July 19, 2018, 5:56 am
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Child genius (2)

MANY studies have shown that what a child turns out to be is a collective inheritance not from mother and father, but from 15 generations of strangers on the father’s side and 15 generations of strangers on the mother’s side.

And what might have been those 15 generations of “strangers”? Some hero perhaps? Convicted thieves? A Mozart? Gangsters, a poet laureate, romano priests, a coloratura soprano, bandits, drug dealers, a few mentals, military tacticians, an Amorsolo, prostitutes, drunkards, philanthropists, a few who murdered others, a few who killed themselves? Your today’s newborn could have gotten random genes from some or all of the above; from your and your spouse’s 30 blood ancestors marrying 30 strangers. 

The above disprove the popular figment that a child gets 80 percent of his traits (good and bad) exclusively from his mother, and 20 percent of his traits (good or bad) exclusively from his father. One can argue, of course, that the totality of each parent is already a collection of the genes of their 30 blood ancestors that married strangers. But certain genes are bypassed. Today’s baby has sky blue eyes when both parents have black. Check back, and one of the parent’s great great grand was a light blue-eyed Scandinavian.

Whether extremely intelligent children are born or made, there is no consensus. 

Lifetime’s competition series “Child Genius” highlights 20 of America’s most extraordinary children as they test their skills in a grueling eight-week long national intelligence competition. In cooperation with IQ society American Mensa, gifted children who have scored within the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized intelligence exam, are quizzed. 

The winner of the competition earns the title of “Child Genius” and receives a college fund of $100,000.

Each week competitors go head in various mental challenges testing their knowledge of: Math, Spelling, Geography, Memory, the Human Body, US Presidents, Vocabulary, Current Events, Zoology, Astronomy and Space, Inventions, Literature and the Arts, Earth Science and Logic.

The competition is moderated by former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, with additional judging provided by North American MENSA representative Matt Stern. Challenges took place at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California.

My fascination with this MENSA competition to identify a country’s most gifted (within that four years of pre-teen) stems from my having bred decades ago one such child, and now nurturing another such child. These kids I have had the pleasure of living with have distinguished themselves: like cream--up there: Acceptance into Mensa. Consistently valedictorian, dean’s list, honors. One was accepted to an experimental five-week speed reading clinic conducted by Guinness Book’s Fastest Reader (Philippines’ Maria Teresa Calderon). His reading rate of 300 words/minute to 2000 word at 100 percent comprehension at age 6.

One is rated within the top 3 percent of the brightest in the country. One is consistently with top honors with dozens of academic gold medals collected. Both have beautiful penmanship from my insistence on fine motor practice of alternately connecting uniform “big O and small o” on ruled pads. [Continued next]


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