to argue otherwise, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

    • Irishgirl

      To extend your metaphor a bit: if you don’t want to get hit by apples, stay away from trees!

  • IKantunderstand

    Allow me to simplify what has already been proven, and what everybody knows: Blacks are stupid. Hispanics are almost as stupid. Asians are great at conforming and memorizing. Who knows how smart Arabs might be, they have been intellectually stultified by Islam. Jews are smart, but not particularly innovative, risk takers, or adventurous. Whites are, simply, masters of the universe. Period. White people, keep this in mind: We are inferior to NO ONE. We have set the intellectual, technological, philosophical, pace of the Earth. We are second to NO ONE. We are still doing so, despite the fact that we only make up nine percent of the world’s population. Now, however, is the time to get up off our laurels, and go do some old fashioned Viking as$ kicking. Ahem. We are also superior at as$ kicking.

    • Jack Burton

      It’s really not that blacks are stupid that is the main problem, like an innocent child kind of stupid, it’s that they’re narcissistic psychopaths. When you combine stupid with excessive self-esteem and mental illness, that’s an ultimately dysfunctional combination.

      They’re a menace to the world, and not just to humans, to animals and the environment. Watch the Vice Guide to Liberia.

      I consider blacks an evolutionary dead end that should have become extinct like other hominid species.

      What is the main reason that we have developed universal morality and the idea that all life is precious and equal? Christianity.

      Who knows how smart Arabs might be, they have been intellectually stultified by Islam.

      No, they have been stunted mainly by miscegenation. Arabs are significantly black, they assimilated sub-Saharan DNA through the trans-Saharan slave trade. How do you think Bin Laden got those big purple lips, same way Obama did.

      Also there is much more inbreeding among them, consanguinity is highest in North Africa and West Asia.

      You might want to reconsider your claims of superiority. What other people than Whites have sold themselves out, subjugating themselves and are actively working for their own destruction.

    • David Ashton

      We need to keep our ablest whites breeding “faster” than underclass whites, and to counter the suicidal policies engendered by the liberal propaganda that the former encounter in the “intellectual” media, otherwise our “average” could fall towards the black “average”; I suspect this is beginning to happen in England. Also, the numerical drop in our world population proportion is a matter of concern, brought home to me with the accelerating inward mass-migration of young Chinese into the university cities of Britain.

  • Jesse James

    Let me play Cassandra for a moment and explain what happens next on our forced progressive march to the multi-cult utopia. The leftist who are playing the pan pipes know that the past sixty years of trying to erase the achievement gap between blacks and whites is a complete failure. Look at the current run of TV commercials, television shows, magazine covers and big screen movies to see what comes next – constant indoctrination of the young pushing inter-racial relationships. Since the blacks can’t be pulled up they will pull the whites down through race mixing. Walk around your local mall and see all the white grandmothers pushing baby carriages with their mixed raced grandchildren. You almost never see the black and brown fathers with these children and rarely the white mothers. Just tired Christian grandmothers trying to keep some semblance of civility going as their families are torn apart and their genetic future is destroyed. Black American males are clearly using the same strategy that the cuckoo birds use to reproduce. Webster describes the Cuckoo bird as, “a parasite given to laying its eggs in the nests of other birds which hatch them and rear the offspring.”

    • IKantunderstand

      You are exactly correct. The people who run this country are no longer content with the idea of integration. NO. Whites are either to mix, or die. I say we mark the box called “other”.

      • My ex-father was brilliant in a rather limited fashion. He was also utterly evil. If there was a right way and a wrong way to do a certain thing, he would always pick the one most cruel to others, whether it helped him or not.

        The way I see it, since the feds took his side, they agree with him and are just like him.

        I’m glad he has cancer pretty much everywhere. He who laughs last, laughs best.

        I’m already a second-class citizen, so this is OK.

        • Jack Burton

          Well, what do we have here. You called me cruel before, which is untrue, and now you’re here gloating over someone dying of cancer. Clearly you’re projecting, you’re a sadistic personality.

          • David Ashton

            I was certainly troubled by MCS’s implied threat to anyone and everyone who couldn’t see the veins on their hands, or his hate for all us English (manifested in an alleged pot-shot at one of our soldiers), and for US policemen, but he has a story to tell, and should write an autobiography or get an enterprising movie-mogul to make a film, perhaps for the horror channel (see icon), though I would advise any visitor to get out of his car before he he parks it in the subject’s driveway.

          • Jack Burton

            He’s already outed himself as non-White and married to an Asian.

          • You wouldn’t want me marrying your sister, so now you don’t want me marrying another lady?

          • Sick of it

            The vein thing stems from the original definition of blue blood from Spain. They tried to keep certain groups out of power as much as possible.

          • Yes, but this is just one case. He beat up my mother, and this I do not forgive.

            My ex-father can’t possibly have enough cancer to suit me. While I used to work as a research chemist, I didn’t give him cancer, and I never had much access to his food.

            The last thing in the entire world anyone should do is beat up my mother. Before my ex-father had cancer, my mother told the FBI that she was delighted he was absolutely terrified of me. She visited me in federal prison in Ft. Worth Texas in 2003 and told me he was full of cancer in his poop chute.

            My ex-father used to beat up my mother, and now he has cancer in places he didn’t know he had places. He cheated me and sent me to federal prison, so I am delighted even his tumors have suspicious growths. My mother says “good”.

          • David Ashton

            Speaking for myself I couldn’t care less than you have a little Amerindian ancestry or whom you have married. As I said, no-one can help how they are born, only what they do to others or are capable of doing to them (e.g. Anglo-Saxons across the Atlantic). I have no idea why you are on “terrorism watch” but as I said you could write an interesting if not scary biography. Your daughter sounds as nice as her name, and I’m sure she has loving parents.

      • Jack Burton

        No, you don’t understand. That was the whole idea to begin with, that is the end game of integration, it always has been. Ultimate equality is at the genetic level.

        • Sick of it

          Which also makes it easier to make everyone believe in one religion, follow one culture, accept one form of political rule, and destroys all potential for revolt.

          • David Ashton

            Except for the new ruling elite?

          • Sick of it

            Possibly. Considering a good chunk of their ancestry, that’s not a guarantee. But we aren’t supposed to talk about that group of people (said people have a vibrant and diverse biological background).

        • IKantunderstand

          Umm, Jack, I understand perfectly. Have you ever considered the people who need to be gently introduced into what is happening? Have you ever thought about how coming out against integration forty years, thirty years, twenty years ago would mark you as a reprobate racist, even among gentle, Christian Whites, who had absolutely NO experience with Blacks? I understand perfectly. There is a time for all seasons. Try castigating people who don’t agree with you.

  • David Ashton

    The No 1 issue in hitherto white-native countries is indeed race replacement.

    But our cultural marxist enemies tie together the two things with “all races are equal” and no harm comes from replacement, whereas there are racial differences in brain function as well as pigmentation. Secondly, to maintain maximal efficiency for our white societies to general benefit we need to nurture the most able. The important thing is to ensure that they retain a loyalty to and therefore a creative leadership within our population group, and are not seduced by liberalism and marxism.

  • Jack Burton

    It’s relevant to establish that genes are important, and that supports racial preservation.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    Breaking news: intelligence is heritable, water is wet, and the sky is blue.

    In a sane world, we wouldn’t need this article, because everyone would already know that intelligence is largely derived from the intelligence of one’s parents. This is common sense stuff for a world desperately lacking in common sense.

    • Creepy as a cracker!

      Exactly, this stuff is not rocket science. It is rather easy to figure out.

  • IanJMacDonald

    In a related story, scientists have noticed a relationship with tides and phases of the moon.

    • David Ashton

      Have they had their observations peer-reviewed in academic journals, or are they just reviving traditional constructs of the white patriarchal power structure?

      • IanJMacDonald

        Turns out that gravity is “merely a social construct.” Only wicked people question this.

        • David Ashton

          It was plainly invented by racists like Newton to keep black people down rather than up.

          But we (alone) must all be re-educated or “exterminated” out of our innate malice – I recommend to Jared Taylor and other voracious readers on AmRen especially Joel Kovel’s “White Racism: A Psychohistory” (Columbia UP, 1984 [!]), plus subsequent articles and reviews in the journal “Patterns of Prejudice”.

          • I wasn’t taking a pot-shot at the English. Their soldiers seem to be good guys, but I have a different King. English soldiers are probably some of the best. That said, they were very lucky they didn’t have to fight rural southern white Yanks in 1982 at Goose Green. They’d never have dislodged us from our positions if we had been the Argentinians.

            When I was in eastern Slavonia in 1991, I did everything. Franjo Tudman once shook my hand.

            My Lord is the One.

          • David Ashton

            A fortnight ago you said you shot your “first” British soldier as a boy and that you “hate” and “loathe” us English. He “could have been” my Sandhurst-trained nephew. I just missed postwar conscription, but my own very patriotic Devonshire Dad was in the Royal Navy, but had French friends and always admired the Germans. Many white Americans, of course, have ancient roots in England, Scotland and “both” Protestant and Catholic Ireland.

            I have shaken hands with Oswald Mosley, whose parliamentary career began with a campaign against British occupation methods in Ireland, whose “right to unite” he always advocated. White people must put aside their past grievances and violent quarrels, and face up to forthcoming racial demographics. Despite risking unpopularity with Burma Star veterans Mosley also advocated “firm friendship” with Japan.

            As said before, you ought to write up your colourful, opinionated and even “bloodthirsty” contributions into a sparkling autobiography.

  • Puggg

    And soon they’ll have to change the breed name of the border collie because of the xenophobic connotations of “border.”

    • Irishgirl

      Good one! Btw, I enjoy your dog’s-eye-view posts. We need to keep a sense of humor no matter how bad things get.

  • David Ashton

    Your main theme is valid (e.g. stop further non-white permanent settlement) and remains so even if all these critiques of gene/IQ links were also entirely valid (I have seen the replies that Jensen and Rushton have been permitted in academic journals, though not yet Plomin’s). It is certainly an odd view to suppose that gene-influenced brain function is identical for every member of an identified racial population, as it is that it is identical across all groups.

    To propose a merciless and permanent genocide of blacks because they might fail to match white achievement, if national defense expenditure is transferred to their schools, is a catch-22, since they probably do not have such capacity as a whole (see Jensen on this after “peer-reviewed” criticism).

    As for Professor Plomin’s latest paper, I quote from “The Spectator” interview by Mary Wakefield, July 27: “‘Leon Kamin, the author of a book called ‘The Science and Politics of IQ,’ says Plomin, ‘…started saying: “We’ve got to stop this talk of genetics now!” And I realised it didn’t matter to Kamin what was true. He believed in what he called “science for the people”…. The idea was that science should serve [leftist egalitarian] politics.’…
    “[Chinese researcher] Zhao Bowen, in his quest to discover the genes for intelligence, is in fact using the samples that Plomin collected…. Plomin says, ‘Newborns may well have their DNA sequenced as a matter of course.’…[N]ot just teachers don’t like to think about how heritable IQ is [but also] his clever friends.”

  • OnGuard

    27 states have adopted race-based achievement standards (c/o Common Core, a federal education program). Nothing so far has closed the wide achievement gap between whites/Asians and blacks/Hispanics, so it seems that state departments of education are admitting gene-based learning abilities, though some might still want to insist it’s cultural. The intent, as usual is to spend much more on the lower-performing students then on the higher-performing ones!!!! How suicidal is that!! Not investing more on the future leaders/problem solvers because they are the wrong skin color!!! And, to think that most of those tax dollars come from the parents of the kids who will “take a back seat” on the education bus. Another reason to home-school!

  • David Ashton

    My wife and her close relatives, and I, as parents or grandparents, or as teachers or ex-teachers, know perfectly well that heredity has effects on mental performance as well as physical appearance. The jury is not out, except for a numerically small, though unfortunately still influential, scattering of left-wing obscurantist fusspots.