Chinese Firm’s Bid to Allow Parents to Pick Their Smartest Embryos

Mark Prigg, Daily Mail (London), January 14, 2014

A Chinese firm claims it is getting closer to allowing parents to pick the embryo most likely to succeed.

Researcher believe that 50-80% of what determines IQ could be inherited.

Now a Chinese firm is mapping the genes of people who are gifted in math in a bid to isolate the genes that make them smarter that the average person.

Shenzhen-based BGI is mapping the genes of math geniuses, and appealing via its web site for more to take part in the controversial study.

B.G.I., formerly called Beijing Genomics Institute, is the world’s largest genetic-research center, and already has an initial batch of 2,000 DNA samples from high-IQ subjects.

Researchers then plan to compare these against a sample from the general population–and hopefully isolate what makes them special.

In theory, this knowledge could then be used to allow parents to pick ‘smart embryos’.

Other divisions of the Chinese giant already offer genetic testing, leading some to speculate it could eventually launch a screening programme for prospective parents.

Researchers believe most children are within 13 IQ points of their parents’ combined average.

However, two or three out of every hundred children turns out to be significantly more intelligent, Stephen Hsu, a researcher on the project, told Wired magazine.

‘People believe it’s a controversial topic, especially in the West,’ Bowen Zhao, head of CG, told the Wall Street Journal.

‘That’s not the case in China.’

In fact, China Development Bank, a state bank that lends to government pet projects, has given BGI $1.5 billion, although the firm says it will not turn over its data.

‘Imagine what a couple might pay to ensure that they get the best out of 10 or 50 possible offspring, optimizing over their choice of heritable attributes,’ he wrote on his blog, comparing the cost of a Harvard degree or private school with the few thousand dollars it takes to fertilize and implant embryos.

‘There are going to be countries that say this is part of our national health-care service and everyone is doing it,’ he told the New Yorker. ‘And eventually it would become unstoppable, because the countries that initially outlawed it would have to come around. How could they not?’

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  • LACounty

    There isn’t a place anywhere on the planet where blacks are treated better. That’s why they stay, and other blacks come. Racist, my ass.

    • DNA Explains It All

      What does?

  • dmxinc

    When history is written in a couple hundred years will this period be seen as a critical turning point?

    The Chinese developed gunpowder, but the West put it to warfare.

    The Turks rejected of the science of the Germans as “Frankish trickery.” A couple of centuries later on the eve of World War II, Turkey didn’t possess even a single tank. Lucky for them, the weren’t the target of the Germans.

    Now the West resists the technology we developed. The Chinese embrace it. What will the end results be?

    • Pro_Whitey

      For now, we should bone up on how the Chinese steal technology from us, and be ready to steal future technology from them.

      • DNA Explains It All

        I am betting when the day comes we need their tech, they are going to have sense enough to guard it.

    • JohnEngelman

      Now the West resists the technology we developed. The Chinese embrace it. What will the end results be?

      – dmxinc

      Chinese world wide hegemony.

    • Anon

      A bunch of smart, docile Chinese slaves making Ipads for white children.

    • Max Krakah

      there are always unintended consequences to almost everything. They could end up breeding a race of people that are good in math but poor at everything else.

      • My previous comments aside but I’m willing to bet that eventually their mathematicians will turn mean. They’ll say, for example, to the Congo, we’ll pay you for your minerals, but: our factories, our workers, and protected by our military.

        Then in 5 years the Congolese will say ‘Gibs me more mola fer our meaneralz youz takin outta our ground’. The mathematians will then send a hypervelocity projectile which will vaporize much of Kinshasa, and keep on mining.

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    Two key take-away points:

    1) Why embryo selection is a powerful eugenics tool:

    “Researchers believe most children are within 13 IQ points of their parents’ combined average. However, two or three out of every hundred children turns out to be significantly more intelligent, Stephen Hsu, a researcher on the project, told Wired magazine.”

    2) Why the East will make extensive use of this tool and the West will not . . . at first:

    “‘People believe it’s a controversial topic, especially in the West,’ Bowen Zhao, head of CG, told the Wall Street Journal. ‘That’s not the case in China.’ In fact, China Development Bank, a state bank that lends to government pet projects, has given BGI $1.5 billion . . . ‘Imagine what a couple might pay to ensure that they get the best out of 10 or 50 possible offspring, optimizing over their choice of heritable attributes . . . ‘There are going to be countries that say this is part of our national health-care service and everyone is doing it . . . And eventually it would become unstoppable . . .”

    • Anon

      “Researchers believe most children are within 13 IQ points of their parents’ combined average. However, two or three out of every hundred children turns out to be significantly more intelligent, Stephen Hsu, a researcher on the project, told Wired magazine.”
      The lie in this statement is these two observations are not connected. No one has a hundred offspring to have two or three turn out to be significantly more intelligent. Not only is genetic testing for intelligence impossible, not only because genetics is nowhere near that sophisticated but also because what “intelligence” is, is highly controversial subject that so far has completely failed as a measurable trait. No one knows what intelligence actually is (although most people instinctually recognize it). Have no way of measuring it. Certainly no way of genetically testing it. And no reason to think normal people have much potential for it. In other words, it is unlikely you could take all of a womans eggs, and sift through them (assuming you could which is impossible and not likely any time soon) and find superior ones. It’s science fiction (and bad science fiction at that). You might as well try testing for “beauty” or perhaps we should be more honest about what they are really trying to test for….superiority.
      In real life, no, there are no superior beings like in Wrath of Khan. The success of the races is a team effort requiring both specialization and cooperation….baker, banker, fireman, teacher, scientist, and the guy who cleans the toilets.

      • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

        “Embryo selection” is “bad science fiction”? Richard Lynn, foremost authority on global IQ variation — at the 2012 American Renaissance conference:

        “The most promising development of positive eugenics, which lies in the future rather than the present, is that of embryo selection. This procedure consists of a couple producing a number of embryos . . . as they are produced for IVF, in-vitro fertilization, and these embryos can be assessed for their genetic qualities . . . that [embryo] deemed the most desirable of the number that are grown is selected and implanted..”


        As to the impossibility of the genetic testing for intelligence, you need to inform the Chinese and such western researchers as David Piffer of the UK, who recently published “Factor Analysis of Population Allele Frequencies as a Simple, Novel Method of Detecting Signals of Recent Polygenic Selection: The Example of Educational Attainment and IQ,” Interdisciplinary Bio Central, November 27, 2013.

        • Max Krakah

          Thalidomide was said to be a wonder drug at first too! There really is so much about it that is still a mystery. To tinker like this at this stage could have disastrous consequences.

          • Brian

            They’re just picking an embryo that could have been born anyway by chance…not nearly as dangerous as actual genetic engineering.

      • Brian

        No one has a hundred offspring to have two or three turn out to be significantly more intelligent.
        The hundred children are from a group of parents, obviously.

      • Nathanwartooth

        “Not only is genetic testing for intelligence impossible, not only because genetics is nowhere near that sophisticated but also because what “intelligence” is, is highly controversial subject that so far has completely failed as a measurable trait.”

        Quite easy, actually. Just look at all of the high IQ people in the world and find the genes that they have in common. Then you look for those genes when selecting the embryo.

        The Chinese have been studying the genes of high IQ people for years. I’m guessing they are very close to perfecting this which is why they are going public with it.

        High IQ people do better on average than low IQ people. This isn’t even debatable anymore. I see you like to play the “intelligence” definition game. Yeah, that is no fun. I don’t think I’ll play that one.

  • dd121

    Eugenics hasn’t been too popular since the ’30 but maybe it’s making a comeback. The science has advanced quite a bit since then.

  • David Ashton

    As I said on a previous thread, China is stealing a eugenic march on us.

  • Nathanwartooth

    Once this goes into practice, I imagine that the Chinese will dominate the world 20 years after.

    • Bob Wallace

      I don’t think so. There is a lot more to success than mere IQ. Imagination, creativity, curiosity…and a lot more other things ant-like, conformist Asians don’t have. What they will have to do is insert White genes into themselves. That means, in the long run, the most successful will look white.

      They certainly don’t want black genes.

      • Nathanwartooth

        Yeah, for the general population, sure.

        But you don’t have to be creative to be successful and an army of hundreds of thousands or millions of 140+ IQ Chinese people would be an end the world as we know it. You can’t stop that much brainpower. Even if they never came up with anything new they could dominate existing systems easily.

      • WR_the_realist

        Ah yes, here we have the old myth that Asians are ant-lilke drones. The truth is that only a small fraction of whites are creative in any significant way, and the fraction for Asians is probably about the same. I can tell who isn’t current with modern scientific and mathematical publications. They are the ones who assure us that Asians can’t come up with original ideas.

  • bigone4u

    This particular science is off in the future. What is disturbing today is how the US and Europe import vast numbers of low IQ third-worlders, as if by magic their IQs will explode upward in future generations. Right now, not in the future, we are being dragged into somehing less than civilization as we’ve known it since ancient Greece.

    • willbest

      Well as long as you don’t breed with them, they will remain a low IQ under class to do the grunt work that is too expensive to farm out to the robots.

      • Einsatzgrenadier

        I don’t think so. Endless, massive third world immigration is driving the explosive growth of the low IQ brown underclass in western countries. Plus, the non-whites breed at significantly higher rates than white people. Endless, massive third world immigration + higher non-white fertility + shrinking white demographic means that the brown underclass will be in charge of us one day. China will emerge a global superpower by default. Los Estados Unidos and the Islamic Caliphate of Eurabia will no longer be able to compete on the world stage.

        • WR_the_realist

          Precisely, The fatal flaw of democracy is that it gives the most power to whichever groups breed fastest.

      • WR_the_realist

        Tell me, since cotton picking machines were invented, just how useful have blacks been for doing grunt work? I will grant Mexicans this much — at least the first (illegal) generation is willing to work hard. But will that remain true of their gang joining sons and their pregnant and unmarried daughters eligible for welfare?

  • Spartacus

    Oh yeah ? Well we don’t need any eugenics, we have diversity !

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      There’s nothing worse than being culturally enriched with DIE-versity.

  • DNA Explains It All

    Why use so much overkill tech? Just sterilize based on demographics, you hale form a group that is a drag, ya don’t reproduce.

  • Luca

    They make it sound so scientific so they can charge a larger fee. All they’re doing is looking under a microscope at potential embryos and discarding the darker ones.

    Very clever those Chinese.

    • DNA Explains It All

      That’s funny.

  • Alexandra1973

    I can imagine that if you’re only allowed to have one child, you’d want that child to be as smart as possible–after all, you only get one shot, and if you wind up with a loser, you’re stuck.

    That’s probably the thinking there.

    Not my thinking, though. I have only one child, he’s slightly autistic and a bit behind the 8-ball…but he actually is pretty smart, he’s good at building things, and I love the little guy. He’s cute, outgoing, and friendly…sometimes a bit TOO outgoing and friendly!

    • Wow my situation too, although my son is definitely not behind any 8-ball. He was diagnosed as “high performing autistic” but is really cute, outgoing, and [imo] smart. He’s also extremely attached to the Daddy [you can probably guess that I’m not black] and we’re crazy about him. We also believe in the “spare the rod & spoil the child” saying, so he’s also [usually] very polite & well behaved.

      I’m just sorry that there are not a whole lot more like him in our society. Of course I’m getting carried away as a parent. The Gov’t doesn’t help us a bit either.

  • Conrad

    You can practice a form of eugenics right now. Be very picky about what you breed with. Look over a potential mate AND HIS OR HER FAMILY very closely. Technology can help with this, yes, but you don’t have to wait.
    Reason. Logic. Eugenics.

  • DiversityIsHumanism

    Oh god I hope Africans dont go to china becuase they are is going to get they babies stoden by the chinese if the chinese want babaies with high iqs so of course they are going to want black babies because of their heavy knowledges. One love, iiiight!

  • Anon

    Intelligence is not like strength. The more strength you have the more pounds you a pump in your bench press. The smarter a person is, the more what that means is variable. Classic example is Rain Man. Is an idiot savant “smart”? Even functional? If the Chinese are lucky, they will end up with a generation of functional retards who can memorize phone books but not do anything productive. If they aren’t, who knows what weird new genetic diseases they will introduce into their gene pool.
    This is also totally unnecessary. All people (except blacks) naturally self-select for race and intelligence. You see short people with tall people. You see fat people with skinny people, You see ugly people with beautiful people. Rich with poor. But what you never see is smart people with dumb people.
    What the Chinese, SHOULD do, instead is actively sterilize criminals. Eugenics might not be all that useful but dysgenics is the biggest problem facing every civilized nation on the planet and threatens civilization itself as functional retards and psychopaths mass reproduce on the labor of normal people.

    • IstvanIN

      You are correct, there are frequently unintended consequences to any unproven technology. There is probably more than one, or even several genes involved in intelligence. The ability to think or reason, and being a savant who can do any arithmetic calculations imaginable in one’s head, are two different things. To advance a society, I would imagine, would also require a good deal of creativity. It would also require the “free and open exchange of opinion and ideas”, the lack of which strangled the USSR then and America today. So i would be too worried about Chinese eugenics at the stage.

      As for the Chinese introducing strange new genetic diseases to their population, not really a big problem either. Their population is so huge and this technology so expensive and difficult, even if successful, would only affect a small percentage of the population, leaving them with a huge control group.

    • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

      Your point about dysgenics, Anon, is well taken. Richard Lynn, at the 2012 AmRen conference, devoted considerable attention to the topic. He concluded:

      “The Northeast Asians will be less severely affected by these [dysgenic] processes. They have some dysgenic fertility, but this will very likely in time be overcome by embryo selection. They do not have any dysgenic immigration and are unlikely to have it in the foreseeable future.

      “China, in particular, will probably be the most successful of these countries because it does not have the handicap of being a democratic country. I don’t believe the dysgenic problem can be overcome in democracies, and China has a big advantage in this regard, in that it can introduce policies such as paying high sums of money to female graduates that have children but not to the rest of the population. They can introduce policies of this kind which would be unacceptable in democracies.

      “China also has one considerable advantage arising as an unforeseen consequence of the one-child policy. The consequence of this has been that many couples restricted to one child who have had a girl have killed her and hoped to produce a boy . . . So there are many more young men in China than there are young women. This could have a significant eugenic effect because it places power in the hands of the women to select men.”

      • Max Krakah

        China is starting to have dysgenic immigration. They are nearing the end of their demographic dividend. The one child policy has created a population that has a large percentage of the people nearing retirement age. They will need to import workers to keep up their present, not very spectacular growth rate. There are already communities of illegal african laborers in China.

        • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

          If the Chinese do import significant numbers of foreign workers, they will be second and third tier temporary residents. Western countries, being democracies and seeing foreign workers as future voters, seek to make them first class permanent residents. China, being authoritarian, will have nothing like the problem western countries have stored up for themselves. China not give a whit about its foreign workers. They won’t be a problem.

        • redpill99

          “There are already communities of illegal african laborers in China.”

          illegal being the keyword

        • While being much more concerned about the fate of white European ethnicities than the Chinese, I think they will soon decide not to allow black immigration. All it will take will be a look at the catastrophie overtaking the United States which should become evident in the next 20 years.

    • WR_the_realist

      Autism is not the same thing as intelligence. You are communicating through a computer with other people over fiber optic and wireless networks powered by a vast electrical grid because of smart people, not because of people who can bench 400 pounds, nor because of idiot savants who can recite the phone book.

      • I’m smart [i think?] and I can bench 200 pounds even tho I’m older. Actually weight lifting and a proper exercise plan should be a hallmark of smarter people.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    “‘People believe it’s a controversial topic, especially in the West,’ Bowen Zhao, head of CG, told the Wall Street Journal. ‘That’s not the case in China.’”

    I’m so glad China (and East Asia in general) exists. It’s good for white people to have another high-IQ race competing with them. It will keep them from going completely off the deep end and destroying themselves through reality denial.

    It will be hard to deny the reality of heritable IQ when Chinese people are popping out babies left and right with average IQs of 110-115, or possibly even higher.

    • WR_the_realist

      I just hope that by the time the West finally comes to its senses on eugenics that we still have enough good genes left in the white gene pool to select from.

    • redpill99

      they might through law of unintended consequence create more autism which is bad. asperger’s is often associated with high iq

      • GeneticsareDestiny

        It’s certainly possible. But at least the Chinese are taking active steps to improve the quality of their populace. We are doing the exact opposite.

        And if they do end up causing an increase in autism, they’ll probably be able to figure out where they went wrong and improve their embryo selection mechanisms for the next round of parents.

        • redpill99

          china could implement this sort of eugenics but there’s no reason it can’t be done in the west. the one sort of eugenics china could implement that would not be allowed in the west is euthanasia of severely disabled newborns something James Watson advocated and forced sterilizations.

          • GeneticsareDestiny

            Yes, the West could be doing it. We’re certainly smart enough. But we have such strong ethical concerns about it that we will probably fall far behind China in eugenics, at least until their advantage in the area becomes impossible to ignore.

            Hopefully whites will start taking heredity seriously soon. Even if we only implemented mildly and fully voluntary eugenic policies like giving intelligent people economic incentives to breed more while providing unintelligent people with incentives to stay childless could do a lot.

            I doubt whites would ever be okay with euthanizing severely disabled newborns though. It’s just not a part of our psychological make-up, even if it does make eugenic sense. I think a more winning strategy in the West would be to push hard for research into methods to prevent such children from being born in the first place.

            As for forced sterilizations, I am against it, at least until every other method has been tried. Most low-IQ people have low time preference, meaning it will be very easy to convince many of them to become voluntarily sterilized for a payment, or at least to take a Depo Provera (birth control) shot every three months.

            And if we add a loss or sharp decline in welfare benefits to anyone who reproduces while on them, birthrates among the welfare class should plummet.

  • willbest

    If I were the Chinese I might be more concerned with finding the genes that give pollution resistant lungs

  • newscomments70

    True, and I believe it will backfire. We don’t know enough about genetic engineering to breed a “master race”. Proper nutrition and education create genetic mutations to improve each generation.

    • WR_the_realist

      Proper nutrition and education are essential to achieve the full expression of whatever genes for intelligence you have. But they don’t create new mutations that improve each generation. Lamarkism doesn’t work.

  • newscomments70

    I believe you’re wrong. Their experiment will fail. It will take hundreds of years to develop such technology properly. My nephew has an IQ of 140, but he is severely autistic. His behavoir is horrifying and dangerous. Something like this will be the product of their “experiment”. They will not create a master race of Asians that keep whites as pets on leashes.

    • redpill99

      uh they can already screen embryos today for a large variety of known genetic diseases ranging from cystic fibrosis to sickle cell to down syndrome and BRCA breast cancer. the only problem with intelligence is disputes over whether IQ measures it and what genes contribute to it.

  • redpill99

    a lot of high iq have autism so an unintended consequence of selecting for high iq is more autism

  • redpill99

    I think one potential problem for selecting for high-IQ is that it might also increase undesirable phenotypes and 4 that come to mind are 1- autism/asperger’s 2-neuroticism 3- extreme political liberalism who work to undermine the nation-state and 4- possible increase in homosexuality.

    Marxism feminism queer theory and critical race theory are highly appealing to high-IQ harvard profs.

    China may succeed w/ high IQ who then undermine china by promoting political correctness, low social skills, and large scale third world immigration.

    We actually have a model for this – the Tribe.

    • WR_the_realist

      I wouldn’t rate as a genius but I certainly have an IQ well above the white average. I find nothing appealing about Marxism, feminism, queer theory, or critical race theory. Indeed, I consider those areas of study to be sand boxes for third rate intellects who have an axe to grind but can’t hack the real stuff, like stochastic calculus, Hilbert spaces, field theory, or simply Greek and Latin. The “professors” in such fields would be amusing were it not for the fact that we allow them to have influence on actual policy.

      As for blaming everything on the “Eskimios”, i can’t help but note that a lot of the people in those anti-white, anti-male, anti-heterosexuality fields are non-Jewish whites. Yes, Jews are overrepresented in those fields, just as they’re also overrepresented among competent physicists and mathematicians, and underrepresented among street thugs and school bullies. Jews are a mixed bag, like other white ethnic groups.

  • In practice this process has been extremely difficult as the selection process jeopardizes the survivability of the embryos. For typical parents this has meant that they can try to select for genetic traits but they may increase their chances of being childless.

    However it shows that the Chinese are on the right track. Here in the USA our Government deliberately punishes higher IQ people and makes sure that they have fewer children. I guess in the future the US will fight China for dominance in the Pacific. We’ll have hoards of bantu spear chuckers and they’ll have all these brainiac engineers.

    Not so long ago I never heard of AmRen and I was very patriotic. Although much too young for Vietnam I would have definitely gone if called & I was older. Today it appears that our own Gov’t has become more evil than even that of the former USSR. Years ago sci-fi films used to show the Gov’t in a good light, fighting the evil aliens, now a lot of movies show our Government as something sinister — and this comes from Hollywood which is very lefty.

    Actually our own little one (4.4 yo) has recently been diagnosed as a “high performing autistic”. The psychologist named Bill Gates as an example. It caught us completely by surprise as he’s extremely caring, playful, interacts well with others, but does tend to become very intent or focussed upon certain subjects. Thus the technical label of “autistic” has been broadened recently until it encompasses even well behaved, caring kids.

    • nBmnp

      Don’t fall for such “diagnoses”, the modern psychologist is nothing but a glorified drug-dealer.

      Children were shy, now they are diagnosed as “autistic”. Children were lively, now they are diagnosed with “ADHD”.

      They only want to drug your children, don’t let them.

  • That’s right we’ll just get a couple ole WW-II Battlesips outta mothballs at the Philly Navy Yard, load ’em up with muscular young bantus, and sail over thar to China and womp on ’em!!!

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    They may end up increasing the prevalence of autism in their population through embryo selection, but the Chinese have no pretenses of political correctness. They are not afraid to “offend” autism advocates like whites are.

    If they screw up, they will research how to fix it, and probably much more effectively than whites are doing right now.

  • WR_the_realist

    Well, Gattaca was propaganda from anti-eugenicists, so like all of the productions of Hollywood I wouldn’t take it as a guide to social policy. Of course simply having high innate intelligence doesn’t guarantee success. Every successful person had to work hard, no matter what his IQ is. But having low IQ can preclude many routes to success, no matter how hard you work.

  • Edruezzi

    This from a country where most of its people are rural peasants. When they can make their toilets flush, maybe they can determine the future abilities of a blob of cells.