Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wanna Rumble?

Economics and climatology have become too depressing to talk about, so I picked a quarrel with my commenters over autism spectrum disorder.

Arun was moved to write: "...the difference between Americans and other cultures is that Americans seem to believe that there is a math gene, if you have it, you are good at math;..."

There is quite a bit of literature indicating that mathematical talent (like talent in music, chess and a wide variety of other areas) is strongly influenced by genetics.
See, e.g.,

Behav Genet. 2009 Jul;39(4):380-92. Epub 2009 Mar 15.
The heritability of aptitude and exceptional talent across different domains in adolescents and young adults.
Vinkhuyzen AA, van der Sluis S, Posthuma D, Boomsma DI.
SourceDepartment of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. aae.vinkhuyzen@psy.vu.nl

I'm not sure this is a uniquely American prejudice.