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spj comments on Growing Up is Hard - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 04 January 2009 03:55AM

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Comment author: spj 04 January 2009 05:57:11AM 4 points [-]

Maybe this is tangential to the post, but even if it is too difficult to use biological tinkering to make modified humans with greater-than-human intelligence, it does not seem difficult to use biological tinkering to fairly reliably produce humans with substantially greater than current average intelligence. It doesn't seem difficult to do simpleminded statistical studies to find out which combinations of genes currently existing within the human population usually lead to high intelligence, and then start splicing these into new humans on a wide scale (i.e. selling them to those who plan to become parents). It seems worthwhile to try to estimate 1) what statistical distribution of IQ could be achieved this way 2) what would happen to economic growth, scientific progress, politics, etc. if a large fraction of births were drawn from this distribution. Casually, it seems that 2) might very hard to analyze in any detail, but basically the world would probably be radically transformed. 1) seems like it should be pretty easy to analyze quantitatively and with fairly high confidence using existing data about the probability distribution of IQ conditional on the IQ of the parents.