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Does Genius Have a Genetic Advantage? Experts Say "Yes" (With Slight Psychotic Side Effects)


One of the most important discoveries in human history is how we're really a couple of pounds of gooey jelly inside our own skulls.  Since then we've been working on exactly how we come to be us: from the psychology of our upbringings, to the chemicals that control our mood, to the recent analysis of the fundamental genetic design of the wiring.  Now a study shows that we have a simple "Creative Psychopath ON/OFF" switch, and whether you find that interesting or not might be related to whether it applies to you.

Psychiatrist Szabolcs Kéri of Semmelweis University studied a group of test subjects, which always sounds ominous when both the mind and genetics are involved, comparing their creativity and genetic wiring to see if there was any correlation.  Counting creativity might sound like weighing a rainbow, so here's a quick question: "What would you do if clouds had ropes hanging down from them?"  Got an answer?  If not, you're not so creative.  If you are you're probably the sort of person who can write questions like that for his study.

The study showed that those with a genetic variant of neuregulin 1 (which sounds like the sort of chemical you'd see in "Equilibrium") tended to be more creative.  This gene affects the development of the brain, is known to be polymorphic (there's more than one variation of it which works), and only has the slight side-effect of the variant is linked to psychoses, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

This makes sense.  Any variation in the genetic program in building a brain is bound to affect how the resulting person thinks - to say otherwise is to say your car will work the same even if you put a different parts in the engine.  Creative "geniuses" see things that other people don't, and often ignore the conventional rules of how things are "normally" done in society to create new ideas.  Psychotics also often ignore the commonly accepted rules (with considerably uncooler results).

It's another great step towards understanding the greatest mystery of all - us - and will pose very serious questions in the future of mankind.  Because when we're designing our offspring to be healthy, happy, and free of all genetic disorders, there's going to be this little toggle which could make things much more interesting.  

Luke McKinney

Mad Geniuses


Interesting. Also, a nice place to begin discussion on the subject of mind. This study proofs that actually what science (and society, accordingly) considers psychotic is momentarily out of reach and not based on understanding the phenomena of human mind. Infamous researcher and thinker, Terence McKenna, is an undisputed authority on the subject of mind.


I agree with you that Terence McKenna was/is very interesting to study.

Especially this "Psychonaut" reference link:


- gives many information’s about the so called "psychotic dimension" - that just can be experienced so because we have forgot how to visit it, and thereby it is strangely unfamiliar when it, for some reason or another, suddenly comes forward.

- I don’t agree that much on the "gene"-explanations. It has more to do with "your general state of mind" and your possibilities of being quiet and concentrated enough to consciously switch on an off
between the physical and spiritual dimension.

BTW: All Native People have a ritual tradition of mentally switching on and off in order to gain spiritual/cosmological knowledge.

Ivar Nielsen
Natural Philosopher

Not to be a pain, but the guy DID die of brain cancer, which just might have been caused by all those naughty chemicals he was taking. My niece got an astrocytoma which I am sure was caused by our living in New Orleans for the first ten years of her life (Everyone dumps everything in the Mississippi, except the New Orleanians. They drink it.)
We drank bottled water when we could (We knew full well the chemical swill that churned between the levees) but hey you can't live somewhere and not absorb the water.
She's Ok (all praise the brain surgeon!) but we still worry.

Our solar system and the cosmos about could be considered a bit of a psychotic and a genius too.

After all our Sun is scheduled, by the cosmos, to disintegrate this planet and all those out to about the orbit of Saturn.

But it is giving us enough time to develop competent space travel to go to another habitable planet in another solar system, where the same thing will happen all over again.

oops ... fixed link in my comment above:

time to develop competent space travel to go to another habitable planet ...

There is already scientific evidence of the genetic predisposition for many conditions - including those in the biggest organ - our brain. I've got MI on both sides of family and its been played out in direct family with variations of 5 most common MIs - these "glitches" throughout history have destroyed many lives, but the survivors expose new realms... new interpretations. The elements of "luck", degree of neurological activity, and one's upbringing (this is where unconditional love comes in...when push comes to shove, the destructive forces of the genius will prevail if the heart's malnourished in upbringing). Genius is both a blessing and a curse. Nice article. Thanks. (People can alter brain connects via external means, but this guarantees brain damage)

Yet another study purporting to show a link between genius and madness. Surely extraordinary ability must be compensated for by inevitable disadvantage. Otherwise we would have to feel too bad about ourselves by comparison. Yawn.

Who better but the intellectually and emphatically evolved to know and truly understand the behaviour of the humans about them, to recognise the destructive patterns of behaviour considered as normal, to appreciate the daily incessant charades and deceits, hmm, born unstable or driven into it as a result of being surrounded by it. What better escape from an insane society than a distant distracted sense of humour and sufficient mischievousness to express it in daily life. To confuse and confound the less gifted but unfortunately far more destructive, born an adult living in a world of teens (of all ages).

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