February 17, 2013

Yao Ming is China’s Kwisatz Haderach

Yao Ming is China’s Kwisatz Haderach.

A WSJ article on BGI-Hong Kong sequencing genome for IQ – BGI’s analysis will complete in 3 months i.e. around May 2013 BGI may announce if they have found a genetic basis for IQ.

Will BGI be able to identify the genes for IQ?  Unlikely.

Most interesting are the comments on the article rather than the article itself e.g.

If BGI is indeed successful, will this become a precursor to China’s eugenics program, like the Yao Ming story above?

defen comments 
Is anyone at all concerned with a Chinese eugenics program? We already know the extent to which China has gone to produce high-caliber athletes, especially for the Olympics. (Yao Ming is basically their Kwisatz Haderach) Let's say for the sake of argument that there is an identifiable genetic component to genius/IQ/intellectual achievement. Is the following sequence of events particularly outlandish?
1) This study and others like it discover genetic components to intelligence.
2) China conducts large scale genetic analysis of the intelligentsia / upper classes etc. to find carriers
3) Strong incentives provided for couples to use IVF/embryo selection/whatever to produce children with the maximum number of these intelligence genes
4) 25+ years from now China all of a sudden has a lot more smart people than anywhere else does
Valid fears?

Although this could be one possible future from the BGI study, life is much more complex than that. 

Genes or Intelligence does not wait for eugenics.

Tags: yao ming china’s Kwisatz Haderach, genes for IQ, genetic basis for iq, genome sequencing for iq, china eugenics program, china eugenics for intelligence