Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

It now looks as if the majority of the genetic variance in IQ is the product of mutational load, and the same may be true for many psychological traits. To the extent this is the case, a lot of human psychological variation must be non-adaptive. Maybe some personality variation fulfills an evolutionary function, but a lot does not. Being a dumb asshole may be a bug, rather than a feature. More generally, this kind of analysis could show us whether particular low-fitness syndromes, like autism, were ever strategies – I suspect not.

It’s bad new news for medicine and psychiatry, though. It would suggest that what we call a given type of mental illness, like schizophrenia, is really a grab-bag of many different syndromes. The ultimate causes are extremely varied: at best, there may be shared intermediate causal factors. Not good news for drug development: individualized medicine is a threat, not a promise.

On the other hand, this bodes well for our secret project aimed at ‘accidentally’ creating a super-Neanderthal.

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106 Responses to Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

  1. Ursiform says:

    Unless causes are obvious or we have simple tools to determine them, conditions are lumped together by symptom, not cause. Thus it would be surprising if conditions like schizophrenia don’t have multiple causes.

  2. Garr says:

    Totally true; my kid and I are screwed up in so MANY ways. “Autism”, “ADHD”, “Borderline Personality Disorder” are just bullshit labels for 6000 different interlocking superpowers.

  3. IGOQQTG says:

    This isnt the first time I have heard that mutational load accounts for the majority of IQ difference. Why exactly is mutational load so high in Africa? Is there something I am not considering, like maybe mutational load explains only intra-race variation. If you asked me what causes mutational load, I would say weak purifying selection, so: affluence, medicine, intra-sexual equality, etc. It seems like Africa has always been harsh, and its always been in poverty. I would have thought that that would have acted as a brutal purifying selection. Whats going on? Were the social norms of Europe and east Asia, or sexual selection, just luckily good at purifying the gene pool?

    • bbartlog says:

      At least three things come to mind:
      – when death is more random, selection will be less effective in purifying the genetic load.
      – all else being equal, you get more mutations in hotter climates.
      – in some parts of Africa, average paternal age is quite high.

      All that said they also have more children per woman, which would work in their favor given low/zero population growth (lots of culling).

    • dave chamberlin says:

      I like your questions, they are good ones. When selection pressures are different in different parts of the world for a long period of time spanning many many generations than it is likely for there to be large differences in traits such as intelligence, height, skin color, disease resistance, ect, ect. We don’t really understand what causes the genetic difference in IQ but we are living in exciting times when we are starting to find out. Cochran is cautious in his language as a any competent scientist needs to be. He says “it now looks as if the majority of the genetic variance in IQ is the product of mutational load.”

      There were and are damned hard times in Africa but evolutionary pressures are very different there than they are in other places. Evolution pushing hardest on intelligence for centuries and you will have a situation like the Ashkenazi Jews. Evolution pushing hardest on disease resistance and you will have a population that may not be as smart but won’t be dropping dead like Europeans did prior to 1900 in when they tried to live in SubSaharan Africa.

      There are other factors besides mutational load on IQ variance but it looks to be the the most important factor at this time. It’s confusing and a lot is unknown because the human brain is so complex and so little is known. They have looked for genes that are additive, add to your IQ, and the only ones they found have a tiny fraction of a percent increase. They don’t add up to much, they don’t explain the large variance in human IQ that exists.

      • gcochran9 says:

        Probably not, but the question is complex: depends on the shape of the deleterious mutational spectrum [which we don’t know], ancient and recent demography, paternal age, and the extent of truncation selection in the population.

      • James James says:

        Mutational load explains much of the variation in IQ within a single ethnic group. Mutational load is not the explanation of the difference in IQ between humans and kangaroos.

    • Eponymous says:


      One reason that genetic load might differ between populations is if number of births per mother differs.

      In equilibrium, we know that a population must average 2 surviving children per woman. Thus the more births per woman that a society has, the stronger the selective pressure must be (to kill off the excess), and hence the lower will be average mutational load.

      Now my amateur understanding is that hunter gatherer societies have fewer children per mother than agricultural societies. If true, this suggests this mechanism could be operative.

    • Carl Patenaude-Poulin says:

      Mutational load is a measure of deviation from a particular baseline. It very likely explains intra-group variation in intelligence, but since different ethnic groups have different baselines I would be very surprised if the bulk of inter-group variation in intelligence was explained by mutational load.

      So basically, Cochran’s argument does not obviously imply that African ethnicities have higher mutational load.

      • bbartlog says:

        It wouldn’t necessarily need to be higher in an absolute sense. The genetic load can take different shapes depending on the selection at work. If one environment is such that purifying selection relentlessy culls defects that damage to your immune system while another removes those that impair your intellect, you’ll end up with a different spectrum of rare deleterious variants in those two places/populations.

  4. Tom Bri says:

    See something like this at work a lot. I work as a critical care nurse. Very common to see clusters of conditions. If I spot a listing of anxiety/depression/bipolar or whatever, I’ll almost always find a laundry list of other conditions. GERD, CAD, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia and on and on. I have a space on my report sheets to note history, and these patients fill it up and I am squeezing more in the margins. Here is one from last week:
    Myocardial infarction, SVT, HTN, Anx/Dep, Gerd, Fibromyalgia, Diverticulitis, Arthritis, Back/hip pain, SOB, COPD, ARF, Dementia, CHF, Asthma, Pneumonia, UTI. ETC.
    Mental and physical disorders go hand in hand. These people tend to appear much older than their chronological age, and run from medical disaster to disaster. Took care of a guy a few months ago. In my spare time I went back over his history, and found he had been in the ER every month to two months since 2013. He had dementia related to chronic high blood pressure, failed kidneys and was on dialysis.

    • JW Bell says:

      Some people just need to be put out of their misery.

      • Tom Bri says:

        No identifying information, other than the laundry-list of conditions common to millions of people. I’m safe, and so are my patients. How on Earth would anyone go about figuring out what specific patient I was referring to?

    • Ben Gunn says:

      My relative who is a doctor told me the same sort of thing. Illness is described as individual cases however it is the same people who are sick with multiple problems. This occurs again in discussing winning at casino games. Some people are simply butt lucky or unlucky.

      • John says:

        The only way to be lucky at a casino game over the long run is to avoid the casino entirely. Yes, what Tom Bri said is anecdotal, but that doesn’t mean it’s not indicative of something that could be looked into scientifically, and it seems to get back to that “general fitness” idea. It’s easy to write off chronically sickly patients as unlucky, but consider that 10 percent of alcohol drinkers consume most of the hooch. Is that a propensity to addiction, or are they just “unlucky”?

        • Tom Bri says:

          The common clusters are utterly predictable. Diabetes plus overweight (often to the point of being unable to walk) plus smoking. Diabetes is simply horrible. It destroys every different part of the body, from brain to toes. Amputations, chronic pain, kidney failure, heart disease, brain and on and on. Everything. I can look at a persons lower legs and guess if they are diabetic, if they have had it for a few years.
          Then there is drug use. See a lot of it, from amphetamines to lose weight to alcohol to nicotine to any kind of street drug. These folks almost always also have diagnoses of a variety of mental ills.

    • Critical care
      Not representative sampling

  5. RCB says:

    I can’t help but wonder if producing an organism with 0 mutational load would work too well. Like a machine that burns too hot. Selection on each locus in the past has always occurred within the environment of organisms with much-more-than zero load. Could be that when taking those adaptations out of the environment they’ve evolved to (by suddenly putting them in a load-less person), they’d screw up somehow.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Well, it’s better to burn out than fade away.

    • bbartlog says:

      Maybe. Perhaps you’d have a manic superman. But hey, let’s try it!

      • st says:

        Interesting. μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
        οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε. Sing Muse the deadly wrath of Peleus’ son
        Achilles, source of many thousand woes. Achilles runs amok uncontrollably in a battle fury and hears voices -presumably, of gods and goddesses, that tell him who to kill and that no one else hears. Presumably, in his bronze age, bicameral mind. And his condition stays unchanged for years. Somehow familiar from psychiatry books? Yet he is the manic superhero of the achaeans, fights in a way that no one else does. Like superhuman. Except this superhuman hears voices and has severe, incurable anger management issue to such extend that it inspires the biggest epic poem of the antiquity. Hm…

    • dave chamberlin says:

      Don’t tell bad movie writers about this. They must have nearly nearly exhausted zombies, vampires, doomsday societies, and super hero genres. We might be in for a decade or two of artificial geniuses that start off changing the world for the better than lose their marbles to the peril of us all.

  6. How would this impact Steven Hsu’s hypothesis that it might be possible to engineer IQ’s many times higher than the highest ever known?

    • whyteablog says:

      Am I the only person who thinks that sounds totally fucking crazy? Just pay a few NMSQT finalists for their eggs and sperm and start putting the zygotes in women with working wombs but dysfunctional eggs/ a sterile husband. Done. It’s cheaper, it could be done today, and best of all it creates otherwise-normal intelligent people.

      • James James says:

        The idea that the most intelligent people can force the unintelligent to carry their children, and not have biological children themselves, doesn’t work evolutionarily. The unintelligent won’t wear it.

        To get people to go along with it, the children have to be biologically “theirs”, even if you tweak the genomes a bit.

        It’s a bit like the stupid idea you can reduce the world population by not having children yourself. No, to reduce the world population, you need to stop other people having children. If you stop having children yourself, you just reduce the number of people who want to reduce the population, and you leave more resources for other people to have more children.

        See also, Michael J Wade’s cannibal beetle experiment.

        • E o S says:

          doesn’t work evolutionarily

          that is true, but not in the way you put it. Whether “the unintelligent” play along is a matter of their personal preference. Only the ones that have the personal preference to raise other people’s children will die out, so it would be a problem in a few generations. Currently the mechanism to prevent this seems to be revolving more about sexual acts: jealousy.

        • anon says:

          To get people to go along with it, the children have to be biologically “theirs”

          If you can screen gametes and select those in the top 5% from both parents– won’t that theoretically result in a zygote in the top 1/400 potential random combinations?

          After just two or three generations….

          • TWS says:

            Can we screen gametes yet?

          • James James says:

            This idea of Steve Tsu’s is excellent, but a problem occurs to me. If the children are too much more intelligent than their parents, will the parents like them?

            • dux.ie says:

              A doco on the Indian MENSA seaching for child genius among the poor people. The parents were interviewed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCHMSmPulco

              In another case of one, a gitfted Chinese girl was adopted by a Spanish couple. She at age 12 was taller and smarter than the adoption parents. She was murdered.


              “””Over time it became apparent that Asunta was special. By the time she reached secondary school she was deemed so bright that she skipped an academic year. Her parents both pushed her and fretted about her abilities. “Well-handled, they are a good thing,” Porto told friends after reading up on gifted children. “But they can be a problem.” There were private classes in English, French and Chinese, plus German at school. Asunta already spoke Spanish and Galician, the Portuguese-tinged language of this green, damp corner of Atlantic Spain. There were also private classes in ballet, violin and piano – often demanded by Asunta herself. By the time she turned 12 … She was now five inches taller than Porto, and on the verge of womanhood.”””

        • Glengarry says:

          Please, we live in a globalized society. You can pay an Indian woman to carry your zygote to term today. You have to raise it yourself though.

    • dave chamberlin says:

      There is an enormous range in abstract problem solving ability between high IQ people and the average intelligent and it is genetic.


      Shouldn’t evolution have worked like it does and weed out the average and leave humanity with nothing but folks with optimum brain function? If the genetics of optimum brain function was as simple as the genetics of height it would have. But 82% of our genes are expressed in brain function. From 2 million gene variants only 696 at 424 gene regions are related to height. Genetic height is additive, but genetic IQ is not. The Chinese company BGI went looking for the additive genetic components of intelligence and they didn’t find much. The most likely culprit for the cause of IQ variation is mutational load. Optimum brain function is just too complex for evolution by itself to push us farther along, especially now that survival of the fittest is just a bad memory.

      So will genetic engineering come along scrubbing all those fertilized eggs squeaky clean throwing the next generation into a brave new world? Not soon enough for me.

      • Peripatetic commenter says:

        Shouldn’t evolution have worked like it does and weed out the average and leave humanity with nothing but folks with optimum brain function?

        I seem to recall that Cochran has pointed out before that there are forces operating in both directions. Brains are costly and higher IQ is generally associated with more brain mass which results in issues around development, birth and maintenance.

        ‘Optimum’ for what? The optimum IQ for a neolithic life is quite a bit lower than that for a modern high-tech life, I suspect.

        If we high-tech humans manage to destroy civilization then there will be a lot of people out there with the optimum IQ for what is left.

  7. People treating lots of folks with schizophrenia will tell you there is more than one illness afoot there. Variations go on the list, variations go off the list. There’s some politics and fashion in all of that. Late-onset schizophrenia, which comes on more gradually and affects more females than males, looks very different from the kid who starts hearing voices at 16. Positive and negative symptoms create different outcomes.

  8. Jalfrezi says:

    Anything produced by evolution is bound to be a bit of a mess.

  9. teageegeepea says:

    Scott Alexander wrote about the theory that mental disorders are just clusters of correlated symptoms here. Greg’s ideas about schizophrenia, homosexuality & narcolepsy all being caused by insults to the brain resulting from pathogens breaching the blood-brain barrier seems different.

  10. I am disappoint you didn’t include a cite on what has changed your views (if they have changed). Mutational load idea for IQ around for a while. I can’t recall which post, but know I’ve cited this 2012 argument from kevin mitchel in your comments once before.

    Of course I’d be shocked if that idea wasn’t decades older than 2012. Just first time I’d heard of it. Makes sense a factor. Just not clear if very small or big. So no doubt you’ve thought about it for a while. It’s a reasonable speculation, esp given effective population size of humanity, and cousin marriage habits in many populations.

    Anyway. If mutational load IQ idea is gaining more evidence, that’s interesting and am curious about which recent papers are directly or indirectly providing more evidence for that idea.

  11. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Wouldn’t this imply that hybrid vigor would produce significant IQ boosts from, say, white-Asian couplings?

    I don’t think there is any evidence of an IQ boost in such cases though.

    • whyteablog says:

      Fresh dumpy alleles from these mutations would be common in families, but not races.

      You’d expect ordinary children to be smarter than the kids of first cousins…

      • Frank says:

        In agricultural breeding, you don’t really get much hybrid vigor unless you start with extremely inbred strains. You have to purge the worst alleles by inbreeding before crossing, or else you just end up with a similar amount of mutational load as you started with. Crossing two unrelated outbred lines doesn’t usually yield anything amazing.

        • j says:

          We have commercial hybrid corn but no hybrid farm animals. Milch cows and race horses are purebred. Humans are still a wild species, barely cultivated.

    • Anonymous says:

      If lower-than-stellar IQ really was mostly the result of random genetic load, shouldn’t breeding outside of your traditional gene pool (extended family) kind-of double your dose of stupid?

    • RCB says:

      Depends on the overlap of loci contributing to load in each population. If the load on the Asian population were due to mutations at entirely different loci than that of the white population, then yes, we would see lots of hybrid vigor. If there were perfect overlap of the loci, then no vigor.

  12. > Mutational Load > Cognitive Diversity? says:

    Question to me of whether it will turn out that:

    Mutational load = noise which generates fitness reducing variation (the model I would intuit from Greg’s post)
    Mutational load = noise which suppresses variation, while downtuning fitness (and introducing particular kind of maladaptive variation)

    Latter model is that there are lots of functional variants out their which are causal for different cognitive/social styles (which were at least useful in the past, if not today), however, the effect of these is suppressed by mutational load (noise causes regression to the mean, and bearers of quite different variants to be more alike than they otherwise would be).

    Would a lower mutational load copy of our species be more or less variable in thought and perception? Machine intelligence suggests we don’t explore much of the cognitive strategy space. Deep reasons for this in the architecture of our thought are certain, but may also be proximate causes through mutational load.

  13. Frank says:

    I don’t know about the super Neanderthal project, sounds interesting.

    It has been demonstrated several times that if you take the ancestral allele at every position in the sequence for an enzyme (as determined by comparing homologs from many species) the result is an extremely efficient and robust enzyme. Better than any of the natural ones.

    If you did that with humans (perhaps including Neanderthals and Denisovans) you should end up with an extremely efficient and robust human. Better than any of the natural ones. Nearly zero mutational load.

  14. Frank says:

    It is quite likely that most of the intelligence related mutational load alleles have very weak, but semi-dominant effects.

    They are not total loss of function, so the proteins are still made, but a bit sub-optimal in function.

    For enzymes, that isn’t a problem at all, the good allele makes lots of working enzyme, but for neurotransmitter receptors or any protein necessary for proper synapse function, that IS a problem. The suboptimal proteins have a subtle and additive effect. A wildtype copy can not compensate for a mutant copy in these situations.

  15. Greying Wanderer says:

    if IQ was in balanced selection for a particular environment – balanced around an optimal average – wouldn’t that mean evolution would favor high IQ genes that were destructive on an individual level?

  16. Clark Cooper says:

    I’m probably mis-understanding mutational load, but couldn’t an allele that would count towards mutational load in one environment be counted as a fitness enhancer in some other environment? Isn’t that the reason why a mono-culture is fragile?

    • Frank says:

      Mutational load is generally defined as multiple non-adaptive mutations. Of course, in a hypothetical situation, any allele might be adaptive, but that is not really relevant here.

      • albatross says:

        I think you see this pattern for disease-resistance genes pretty often–the loss of function mutation messes up the molecule that the virus binds to on the host cell or something.

    • jhsu says:

      Could happen, but remember an ass can kick down a barn, much harder to build one. Also what you are talking about is a gene x environment interaction, which is harder to select on.

  17. genhorst says:

    This post is really telling – you cannot understand human consciousness by calling some traits “adaptive” and others “maladaptive” and bring it down to some allele variation. Mental illness is mostly trauma-induced. Just imagine putting a three-year old boy in a cage for a year and only feeding it, then you pull it out and raise it like nothing has happened. It will probably not even remember what has happened and according to Cochran and his friends this will not matter it all. But this experience is encoded in the body and WILL cause odd disturbances, mostly breaking out during puberty/sexual awakening. This is well-documented, the body saves every positive and negative stimuli from the environment and WILL direct behavior and personality to avoid or seek those sensations and make associations with it towards the world.

    Evolutionary approaches do not really work with psychiatry so far as the understanding of human consciousness is sparse. People who have the genes to be creative often turn nuts, but not because that their genes are “maladaptive” or something, but rather that they are LEFT ALONE with their thoughts or even ridiculed for them. Parents are the main cause of mental illness, but not their genes, it’s their behavior. It’s not genes, it’s the people you meet that turn you insane or keep you sane. This sort of mechanical-biological thinking most people use here is ridiculous; they assume that everything “emerges” out your cells/DNA and nothing ever has to be learned. Wrong! To be able to love, to be confident, to be content, to be in control, and so on is all stuff you have to LEARN and COPY (in the broadest sense) from someone else, it is not magically activated by biology. Children of mentally ill parents are treated badly, but even in the womb psychiological disturbances like terror WILL influence the development of the child. So even adaptation studies prove hardly anything in that case – there is also the problem of “mirror neurons”, so people who have not much physical similarity (and make it go down to subtle stuff) may fail to connect with their child and the child will not be able to connect to their parents and thus not learn to interpret emotions and that sort of stuff. Is there a study where children of mentally-healthy people are passed to mentally-ill parents and then turn out well? I doubt it. Corrected for environment, the inheritance of “criminal behavior” isn’t even that strong, especially when taking all the other stuff I’ve mentioned into account.

    • myb6 says:

      This is great! It’s not every day I see someone cross over from Blank Slate Nurture undergrad indoctrination and find themselves decades behind in the discussion. Or is this satire?

      “Corrected for environment” oo that’s a juicy one.

    • “Mental illness is mostly trauma-induced.” I take it you haven’t met the families of people with serious mental illness.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mental illness is mostly trauma-induced

      Maybe it helps to view genetic load as heritable trauma. One fateful day, gramps forgot to wear his lead cod piece and got cosmic rayed in the crown jewels. “Wow, kids, that hurt you more than it did me!”

    • Jim says:

      Organisms learn things only because of their complex internal structure which is encoded it the chemical structure of their polynucleotides. Biology may seem to be magic but it’s not. All biological phenomena are produced by the complex physical\chemical processes occurring in living matter. Polynucleotides are fundamental to all these processes.

      Because most of these processes are not perceptible to our ordinary senses the result seems to be magic but that is an illusion. We now understand what life basically is although of course there are myriads of details that we don’t yet understand.

      Learning like any other biological phenomena is totally dependent on the structure of an organism’s polynucleotides. Rocks don’t learn anything or show complex behavior precisely because they have nothing in them comparable to polynucleotides.

      The things you describe like “connecting” or “being content” are epiphenomena overlying the true causes of behavior and other biological phenomena which are molecules such as polynucleotides.

      • j says:

        It would be rather boring to refer to “being content” in terms of chemical chain reactions, specially in ordinary conversation.

        • Jim says:

          Ordinary language is fine for the purposes for which it evolved. But it does not describe the true nature of reality.

    • Esso says:

      If it’s not too late for them, give your kids a copy of Tarzan of the Apes.

  18. georgioxblog says:

    Do you think we will see more and better drug development in the next 20 years? And if so why?

  19. Smithie says:

    Politics has always struck me as adaptive. There’s such a Mother Nature, red in tooth and claw feel to it. But I wonder how it intersects with these GWAS hits. I suspect a lot of it is hindbrain, so to speak, but surely many of the genes are likely also expressed outside the hindbrain.

  20. R. says:

    Sounds very good.

    If said mutational load could be reduced, one could end up with a population that not only would be less crazy, and more intelligent but it’d also have a smaller variance in intelligence.

    Given our egalitarian instincts, this sounds like a good deal.

    • j says:

      The Japanese are like that.

    • dave chamberlin says:

      Not only does it sound incredibly beneficial to raise average IQ up a standard deviation or two it sounds possible by the end of this century. A fertilized human egg doesn’t start dividing for 12 hours. If this cell division can be delayed long enough for CRISPR to edit out X number of gene mutations that we are able to identify as deleterious then this science fiction scenario can become a reality. If and when this procedure ever comes closer to reality it will be given three different names. One scientifically accurate, another pro procedure, and another dead set against it. I will let a real scientist like Cochran give it the scientific name. Since I am all for this becoming a reality I will give it the propaganda slanted name that spins folks to like the idea. Brain glasses. On December 3rd, 2047 the first human was given brain glasses 🙂 and since then humanity has never been the same.

      • Peripatetic commenter says:

        The usual way that we have changed a phenotypic feature by one SD is to kill a lot of people on the LHS of the curve so they do not get a chance to contribute their genes to the next generation(s).

        Are you up for that?

  21. Kyrie says:

    the majority of the genetic variance in IQ is the product of mutational load

    Dr. Cochran — you have made this assertion several times recently. What is the source of this claim? Other than Ganna et al. (2016), most of the recent publications have been on common variation.

  22. Pingback: Personalized medicine won’t work, but race-based medicine probably will – spottedtoad

  23. Bob5690 says:

    Someone once said that the average personality of a Japanese, put in a Nigerian context, would be described as somewhat pathological by the people there (borderline autistic?).
    I bet the reverse would be true…

    Even between northern and southern Europeans, differences are not trivial, perhaps not as marked but the source of countless clichés and jokes. It doesn’t seem to me these differences are all cultural

  24. John says:

    “It’s bad new news for medicine and psychiatry, though. It would suggest that what we call a given type of mental illness, like schizophrenia, is really a grab-bag of many different syndromes.”

    I’ll bet that’s right. In the case of autism, diagnosis rates have skyrocketed over the years. As for schizophrenia, the drugs used to “treat’ do so merely through a sedating effect (let’s quiet down those voices) and the underlying condition persists, reoccurring immediately upon withdrawal of the drug.

    Now – this question may be premature, naive, and just plain dumb, but I have to ask – WILL THERE EVER BE A WAY TO “MAP” MUTATIONAL LOAD? Could we go back to an earlier, simpler case like Neanderthals and draw conclusions based on what’s been picked up since then?

    • Generally a good comment, but “sedating effect” is not accurate. There are all sorts of sedatives which don’t touch the voices, and while most antipsychotics have an initial sedating effect, it doesn’t always persist. I’m not sure what your objection is to medicines that have to be given indefinitely as not being legitimate treatments, as they are used for many conditions, not just schizophrenia. If you withdraw glucophage or insulin, the diabetes symptoms come right back, but we don’t therefore put “treat” in quotation marks.

      As for autism, we used to just consider them strange, and if it got bad enough, call them mentally retarded. Hence the phenomenon of “Idiot Savants.”

  25. Mark says:

    Headline from Vox:
    Scientists are finding more genes linked to IQ. This doesn’t mean we can predict intelligence

  26. MEH 0910 says:

    “What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything?”

    • Jalfrezi says:

      If that was true then evolution would be impossible or at least much harder. Surely genetic modularity would evolve to make adaptation easier.

      • Warren Notes says:

        It sounds a little like the Butterfly Effect partnered with the Domino Effect. But – as far as making evolution impossible, would it, if all of the genes in the set were “relevant genes?”

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