General Question

TogoldorMandar's avatar

Does superior "genes" make talented people?

Asked by TogoldorMandar (539points) April 12th, 2010

Well i “heard” that people with good genes are oft very talented in things like sport. Because there forefathers practiced in it. Could it be something to do with there genes or is it just raw talent from them self?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

kenmc's avatar

Being good at sports because your ancestors practiced them is like saying that you’re more likely to be born without an arm if your grandpa got his chopped off.

Some people will have a genetic predisposition towards sports (like being tall for basketball). This doesn’t mean that they will automatically be better at it.

Practice, patience, and dedication are what will make you great at something.

wundayatta's avatar

Not really. Most gene stock gives the latent capability to do just about anything. Our bodies change as a result of the stresses put on them. If you lift a lot of weights, the genes have instructions that tell the body what to do to handle this stress better. This works for just about anything.

If you start learning an instrument. Your body will respond to the stress, and you will gain more dexterity or lip strength or listening capability. You need it more, and your body has the instructions for this stuff built in.

Even intelligence is built in to pretty much everyone. If you put people in an environment where they are being asked to remember things and write things and do math or whatever, most people will respond by gaining skill in these things. Their minds will work better in terms of math and writing capabilities.

Talent is latent in all of us. All it takes to release it is proper training and desire on the part of the person to develop their talent.

It’s more complicated, though. When you think about how people choose mates, you realize they are seeking to combine their genes with the genes of someone who exhibits qualities (including talents) that are desirable. A reinforcing cycle develops. As people with, say, musical skills marry others, they create an environment that supports the development of the same skills in their children. This then encourages the children to seek mates with similar alleles, and on and on it goes.

This is why sons often take on father’s jobs. The ability to do that job is not just coded in that child’s genes, but the environment to help those genes express that ability is also there.

Genes and environment work hand in hand to reinforce each other and to concentrate abilities. Get rid of your idea of raw talent. Without appropriate upbringing, the latent capabilities your genes provide you will not develop into anything.

skfinkel's avatar

I keep hearing more and more about practice. No question that there is some talent involved, but clearly people who work hard and practice hard can succeed beautifully.

philosopher's avatar

Everything we do well in life probably has a genetic component; but with hard work we can overcome most things. Opportunity is also a factor in every part of life.
Think about how well we would all do; if we had the life experience we do as Adults as Children. No one can teach you what life does.
That is why a good Parent shapes a Child’s whole life.
I wish I could redo many things. Twenty twenty hind sight paints a perfect picture.

zophu's avatar

Genetics are fundamental, but environmental conditions that surround a person are much more influential.

phillis's avatar

Not exactly. Talent comes from a lot of practice. Good genes can indirectly provide talent, perhaps. I can provide instances in which genes and formation of the body should yield expected results, but don’t.

In a case of undeniable talent, Whitney Houston has a fabulous singing voice, as does her well-known auntie. But Whitney’s mom can’t sing her way out of a paper bag. Are genes responsible for a specific formation of vocal chords that our favorite songbirds enjoy, or is their formation incidental?

In a case of not-so-perfect genetics, Shannon Dougherty noticeably has one eye lower than the other…..enough that camera angles and placement must be thought out before her scenes are shot. Yet, (to some) she is recognized as a talent.

If you look at radiographs of kidneys, they are neither perfect copies of each other, nor are they evenly placed directly opposite each other like you see in pictures. It is considered normal if one kidney is positioned 6 inches lower or higher than the other in the body cavity. Sometimes, kidneys aren’t even in the same quadrant as the other. It isn’t just fingerprints that are unique to every individual. Internal organ structure and placement is, too.

That left me to accept that talent is the luck of the draw, and that fame is a whole other story. Fame has everything to do with who sees that talent, and who already has the connections in place to benefit from talent. Sometimes, talent doesn’t actually exist, but connections get the job done anyway.

philosopher's avatar

You are correct.
I appreciate your well written words.
I am happy to see you posting.
I don’t need to add anything.
Happy Spring.

phillis's avatar

@philosopher Hey, honey!! I am so glad to see you! Thanks for the points!

evandad's avatar

It’s a factor, but not a given.

kyanblue's avatar

If I take the example of a hypothetical world-renowned musician, I’d think genes help a lot for the first 50% of his or her career. The other 50% of success comes from work, pure and simple.

Of course, genes mean nothing if the musician is not in an environment that supports violin-playing or that pushes the musician to work harder and excel. So I guess my answer is…kinda? Nature and nurture.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther