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Premodern Transcendental Perspectives on the Missing Heritability Problem and Some Intelligence Conundrums

Premodern Transcendental Perspectives on the Missing Heritability Problem and Some Intelligence Conundrums

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Published by: Cureus on Aug 19, 2013


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Premodern Transcendental Perspectives on the MissingHeritability Problem and Some Intelligence Conundrums
Ted Christopher, PhD
Ted Christopher71 Azalea Rd.Rochester, NY 14620Email: tchrist7@rochester.rr.com
The common premodern transcendental understanding of life is explored here as a basis foralternative explanations to some biological mysteries, in particular a collection of intelligence-related phenomena and more generally the missing heritability problem (“transcendental” willbe used herein in place of a number of existing terms including “transmigration” and“reincarnation”). An extended introduction considers possible carryover from previous lives asa complementary component of life and specifically as an additional vehicle for apparentheredity. This introduction also touches on two relevant examples - the innate spiritual orreligious understandings of young children and the mysteries associated with monozygotictwins. The subsequent discussion section then considers a constellation of three intelligence-related mysteries - a childhood behavioral syndrome, the Einstein Syndrome; the somewhatoverlapping phenomena of savants and prodigies; and then the observed rise in IQ’s or theFlynn Effect - which together with the inability to identify a significant DNA basis for thevariations in intelligence, represent a significant challenge to the modern understanding of humans. Alternative explanations from the transcendental perspective are considered along theway.
: Missing Heritability, Reincarnation, Einstein Syndrome, Savants, Prodigies, FlynnEffect, Religion and Science.
A basic pillar of the modern scientific understanding of life, as Richard Dawkins has put it,is that our DNA “created us, body and mind” [1], and as such we are very fortunate “to bealive, given that the vast majority of people who could potentially be thrown up by thecombinatorial lottery of DNA will in fact never be born” [2]. This view of DNA as individual-defining and along with it of conception as a lottery-like event, are in turn pillars of theultimate scientific theory of life - evolution. Thus the title of Francis S. Collins’ recent book about DNA,
The Language of Life,
and the enormous efforts to identify and understand theDNA bases for the variations in complex disease susceptibilities and eventually for otherindividual-distinguishing features [3].This vision has turned out to be difficult to confirm, though. In September 2008, DukeUniversity’s geneticist David B. Goldstein was quoted on the outcome of thorough comparisonsbetween the million or so common genetic (or DNA) variations and the apparent inheritancepatterns associated with the occurrences of common complex diseases [4]. It had naturallybeen assumed that some of these common variations in DNA blueprints would be correlatedwith the patterns of susceptibility to common diseases (and of course to other inborndifferences amongst individuals). But Goldstein pointed out that
After doing comprehensive studies for common diseases, we can explain only a fewpercent of the genetic component of most of these traits. For schizophrenia andbipolar disorder, we get almost nothing; for Type 2 diabetes, 20 variants, but theyexplain only 2 to 3 percent of familial clustering, and so on.Goldstein then added:

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