Bullshit : l’intelligence est transmise par les gènes de la mère.

Hier, à l’heure du repas, je suis tombé sur ça (bon c’était au journal de M6 mais je n’ai pas retrouvé la vidéo…) :

intelligence-mere-bfmtv

Wait…what ? Mon détecteur de bullshit s’est de suite mis à sonner ! En tant qu’ancien chercheur en génétique, mon premier réflexe a été de vérifier les sources de ces nombreuses études scientifiques citées dans le reportage.

Que ne fût pas ma surprise en voyant que LA SEULE source est en fait UN ARTICLE DE BLOG !!!!
Depuis quand BFMTV, M6 et compagnie s’appuie sur un article de blog pour parler d’un sujet aussi sérieux que la génétique…

Vous allez me dire que c’est l’hôpital qui se moque de la charité car j’écris moi-même un article de blog. J’ai donc vérifié la biographie de l’auteur de l’article intitulé : « Did you know that intelligence is inherited from mothers? ». Jennifer Delgado se présente comme une psychologue, journaliste scientifique. Bon laissons lui le bénéfice du doute même si mon détecteur s’énerve de plus en plus. Je lis l’article.

Dans le premier paragraphe elle dit que son article va permettre de « mettre fin aux stéréotypes homme/femme » et que « les hommes doivent réévaluer l’intelligence des femmes ». Rien que ça…

Bon la suite de l’article n’est pas bien mieux. Je vais revenir sur quelques points :
-> « les enfants reçoivent les gènes de l’intelligence de la mère car ils sont situés sur le chromosome X ». Selon sa théorie, une fille qui a une paire de chromosome X reçus du père et de la mère devrait donc recevoir les gènes de l’intelligence du père non ? Bref là n’est pas la question ! Il n’existe pas vraiment de gènes de l’intelligence, comme de gène de la délinquance (coucou Nico le gaulois !), de gène de l’infidélité (ou « slut gene » selon Fox News…je vous laisse traduire…) ! Pour comprendre cela plus en détail, je vous invite à lire l’article de Passeur de science sur le sujet (datant de 2011 tout de même…).

-> « since women have two X chromosomes are twice as likely to inherit the characteristics related to intelligence » Wohoo. Si je comprends bien le sens de la phrase, cela signifie que les filles sont 2 fois plus intelligentes que les hommes car elles ont 2 chromosomes X ! On atteint des sommets là !

-> Dans un autre paragraphe, l’auteur parle d’une étude écossaise effectuée sur une cohorte de 12686 jeunes (de 14 à 22 ans) qui montrerait que l’intelligence des enfants serait corrélée avec le QI de la mère. Bien que le lien entre intelligence et QI soit loin d’être scientifiquement rigoureux, surtout quand on sait que Bush a 120 de QI (cf cet article sur un très bon blog de scepticisme scientifique), je me suis dit que j’allais quand même jeter un oeil sur cette étude. Impossible de trouver cet article ! Une déception de plus ! On continue ?

-> On arrive au chapitre « la génétique ne fait pas tout ! ». Bon enfin un bon point je suis assez d’accord avec ce titre. En plus des gènes, il faut prendre en compte tout un tas d’autres facteurs que l’on regroupera dans un mot générique : l’environnement. Par contre dans ce paragraphe elle explique que les enfants soutenus émotionnellement par leurs mères ont une partie du cerveau plus grande de 10% que ceux moins soutenus. Pour elle, cela signifie que les enfants seront plus intelligents. Eh bien non ce n’est toujours pas la taille qui compte !

-> Enfin (!) on arrive à la dernière phrase de l’article : « (…)fathers should not be discouraged (…) ». Merci pour tant de sollicitude !

Bref cet article repris plus de 2 millions (!!!) de fois sur Youtube n’est en aucun cas scientifique. Alors BFM TV, M6 et consorts, avant de proférer des inepties scientifiques à des heures de grande écoute, faites votre boulot le plus scientifiquement possible : cherchez des sources fiables !

ps : j’ai trouvé ce Podcast France Culture « Savons-nous mesurer l’intelligence ? ». A écouter !

4 comments for “Bullshit : l’intelligence est transmise par les gènes de la mère.

  1. Thofort
    22/09/2016 at 08:49

    On en reviens toujours au même point : pourquoi la plupart des gens prennent pour argent comptant ce qu’ils voient/entendent sur les médias (ou sur des blogs aux fondements plus que discutables), et prennent les scientifiques pour des idiots ? La faute aux scientifiques, aux médias, ou au citoyen lambda ?

  2. P.E.S.Y.
    22/09/2016 at 09:52

    C’est une évidence que c’était invraisemblable ! . Maintenant que tout le monde parle d’ épigénétique – sans avoir compris rien pour la plupart- on pourrait envisager des hypothèse farfelues. Un autre voie pour les hypothèses serait chercher si les mitochondries (venant excl. de la mère) pourraient jouer un rôle. Mais tout ça c’est, si on jugeait la chose plausible ou vraisemblable. Ce qui n’est pas le cas.

  3. sandrine ortho
    22/09/2016 at 15:48

    Moi ce que j’adore, ce sont tous ces sites (allez tiens pour en citer un « les chroniques d’arcturius ») qui reprennent ces allégations en osant citer des études scientifiques, sans les avoir lues évidemment … j’en prends une au hasard … ah oui.. elle parle bien de transmission génétique … du X-fragile et de sa cohorte de troubles (dont le retard mental …) … et après je dois expliquer à mes patients (je suis orthophoniste, spécialisée dans la prise en charge des troubles liés aux maladies génétiques entre autre ) que NON, en 2016 on a pas encore prouvé, trouvé, qu’il existait le moindre gène de l’intelligence ….

  4. 23/09/2016 at 16:03

    Merci pour l’article. Et ça fait quelques études à lire lol

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