LETTER: Success is largely due to ability and genetics, not class

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The Independent Online
GENETICS does provide some good news for us, Ms Toynbee. Although genetic inheritance largely determines intelligence and later success in life, it is quite wrong to suggest that children's IQ mirrors that of their parents. The reason is the genetic phenomenon of regression to the mean. Bright parents have children who, on average, are less bright. At the other end of the IQ spectrum, children tend to be brighter than their parents. Nature tries to compensate for the genetic fortune or misfortune of inheritance; and so the genetic advantage of high intelligence and the genetic disadvantage of low intelligence become considerably diluted over just a few generations.

What this means is that IQ can vary within families. Two brothers can have IQ scores that are 30 points apart. How can this be explained other than by genetic influences?

As Jeremy Bentham pointed out, we are not born equal, nor are we equal during our lives. Too many sociologists view life through a prism that skews everything to the left. This is the real "hidden ideology masked by a veneer of science".

R M Sutton

Lancing, West Sussex