Breeding Einsteins

New technology will make it possible to harvest thousands of eggs from a single woman, create embryos, screen them for traits such as high IQ and implant only the best prospects, writes James D. Miller on TCS Daily. He envisions 1,00 Chinese Einsteins born every year.

Imagine that in ten years China forces all its college students to get genetic tests. Students with intelligence genes in the top 1% of the top 1% of humankind are then forced to donate sperm or eggs. China then uses the sperm and eggs to create a billion embryos each year. The genetic intellectual potential of all these embryos is checked. Those in the top 10,000 are implanted into women. . . . Now because of environmental factors many of these embryos won’t turn into intellectual titans. But let’s say that one in ten does. This means that each year 1,000 people with the scientific ability of Einstein will be born.

I wonder who’d raise the prospective geniuses.

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  1. retired teacher says:

    Any Chinese or Taiwanese mother would probably do. Those who’ve taught their children know why.

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Brave New World, anybody?

  3. What IQ genes?

  4. Well, only the boy geniuses. The girls will either be dumped in the gutter or adopted by Westerners.

  5. Half Canadian says:

    What chance that a person who is raised knowing that they are a “genius” will want to become a dictator (or form an oligarchy with other “geniuses”)?

    Just because someone is smart doesn’t mean that they are ethical. Of course, China’s current leadership has shown it’s lack of ethic here.

    But the other fact here is a genius may not always be willing to be open-minded to the fact that they are wrong (plenty of smart people have done this). And if you are raised with the fact that your genes mean that you’re smarter than 99% of the population, why would you ever consider the possibility that you could make mistakes?

    I’m afraid that China may just be raising a bunch of smart jerks.

  6. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Intelligent people have already decided to leave governance to those unlikely to succeed in private life. Kinda like letting the maid pick up towels in a hotel.

  7. Charles R. Williams says:

    There is no shortage of inherited cognitive skills. There is a shortage of character. What happens to character when a society decides to breed human beings like cattle?

  8. If that were done in the US, the government would decide that no parents were capable and institutionalize them.

  9. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Breeding people is best left to the free enterprise system. Imagine if the goverment issued you a spouse.

  10. Catch Thirty-Thr33 says:

    Walter, would these be Alphas or Alpha Pluses?
    I loved that book. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw that headline…

  11. –Breeding people is best left to the free enterprise system. Imagine if the goverment issued you a spouse.

    Well, actually, I imagine you’d have China. See above.

    The idea that because we breed for high IQ, that we create Einstein is false. We’ve no idea what circumstances led to Einstein, but we have several thousands of genuises here who amount to awfully little on the scale of Brilliant Contributor to the Universe, whether as Mathematician, Scientist, or anything else. This isn’t a nature-vs-nurture issue; it’s a question of temperment, emotional makeup, desire, interests, timing and luck. China hasn’t really managed to control those variables. Smarter cannon fodder maybe, but who cares?