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No Sacred Cows  
Toby Young
Tuesday 26th December 2017

The ethics of cognitive enhancement


I first met Richard Haier, whom Claire Lehman interviewed recently in Quillette, at the annual conference of the International Society of Intelligence Researchers (ISIR) in Montreal last July. I told him I was hoping to write a book about the public policy implications of the growing weight of evidence that intelligence is genetically based and he said he had already written a book in which he touched on that subject. He then gave me a copy of The Neuroscience of Intelligence.

Not only is Haier’s book an excellent summary of the progress we have made to date in understanding the science of intelligence, it also looks ahead to a future in which various technologies arising out of our improved understanding may be developed to enhance IQ and considers some of the ethical questions that gives rise to.

Haier makes no bones about his own enthusiasm for cognitive enhancement. “Higher intelligence is better than lower intelligence; no one seriously disagrees,” he writes in Chapter Five. “All intelligence research speaks to the goal of enhancement, either directly or indirectly. This is a worthy goal; just ask the parents of a child with low IQ or a cognitive disability. It is also a primary goal of all parents for their children whether articulated so bluntly or not. There may be some people who do not care to be smarter, but I do not know any of them.” (To read more, click here.)

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Re: The ethics of cognitive enhancement
Posted by walter on 19-01-2018 17:24:

Genius sperm donation is the only way to make lots of smart people in a short amount of time. In the future, I envision developing countries importing millions of vials of genius sperm to increase the intelligence of their population so they can become globally competitive. Countries/regions missing certain skills and talents could also import the sperm of donors with specific talents, like artists and musicians or airline pilots and engineers and software developers.



Re: The ethics of cognitive enhancement
Posted by Will Trinkwon on 31-01-2018 13:40:

Hi Toby,
Sorry to bother you like this, but I was wondering whether you would be able to do me a small favour? I'm emailing as the founder and editor of a new student magazine in Cambridge and was wondering whether you'd be able to give me a short interview or even just a Q&A over email? The magazine aims to offer politically neutral 'platforms' to any and all political perspectives within Cambridge with an aim to encouraging open debate and promoting free speech.
You can contact me on https://twitter.com/TheJoeMaron + very best wishes,
Will Trinkwon






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Twitter RT @QuilletteM: "...genetics provides most of the systematic variation between us, environmental effects are random, & our chosen environme…  (4 hours ago)

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