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Israel first 10 to embryo select for IQ


Embryo selection is a potential emerging technology and is the subject of several previous Metaculus questions and a notebook.

One of the most important papers on embryo selection was coauthored by Israeli, Greek, and American researchers including Hebrew University's Shai Carmi, and found an expected gain of 2.5 IQ points using 2018 polygenic scores. It was reported on in the Israeli media. In an article on genetic engineering in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Carmi is quoted as saying that the gains may be up to seven IQ points in the foreseeable future.

Israel has generous state-subsidized pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for a large basket of genetic diseases. Israel's public health insurance covers PGD for up to two children per family. The practice spans the Israeli religious spectrum, from secular to ultra-Orthodox. Israelis are also avid aborters of fetuses with Down Syndome.

Israel had the fastest COVID vaccine rollout in the world, leads in 21st century Nobel Prizes per capita, has a very developed science and technology sector and a developed biotech industry and stem cell industry in particular, and is a leader in IVF and fertility technology. Israel is a leader in many 21st century technologies, such as cybersecurity and desalination. It is expected to be early on approving cultivated meat as well as self-driving cars.

Judaism is generally bioethically permissive. Jewish authorities universally agree that a preimplantation embryo does not have the same sacred title to life as an implanted embryo. Unlike Christianity, Judaism supports stem cell research. Orthodox Israeli physician Shimon Glick wrote that it is ethical to raise IQ using genetic engineering, and that Jewish law does not prohibit it and in fact supports it because it raises quality of life. Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israelis are avid consumers of Israel's pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and of the genetic testing that Dor Yeshorim does, and Israel has an embryo selection company started by an ultra-Orthodox mother of four. Tay-Sachs, a genetic disease common among Ashkenazi Jews, who make up about half of Israel's population and about 40% of the total population, has been virtually eliminated in Israel, where only one baby with Tay-Sachs was born in 2003.

Will Israel be one of the first ten countries to embryo select >10% of its newborns for intelligence?

This question resolves positively if Israel is one of the first ten countries with over a million people to have more than 10% of its newborns developed from embryos selected for polygenic scores for intelligence, according to credible reports. If no country has >10% of its newborns selected for intelligence by 2300-01-01 it resolves as ambiguous.

Moreover, for the question to resolve positively, the particular procedure used for embryo selection must, in expectation, result in an increase of at least 1/5 standard deviations in IQ (i.e. 3 IQ points), according to credible evidence.

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