(A re-write of the original)
Has anyone in research considered asking a few of the world champion chess masters, or, better yet, repeat winners of the Jeopardy television game show to submit DNA samples for comparison of particular sequences?
Please don't dismiss the idea as trivial.Â It's no joke.
Winning at chess is not nearly so complex a challenge as winning in a contest where the neuronal messages must sort through literally millions of nuances of meaning of words, as well as millions of samplings of fact, rather than processing game pieces of limited number and limited operational ranges of movement.Â
Possibly what accounts for the Jeapordy game show winners' amazing feats of mind is savantism, and perhaps it is not. It would be useful to know. In savantism a portion of the brain normally applied to some other purposes is conscripted, as it were, leaving a short change elsewhere. Or, some other trade-off occurs, such that something such as less energy is available to another process than has historically been rationed to its access. Processing a pronouncedly greater amount of information, in the context of innumerable nuances of meaning for single terms (or data cluster types, at no compensatory cost would be almost magical, would it not. Arriving at correct responses in fractions of seconds, which others could not do except by directly consulting dictionaries, encyclopedias, data banks... awesome! But at no compensatory cost? Mega-awesome!
Yet, who is to say it cannot happen. We need to know.
Possibly there are factors other than would be found in DNA that account for it.Â But, were no DNA-based variation found, that would be informative in an Edisonian way (i.e., would add to our repository of things we know do not solve the goal of subject inquiry).Â
We know that trying to spot just any DNA change to account for an anomaly by (good, bad or indifferent) would compare to looking for a needle in a haystack, on a by-hand-and-eye basis. However data, in a super computer, is processable at near light speed. So the work would be sped up (at a dollar cost for the computer and program and date fed into it. But looking for a change in a narrow band of DNA, such as implied by the subject article, rather than generally, might make practical even a hand-eye mode of observing (given an advanced familiarity with DNA norms in that narrow band, and a precocious individuals DNA chart... would it not?
If an additional duplication were to be found in the subject sequence, great. If not, back to the drawing board.
Surely somewhere, someone is building a comparative DNA data bank enabling comparison of parameters peculiar in cases of zero sum precocity (that is, precocity not attained as a trade off in which a portion of the brain needed for other purposes is not compromised in the offing).Â Downstream of identifying DNA factors in purely advantaged precocity, we might seek to identify any undesirable physiological-psychological trade-offs that might account for it; and if we find none, classify the benefit as having occurred in a non-zero sum dynamic, in which benefit comes without cost or, veritably so. (This is, is it not, what has had to occur in the evolution of the human brain. Compensations have had to occur at every step upward. For example, the food/energy requirements of a larger brained members of the species would not have survived times of limited food supply, such as droughts, and thence would not have been conserved, unless, of course, some gain were provided, such that the larger brain enabled finding food sources a smaller one would not have) where the compensatory cost is survival-quotient expendable.
In evolution, I would surmise, many scenarios surely occur in which the game is zero zero sum, and there is no free lunch. However, if millions more neuron connections could occur that provide a high ratio of benefit to cost, perhaps that is as good as it gets. And some deletions (such as loss of acuity of ability to smell as keenly as dogs do, might have bought something more valuable by way of an ability to gain in some other way.
But let us just assume that, once in a great while, along comes a duplication of the subject type in the subject article, that is not zero sum, and some humans get an enormous boost in ability to store, retrieve and utilize coping-benefit-wise... information and voluminous nuances of subtle meanings in an "intelligent" way.
What a marvelous thing it would be to propagate that benefit broadly throughout the species expeditiously. The very least we might expect to see, as a result, might be long waiting lines at sperm banks.