Chromosome 6 Tells About How Our Brain’s Intelligence Selects or Creates The Right Environment

Beau papillon
4 min readOct 4, 2023
Photo by thoughtco.com on Pinterest

Have you ever wondered where our intelligence comes from? Is it from the environment or from genetic inheritance? This is where chromosome 6 tries to explain our confusion.

I entered a bookstore in one of the capital cities and wandered around looking at each title neatly arranged on the shelves. Then one book stole my attention; GENOM is the title. This book is written by Matt Ridley, a writer and journalist with a science topic. I believe that my interest in this book which tells the story of the human species in 23 chapters is not a coincidence, because God has planned life even for the smallest details. Regarding the contents, I had no idea whether this book would be a fun or boring one, I immediately didn’t think much about taking the book to the cashier and taking it home.

A year later I just read the book. And the surprising thing is, that book is mesmerizing! It’s impossible for me to tell you all the contents of the book, this time I will tell you about Chromosome 6: Intelligence.

Until now, there has been a lot of discussion about whether a person’s intelligence is inherited or learned during life. Then chromosome 6 tells the story through its role and what things are related to intelligence to provide enlightenment. Before further understanding chromosome 6 and its role, Matt Ridley himself said that there was no universally accepted definition for intelligence — whether the speed of thinking, ability to reason, memory, vocabulary, ability to calculate in one’s head, mental strength, or simply passionate about looking for new things? It could be that this is a comprehensive definition of intelligence which consists of several aspects.

Back again on chromosome 6, according to research by Chorney et al. (1998) stated that intelligent children have a different gene sequence — there is 1 small part on the long arm of chromosome 6. This sequence is located in the middle of the gene called IGFZR. This explains that genes influence a person’s intelligence, as H.H Goddard did not doubt that intelligence is inherited, which means that the level of intelligence or level of mental fitness of each individual is determined by the type of chromosome that combines when the gamete cells unite. However, this is not the only determinant of intelligence because humans have the ability to learn — their level of intelligence can be influenced by education and training.

When someone has an intelligence gene with a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) score, it will be useless if there is no environmental stimulus to develop because the gene cannot work in an “empty space”. Even more interesting, the influence of events that occur in the womb on intelligence is three times greater than anything our parents do after birth. This made me personally realize how important it is to start planning for the development of a child while still in the womb, as well as choosing a partner who can fully support us while carrying a baby. From the many discussions regarding the influence of genes and the environment on intelligence, there is a paradox that states that in a society whose social status is equal, this is where genes play a greater role in the development of their intelligence. This is in line with the interesting fact that IQ can increase due to better nutrition during childhood. So, here it can be a lesson that intelligence can be improved both in terms of good education and from intake in the form of good nutrition.

In the end, from the many studies on intelligence genes that have been carried out, it was concluded that approximately half of IQ is obtained through inheritance, less than one-fifth comes from the environment, siblings, family, and the rest from the womb, school, external influences (social interactions). However, IQ can change with age — whereas experience increases, the influence of genes also increases. Meanwhile, in terms of the heritability of IQ — in children, it is approximately 45% and in late adolescence, it increases to 75%. This means that you choose your environment according to your innate tendencies, rather than adapting your innate tendencies to the environment you enter. So the environment experienced by a child is not only influenced by external factors but also influenced by the genes inherited by the child — the child will seek and create his own environment.

All the explanations above regarding chromosome 6 are an interesting phenomenon and answer the question in the title of this article. That is the reason why when we enter our late teens (usually when we are just taking our first year of college), we have a tendency to look for or create an environment that suits our innate genes (intelligence) because these genes experience an increase in inheritance by 75%. So the role of genes here is to create tastes, not talent (which needs to be trained depending on parenting and education).

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Beau papillon

The expressions I write reflect the intricate thoughts coursing through my mind, destined to resurface and materialize before me as vividly portrayed characters