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Thread: Heritability of sporting ability

  1. #1 Heritability of sporting ability 
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    Heritability of sporting ability is estimated around 50%

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi...1994.tb00423.x
    http://www.citeulike.org/user/Terkko/article/2385963
    http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v2.../0800885a.html
    http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/70/1/357
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2010392
    http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/reprint/88/5/1571.pdf
    http://www.acsm-msse.org/pt/re/msse/...195628!8091!-1
    http://jp.physoc.org/cgi/content/full/586/1/113
    http://www.uni-saarland.de/fak5/swi/.../klissour.html
    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/c...TRY=1&SRETRY=0

    Does it mean that every man has heritability 50% ? Does sportsman have the same level of heritability as normal man ?


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  3. #2 Re: Heritability of sporting ability 
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siemowit
    Does it mean that every man has heritability 50% ? Does sportsman have the same level of heritability as normal man ?
    any particular why they shouldn't ? as far as i'm aware sports people are no different from other people


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Technically speaking, heritability need have nothing to do with genetics. A lot of people can get confused by this.

    Wealth shows high heritability, but we all intuitively attribute that to social inheritance - if your father's rich, it's likely that you will inherit a large bank account, there's nothing more significant to it than that.

    What about sporting 'ability'? Well, if your parents are avid/good sportspeople, it is quite likely that you will grow up in a sports-oriented environment, be trained early and often, and develop skills that many others won't have access to. So there'll be a higher chance of you becoming a professional sportsperson, but it might have nothing at all (perhaps a slight exaggeration) to do with your genes.

    A lot of the studies you have cited (some are dupes) correct for a variety of factors, but none of them seem to correct for all. Significant omissions in many of them are corrections for:

    > cohorts (mentioned in just one study)
    > the fact that twins share a womb and are therefore under different physiological stresses which can affect their adult anatomy (mentioned in one of the studies) and therefore invalidate the results of twin studies in this matter

    50% heritability, however, sounds as though it's in the right ball park - given that most complex attributes seem to be pegged at about that level. Of course, your figure of 50% is a huge simplification, since each study, correcting for different sets of factors, comes up with a different figure... :P
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  5. #4  
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    For example Asians have 60% heritability of height while Caucasians have 80%.

    So heritability varies with the sample, as I suppose.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siemowit
    For example Asians have 60% heritability of height while Caucasians have 80%.

    So heritability varies with the sample, as I suppose.

    Where do you come up with these figures? And why do they always have to do with races? You're flippin' obsessed mate.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    ah, the trap of twin studies.

    The funny thing of twins is that they share the same womb. The womb is THE environmental factor that has an incredible large influence on the phenotype.

    Twin studies therefore do not tell us the genetic influence. They tell us the genetic and environmental influence.
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  8. #7  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siemowit
    ...while Caucasians have 80%.
    i wonder what's so special about the inhabitants of the Caucasus ?
    + are we talking about Armenians or Azerbadjanis ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  9. #8  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Siemowit
    ...while Caucasians have 80%.
    i wonder what's so special about the inhabitants of the Caucasus ?
    + are we talking about Armenians or Azerbadjanis ?
    Armenians, citizens in the sky.
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