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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Is Genius in Your Genes?

July 14, 2013, 2:28 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Those who believe genius is more hereditary than environmental can now point to new research completed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis which has identified a specific gene that may help manage our skill level for organizing things logically. "This type of discovery may help explain why early studies in regard to intelligence seem to favor genetics over environment when it comes to IQ. Those studies showed that even though some adoptive children grew up in an environment completely separate from their biological parents, their IQs were more aligned with theirs than that of the adoptive parents."

What's the Big Idea?

Perhaps a greater lesson than believing that genius is determined entirely by the fate of paternal genes is not to give up too early if genius does not emerge early in life. Instead, a phenomenon called the Matthew Effect suggests that if we pursue what little talent we may have been born with, environmental factors may encourage us to, one day, reach genius status. "For example, if a child shows a small amount of athletic promise -- perhaps he or she can kick a ball farther than his or her pals -- that child may start kicking the ball more, hanging out with other kids who can kick a ball and joining a soccer team."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at How Stuff Works


Is Genius in Your Genes?

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