My eyes are brown. My parents have brown eyes. This is a physical trait I know for sure came from my parents.
I have often wondered if my problem solving skills or my communication skills could also be inherited from my parents. Research suggests it doesn’t work that way. Environment seems to shape our intelligence more than inheriting a “smart” gene from our mother or father.
These are my thoughts on the subject:
- I believe we do get some of our problem solving skills from our parents. There is a quote “work smarter, not harder” attributed to Allan F. Mogensen. His quote regarding business processes goes back to the 1930s. I think part of what children do is watch how their parents sort out issues. We learn to “work smarter, not harder” through a combination of: inherited skills, environment (taught behavior
- by our parents), and also by doing something wrong over and over which teaches a valuable lesson.
- Yet, I also think there is a part of us that gets certain traits from our parents like…being stubborn. What happens is that the child inherits the stubborn trait and becomes too “stubborn” to ask for help in certain classes. This negative trait [could] potentially spill over into the workplace.
Therefore, I agree that “intelligence” is not inherited – but the act of knowing how to work hard or work smarter is inherited. I think there are people who have a certain knack for figuring out the most efficient way of doing things. There are some people who easily learn to think on their feet while others struggle. I think this behavior comes from both environment and inherited “intelligence”.
Are some people more likely to be good at let’s say…mathematics… because of the “intelligence” of their parents? My theory on this:
- I don’t believe someone is going to be good at mathematics just because their mother or father was good at the subject. I DO believe that a certain enthusiasm for puzzles and numbers that can be inherited. These traits help benefit certain people to become good math students. I think it has to do more with personal interest and inquisitiveness in a certain subject or topic that makes a person want to know more and do well.
- On the other end of the spectrum – I also believe there are people who have little interest in most things beyond 2 or 3 interests (due to environment and parental “intelligence”) that makes them NOT want to seek information about other topics. They simply don’t care to know more than what they feel they “need” to know. I think it is evident that the more someone researches the more they are going to learn …which in turn affects intelligence.
My conclusion is that – NO – intelligence is not inherited. Enthusiasm and certain problem-solving skills are likely inherited.