addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscontroller-playcrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramFill 1linklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonprintShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo

Monthly Meeting: Greg Shenk - The Science of Smart

  • Jul 15, 2013 · 7:30 PM

Our July monthly meeting features a return visit from member Gregory Shenk, who earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. He teaches at the Greater Hartford Academy of Mathematics and Science.

Francis Galton, Charles Darwin’s first cousin, is considered by many historians to be the father of heritability and intelligence research. But the reliability of heritability calculations and the techniques for making them have been called into question many times over the last several years. A crude proxy for direct effects of genes on specific traits, it was nonetheless the best tool researchers had to work with. That is, until now. Developments in DNA sequencing technology have made it possible to hunt for specific genes and analyze large samples. This presentation will address recent developments in the evidence for “nature” that these studies have exposed.

On the other hand, those who are skeptical of the primacy of genes in determining intellectual differences can point to a rich body of research showing substantial support for “nurture’s” role. In fact, some developmental biologists now argue that the majority of multifactorial trait differences are best understood as the product of a complex interaction between genes and the environment into which the traits they specify develop.
Both sides agree that genes play an important role in building and programming our brains for intelligence but few seem to have thought about the obvious evolutionary questions this raises. For instance, what’s intelligence for? Are there good evolutionary reasons to expect it to vary and, if so, what microevolutionary pressures would have favored genetic vs. environmental determination of variability? Mightn’t it be reasonable to predict general differences to have emerged between geographically delineated populations?

We’ll start with thirty minutes of coffee and conversation at 7:30 p.m. The talk will follow brief announcements at 8:00 PM.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    I liked the lecture.

    July 15, 2013

  • Dan B.

    Always look forward to Greg's talks

    July 14, 2013

15 went

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy