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Why Armenia Is More Likely To Engineer Super-Children Than China

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  • Why Armenia Is More Likely To Engineer Super-Children Than China

    09:33 26.03.2013

    Seems like everybody's talking Chinese genomics and the art of
    engineering genius babies these days. But the nation that's more
    likely to breed a generation of super-smart, problem-solving kids
    isn't the global economic giant currently engaging in a complex,
    sinister-sounding genetics program-it's Armenia, a tiny landlocked
    nation, pop. 3,000,000, that's still mired in the shadow of a
    devastating genocide. And it's going to do it with chess, the
    Motherboard writes.

    Beijing Genomics Institute is essentially looking for a way for China
    to breed more intelligent children. And it's the largest such effort in
    the world. More specifically, BGI Shenzen has "collected DNA samples
    from 2,000 of the world's smartest people and are sequencing their
    entire genomes in an attempt to identify the alleles which determine
    human intelligence."

    "But there's probably a better, less terrifying and Gattaca-reminiscent
    way to make an entire generation of kids smarter with already extant
    technology and no hint of scary eugenics: Make playing chess mandatory
    in school," the article reads.

    While China may be paving the way for genetically-optimal brainiacs
    in giant genomics labs, Armenia is modifying its youth's intelligence
    the old fashioned way-with smart policy and good education. As such,
    Armenia's actually more likely to boost its youth's IQ than China-using
    gaming technology that's been around for over a thousand years.

    "Aremenia is the only nation in the world where chess is a compulsory
    part of school curriculum, thanks to a $3 million initiative passed in
    2011. Beginning two years ago, chess has been a mandatory in the third
    and fourth grades-students play chess two hours a week every week for
    two years. Part of the program's aim is to improve children's logic
    and reasoning skills. But, as with China's more sci-fi approach, part
    of the aim is to engineer a generation of smarter, savvier children.

    The article posted on continues that "There is
    a decent body of scientific evidence that suggests that learning and
    playing chess can actually raise a child's IQ-no test tubes required.

    University of Sydney professor (and chess grandmaster) Dr. Peter
    Dauvergne has long argued that chess has significant educational
    benefits, and that a raised IQ is chief among them."