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How to Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence (Glenn & Janet Doman)

Lifeness: Harmonize An Entrepreneurial Life By Tom Rubens

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Multiply Your Baby'

s Intelligence (Glenn & Janet Doman)


HOW To Multiply

Photographer: Stan Schnier,

NYC Printer: Paragon Press,


Your Baby's Intelligence MORE


Cataloging in Publication Data Doman,

Glenn J

How to multiply your baby's intelligence : more gentle revolution /by Glenn Doman,

Janet Doman

— (The gentle revolution series) Includes index

ISBN 0-89529-601-2 (hard) ISBN 0-89529-600-4 (pbk

Children—Intelligence levels

Cognition in children

Child rearing

C48D66 1994

Copyright © 1994 by Glenn Doman

Glenn Doman Janet Doman

All rights reserved

No part of this publication may be reproduced,

or transmitted in any form or by any means,

without the prior written consent of the copyright owner

Printed in the United States of America 10 9

Avery Publishing Group Garden City Park,

New York


Works by the Author 1

environment and intelligence 6

Homo sapiens,

all kids are linguistic geniuses 9

on motivation—and testing 12

the brain—use it or lose it 13

mothers make the very best mothers 14

geniuses—not too many but too few

vii 1 13 20 27 35 55 65 76 84 100 107 118 142 165

how to teach your baby to read 18

how to give your baby encyclopedic knowledge 19

how is it possible for infants to do instant math

how to teach your baby math 21

the magic is in the child… and in you

Acknowledgments About the Authors Index

Helen Gould Ricker Doman

Joseph Jay Doman My mother and father who insisted that I go through life standing on their shoulders

The Gentle Revolution began quietly,

more than a quarter of a century ago

It was and is the most gentle of all revolutions

It is possibly the most important of revolutions and surely the most glorious

Consider first the objective of the Gentle Revolution: to give all parents the knowledge required to make highly intelligent,

extremely capable and delightful children,

and by so doing to make a highly humane,

Consider next the revolutionaries—as unlikely


There are three groups of them

First there are the newborn babies of the world,

who have always been there with their vast,

Second there are the mothers and fathers who have always had their dreams as to what their babies might become

Who could have believed that their wildest dreams might actually fall short of the real potential

? Finally there is the staff of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential,

who since 1940 have come to recognize the stunning truth about children,

truth over which they have tripped time and time again during the many years they have searched for it


staff—an unlikely bunch to bring about the most important revolution in history

And what an unlikely revolution

Who ever heard of a revolution in which there is no death,

? Who ever heard of a gentle revolution

? In this most gentle of revolutions there are two foes

The first are those most implacable of enemies,

The Ancient Myths,

and the second is that most formidable foe

The Way Things Are

The Gentle Revolution

It is not necessary that old traditions be destroyed but only that longheld false beliefs wither away unmourned

It is not necessary that what is of value today be smashed to bits but only that those things which are presently destructive dissolve as a product of disuse

Who would mourn the demise of ignorance,

? Would not the elimination of such ancient foes bring about a gentler world with less need for violence,

hatred and war—or perhaps no need at all

? What discoveries could possibly have led to such lovely dreams

? What happened more than a quarter of a century ago

? Our first realization was that it is possible to teach babies to read

As unlikely as that sounded it is not only true but it is even true that it is easier to teach a one-year-old to read than it is to teach a seven-yearold

Much easier

By 1964 we had written a book for mothers called How to Teach Your Baby to Read

That book was an instant success and the Gentle Revolution began

Scores of mothers wrote almost immediately to tell of their joy in reading the book and their success in teaching their children

The Gentle Revolution


Then hundreds wrote to tell what had happened to their children after they had learned to read

Thousands of mothers bought the book and taught their babies to read

The book was published in British and Australian editions and in Afrikaans,










Spanish and Swedish

Tens of thousands of mothers wrote to tell us of what had happened

What those mothers reported with delight and pride was that 1

Their babies had easily learned to read

Their babies had loved learning

Mother and baby had increased the degree of love between them (which they reported with much pleasure but no surprise)

The amount of respect of mother for child and child for mother had grown by leaps and bounds (this they reported with much joy and a good deal of surprise)

As their children's ability to read grew,

their love of learning grew and so did their abilities in many things

Today that book is in eighteen languages and more than two million mothers have bought How to Teach Your Baby to Read in hard

Every day letters arrive from mothers,

Those letters are paeans,

and the song of joy and praise they sing is of the vast potential of their babies at the first instants of its realization

These mothers tell us of the confirmation of their intuitive feelings about their babies' innate abilities and of their own absolute determination that their children should have every opportunity to be all they are capable of being

As we go around the world and to every continent we get to talk to thousands of mothers individually and in groups

In the most sophisticated societies and in the simplest ones we ask this question: "Would every mother in the group who thinks her child is doing as well as he ought to be doing,

Nobody moves

Perhaps they are just bashful so we reverse the question to see if that's what it is: "Will every mother in the room who thinks her child is not doing as well as he could be doing,

" Now every hand in the room goes up

Everybody in the world knows that something is wrong in the world of children—but nobody does anything about it


Perhaps nobody does anything about it because,

nobody knows precisely what to do

After almost a half a century of work with mothers and children which has been at once joyous and painstaking,

and a long series of the most fortuitous accidents,

we have learned what's right and what we think should be done about it

We have learned how things might be— how things could be—No

For some time now it has been clear to us that mothers have been absolutely right in their certainty that their kids are not doing as well as they should be

It has,

been clear to us why mothers and fathers have been right in believing that their kids have a right to a great deal more out of life than they are getting

If parents have been in any way wrong about all of this,

it has been in not knowing how right they've been

We now know beyond any shadow of a doubt that 1

Children want to multiply their intelligence

Children can multiply their intelligence

Children are multiplying their intelligence

Children should multiply their intelligence

It is easy to teach mothers how to multiply their children's intelligence

More importantly,

since the 1960s we've actually been teaching mothers to raise their children's intelligence by leaps and bounds and they've been doing it,

neither they nor we saw it in exactly that light

Since the early 1970s we and our parents have not only been raising children's intelligence by remarkable amounts but we have known precisely what we've been up to

We are pragmatic people who are much more influenced by the facts than by anyone's theories,

It has all worked out beautifully,

putting aside a number of reasonably painful knocks along the way,

than any one of us can remember

Our days are still intoxicating and provocative beyond measure and none of us would trade our lives for any other

But in our very busy Eden there is one large problem

one question we have not answered to


one final pull on our collective conscience

Almost everyone whom we have come to know has asked us the question that we ask ourselves constantly

"And is it not true that if a group of people has gained special and perhaps vital knowledge of the babies of the world,

whether purposely or by accident,

a special obligation to all the children of the world

?" It is obvious that the answer to that question is,

we do have a special obligation to all the children of the world

" We have an obligation to every child in the world to tell his mother and father what we have learned so that they may decide what,

they would like to do about it

If the future of every tiny kid in the world has to be decided by somebody else (and clearly it does) then that somebody else must be his parents

We would fight for a mother's or father's right to do or not to do the things this book proposes

We have a duty to tell every mother and father alive what we have learned

It is easy and joyful to teach a twelve-month-old to read

The Gentle Revolution

It is easy and joyful to teach a twelve-month-old to do math (better than I can)

It is easy and joyful to teach a twelve-month-old to understand,

a foreign language (or two or three languages,

It is easy and joyful to teach a twenty-eight-month-old how to write (not write words—write stories and plays)

It is easy and joyful to teach a newborn infant how to swim (even if you can't)

It is easy and joyful to teach an eighteen-month-old how to do gymnastics (or ballet or how to fall down the stairs without hurting himself)

It is easy and joyful to teach an eighteen-month-old how to play the violin,

It is easy and joyful to teach an eighteen-month-old about birds,

or whatever else about them you wish to teach

It is easy and joyful to teach an eighteen-month-old about presidents,

It is easy and joyful to teach an eighteen-month-old how to draw or paint or to—well,

to teach him to do anything which you can present to him in an honest and factual way

The Gentle Revolution 10


When you teach a tiny child even one of these things his intelligence rises

When you teach a tiny child several of these things his intelligence rises sharply

When you teach all these things to a tiny child with joy and love and respect,

his intelligence is multiplied

And best of all,

when parents who truly love and respect their babies give them the gift of knowledge and ability children are happier,

kinder and more caring than children who have not been given these opportunities

Children who are taught with love and respect do not become nasty little monsters

How could knowledge and truth given as a joyful gift create nastiness

If they did,

then the staff of the Institutes,

who love and respect children,

would quietly forget all the knowledge to which they have fallen heir

However the opposite is the case—knowledge does lead to good

Children who are the most competent are the most self-sufficient

have the least reason to whine and the most reason to smile

Children who are the brightest have the least reason to demand help

Children who have the most ability have the

least need to hit other children

Children who have the most ability have the least reason to cry and the greatest reason to do things

In short,

the children who are truly bright,

knowledgeable and capable are the nicest children and the most understanding of others

They are full of the characteristics for which we love children

It is the least competent,

In short,

it is with children just about the way it is with adults

We recognize that we do,

have a duty to tell all mothers and fathers what we have learned so that they may consider it

We have a duty to tell all mothers that they are,

and have always been—the best teachers the world has ever seen

This book,

like How to Teach Your Baby to Read,

How To Teach Your Baby Math and the other books in the Gentle Revolution Series,

is our way of meeting that delightful obligation

The objective of the Gentle Revolution is to give every child alive,

And we,

If this be treason,


It is the hope of the staff of the Institutes that you and your baby have as much joy,

discovery and exultation in using this knowledge as we've had in stumbling into it over all the years of exploration

A Note To Parents There are no chauvinists at the Institutes,

We love and respect mothers and fathers,

To solve the maddening problems of referring to all human beings as "grown-up male persons" or "tiny female persons" we have decided to refer to all parents as mothers and to all children as boys

Seems fair

When we human beings get a myth into our minds,

it is almost impossible to get it out— even when all the seeable,

measurable facts stand in direct opposition to the myth

even when the truth is a great deal better,

easier and substantially more delightful than the myth

Although humans had stood on hilltops for tens of thousands of years and looked at the ocean horizon curve,

we remained persuaded that the earth was flat until a mere five hundred

The Nature of Myths 14


Some are still persuaded that it is flat

Almost all myths severely denigrate the truth

No myths denigrate the truth more severely than those which deal with mothers,


babies and geniuses have a bad press

Sometime we must find out why our myths should downgrade mothers,

If we ever have time to discover why this should be so we may find out that some people in our society feel threatened by mothers,

Perhaps we'll find that there are those who,

feel a little inferior to them

In some cases our lives are dominated,

by the myths with which we live

Almost all myths are negative and were originally invented to harm or destroy some group of people

How is it possible for us to stoutly,

of unshakable beliefs when the evidence that they are patently untrue is all around us on a daily or even hourly basis

? So very much of what I hear does not come from the sound to my ear to my brain,

if I am to understand what I hear

Instead I am a victim of my own myths and prejudices and so I hear precisely what I wish to hear

Thus I decide in advance what you are going to say,

and regardless of what you say,

I hear exactly what I thought I was going to hear (in fact what I wanted to hear)

What you said did not come from your mouth to my ear to my brain as physiology dictates in lesser creatures

Because I am human,

and cursed by the myths that influence me,

I am able to subvert even physiological function and thus what you said came from my brain to my ear to my brain and you have said precisely what I knew you were going to say in the first place

I also do not see what is before me,

what I thought I was going to see

May I give you a single,

The Nature of Myths 16


So far,

nose and mouth it could be any kind of face

Now I would like to draw two additional lines,

and with two simple lines it will become a very particular kind of face

What kind of face is it now

? With the simple addition of two short straight lines,

I have made it a Japanese face

This is because (as everyone knows) Japanese have slanted eyes

Close your eyes and imagine a typical Japanese face

Do you see those slanted eyes

? Indeed are not the slanted eyes the single most characteristic feature in a Japanese face

they are—unless you happen to be Japanese

The fact is that Japanese do not have slanted

In fact,

Japanese eyes are as flat as a pancake

I learned this unheard-of fact one day while having lunch with a close Japanese friend in Tokyo

I was holding forth quite earnestly on this very subject and wondering aloud how it was possible to look at reality and to see its exact opposite

"Exactly," said my Japanese friend,

"And a perfect example is the western belief that the Japanese have slanted eyes

but the Japanese do have slanted eyes," said I looking him squarely in his flat-as-a-billiard-table Japanese eyes

Before my eyes I watched his slanted eyes actually become flat

"But your eyes are flat," I said accusingly as if he were,

I looked around the crowded restaurant only to find that every Japanese diner in the place had eyes which were extraordinarily flat

My instantaneous question to myself was,

how in the world had they managed to get every Japanese alive with un-Japanese eyes into a single restaurant

? I felt extremely uncomfortable

I have never minded exploding everybody else's myths in a gentle and good natured way


but I thought it rather rude of my ordinarily very polite Japanese friend to bring the fact that Japanese eyes are indeed flat to my attention so forcefully

Take a hard look at the next Japanese friend you meet and pay special attention to how very parallel to the ground his eyes are

But until you actually have an opportunity to examine a pair of Japanese eyes up close why don't you try an experiment right at this moment

? Try closing your eyes again,

and again picture in your mind a Japanese face

See those slanted eyes

? Myths die very hard in the most open minded of us,

it is almost impossible to get rid of them in most of us and it is impossible to substitute reality in a good many of us

In eyes,

we humans have difficulty differentiating flat from curved or slanted

This book has as its primary objective differentiating long-held myths from facts,

especially as they relate to little kids,

parents in general and mothers in particular,

About kids,

the brain and geniuses there are unending myths

That these myths are patently absurd has completely failed to diminish their almost universal

The Nature of Myths

acceptance—most especially on the part of professional people who should know better

So absurd and ridiculous are these myths that they would be high humor were not the result of them so tragic

The Genesis of Genius

We should have known a long time ago that every human infant has within her or him the seeds of genius

We should have known,

We are members of that group called Homo sapiens,

and because we are members of this group we each inherit the genes that provide us with the unique human cortex

We are born into an environment which either provides stimulation or it does not

Every time a baby is born,

the potential for genius is born again with that baby

the staff of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential,

should have known a whole lot better and a whole lot sooner

We should have known before anybody else,

not because we're smarter than anybody else,

but because living with so many different kinds of little children and their parents,

twenty-four hours a day for forty years or longer as we have,

caused us to trip over the truth so much more often than anybody else

He arrives with the great genetic gift of the human cortex

The only question is what kind of environment will we provide for that human cortex to grow and develop

? Genius is available to every human infant

We should have known this in our bellies,

The genesis of genius lies,

not alone in our ancient common ancestral genes,

but as a seed that may be brought to full fruit in each tiny human infant

We should have known full well,

that genius is not a gift endowed on a few by a God who,

through wishing some very small

The Genesis of Genius 22


number of his children to be vastly superior,

wished the vast majority of his children to be inferior

Even less is genius a blind accident occurring once in a hundred,

or a million years without rhyme or reason

We should have known—twenty,

perhaps fifty years ago—that what we call genius,

a uniquely human capacity of the uniquely human cortex,

Instead it is a human birthright common to all,

out of which we have been cheated by our lack of knowledge

It is a superb opportunity which has been stolen from a family of creatures who have genius as their birthright

We should have known that every human mother has the capacity to nurture the seeds of genius within her infant

She has the ability to raise her baby's intelligence to whatever level her own abilities or willingness allow

We should have known because we have dealt with children and parents for so many years: Wonderful children who have benefitted hugely from the knowledge,

love and respect of their parents

Potentially wonderful kids,

whose parents and we are determined will not stay average

Potentially wonderful brain-injured kids

whose parents and we are determined will not stay incapacitated and many of whom are already functioning in an intellectually superior way

Nose to nose,

thrill to thrill and sometimes defeat to defeat,

but always with determination to determination

For more than fifty years for the most senior of us

We are people who do things with kids and parents

We teach real parents and real children

We deal in facts not theories

Our daily reality includes children who are delightful,

Because they are children,

it also at times includes children who are feverish,

hungry and irritable— in short—reality

When we are reporting how things are in the world of children and using various children as examples,

They are real children who have names and addresses and mothers and fathers

Their many accomplishments are facts not theories

The Genesis of Genius 24


Looking back,

it is not so astonishing how far we have come in our understanding of child development but rather how long it took us to get here

What we are up to is making each child superior to himself,

superior to the way he was yesterday

In the beginning,

the objective was only to make severely braininjured children who were blind,

paralyzed and speechless able to see,

We did this for the next five years,

We did it by treating the brain where the problem was rather than in the arms,

Two things happened

First—an important number of paralyzed kids got to walk,

and some speechless kids got to talk

Second—almost all of those kids had been diagnosed as hopelessly mentally retarded but as they got to walk,

Some to average—and some to above average

It seemed to us that as their I

do math and function in other ways went up

It wasn't really until about 1960 that it began to be apparent that that wasn't the way it was at all

Even in 1960 it did not hit us like a ton of bricks

It gradually dawned on us with a light that got a little brighter each day

Even today when that light seems crystal clear,

it is difficult for us to imagine why it took us so long to understand it and why it isn't apparent to everyone alive that it is true

It wasn't that as the children became more intelligent they wrote better,

learned better and often performed better than unhurt kids

It was exactly the opposite

It was that as children saw better,

as kids' ability to feel got better,

In short,

it was as children read better,

and thus took in more and more information—they learned better and their I

Not only was this true of hurt kids but it was true of all kids—average kids and above average kids as well

The truth is that intelligence is a result of thinking

it is riot that thinking is a result of intelligence


The truth which we had finally comprehended was soul-stirring to a degree which beggared description

What we had searched for and at long last stumbled into was nothing less than the genesis of genius and that the genesis exists from birth to six

It was worth the many hundreds of man and woman years we had spent searching for it,

If intelligence,

and thinking is the genesis of genius,

we had better look at intelligence in greater depth

One thing seems certain and that is that it's good—not bad—to be intelligent

to be intelligent The difference between intelligence And an education is thisThat intelligence will make you a good living

I worry a great deal about a world which worships the biceps and which somehow,

As I have the opportunity to go about the world talking to audiences,

I make it a practice to ask some key questions

"Do you think it would be good to make our children stronger

The answer is so obvious as to make the question absurd


"Do you think it would be good to make our children healthier

What a silly question

"Do you think it would be good to give our children more knowledge

Where are these ridiculous questions leading us

? "Do you think it would be good to make our children more intelligent

?" There is a distinct hesitancy

The audience is divided and slow to respond

Many faces are blank or perturbed

Some heads nod agreement and smile

Most of the smiles are on the faces of the parents of small children

I have trod on tender toes indeed

Why in the name of all that is sensible are we humans afraid of high intelligence

? It is our human stock-in-trade

This fear had been epitomized a few years earlier on a B

We had been talking about what we,

The host was intelligent,

but it was obvious that he was becoming increasingly concerned as the conversation progressed

Finally he could stand it no longer

It’s Good,

Not Bad,

Host (accusingly): But it sounds as if you are proposing some sort of an elite

H: Are you admitting that you propose to create an elite group among children

H: Then how many children do you want to have in this elite of yours

H: A billion

? How many children are there in the world

H: Aha,

now I begin to see—but then,

who do you want to make them superior to

? W: We want to make them superior to themselves

H: Now,

I take your point

Why must we see high intelligence as a weapon to be used against each other

? What have our geniuses done to us to make us fear them so

? What harm did Leonardo da Vinci do us with the Mona Lisa or The Last Supper

? What harm did Beethoven with his Fifth Symphony

? How were we hurt by Shakespeare with Henry V

It’s Good,

Not Bad,


How harmed by Franklin with his kite and electricity

? How set back by Michelangelo and his sculpture

? How damaged by Salk and his vaccine which is making polio a forgotten disease

? How injured by Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence,

which brings tears to my eyes no matter how many times I read it,

even though I memorized every word long ago

? How saddened by Gilbert and Sullivan and their Mikado which can brighten my dullest day

? How set back by the highly practical Thomas Edison,

who knew that genius was one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration and who was there with me the last time I lived with a Bushman tribe in the Kalihari Desert,

brightening my darkest night with a bare electric light bulb powered by a little generator

? The list is endless and stretches across the nations and the oceans and back into the ages through time unremembered

It includes the geniuses remembered,

Write your own list

Who are your favorite geniuses and what harm did they do you

What about the hated

? Do I hear a voice or a chorus ask— what about the evil geniuses of history

? Do I hear a note of triumph as some asks,

"What about Hitler

It is a contradiction in terms

Try mass-murderer if you need a description of Hitler and all his ilk throughout history

Does it take high intelligence to incite mass insanity in man,

a creature who was a club-wielding,

skulking predator called Australopithecus Afrikanus Dartii only days ago as the geologists measure time

? Hitler was a failure by his own standard,

Is it the goal of genius to end up lying on a wet concrete floor doused with gasoline and lit by his own order

? Was it Hitler's goal to die with Germany in ruin around his own charred corpse

We are stuck with the paradox of the evil genius only if we are determined to rely upon archaic definitions of genius measured by absurd tests of intelligence

The mad genius and the bumbling ineffective genius are a product of the same perspective

They are nothing more and nothing less than a monumental mistake in the measurement of intelligence


Not Bad,

Why do we abide definitions which are on the face of them—absurd

? To stop fearing genius we need only measure it by its accomplishments

Do we fear the term "elite" which means "the best of a group"

when it applies to intelligence

Is it a sin to be physically elite

We fear intelligence and worship muscle

Periodically we go joyfully through a process which proclaims it throughout the world and to all the inhabitants thereof

This process culminates when we place three young adults on boxes of three different heights and place a medal around the neck of each of them

We then proclaim them to be the creme de la creme,

the three most elite of the elite

This young lady can jump higher than anyone in the world

This young man can run faster than anyone in the world

Hearts beat high,

eyes gleam with tears and bosoms swell with pride as each flag is raised and each national anthem is played

And if that particular flag and that particular anthem happen to be mine,

it is joy almost beyond enduring

Do I then disclaim this elitism beyond all elitism which we call the Olympics

I think it's fine

It is first

rate that our young athletes should be physically superior

We believe that all children should be physically excellent

Indeed we teach parents precisely how to make them so

I worry a good deal about a world which worships muscles and fears intelligence

In my life I have walked down many dark streets,

Never once in my life—as I passed a pool of blackness which hid a dark alley—have I been afraid that someone would leap out of the blackness

and say something bright to me

Or ask me a brilliant question

Have you

? On the other hand I have worried,

that three hundred pounds of biceps might leap out and demolish me

I worry about a world that worships muscle and fears intelligence

I can't help wondering at each presidential election whether the world is worried that the republican or democratic candidate is too intelligent

Is not our fear exactly the opposite

? Has anyone ever worried that our senators or representatives might be too bright

? Or is it that we feared that our leaders might


? The world rocked with laughter a decade or so ago when a member of the U

Congress proposed that what we needed in government was more mediocrity,

thus establishing that what we had was less than mediocre

Should we have laughed—or cried

It's good,


If in fact it's good to be intelligent,

then it behooves us to know something about intelligence

What intelligence is,

has always been a subject of lively,

debate which has taken place from ancient Grecian courtyards to today's college classrooms

Twenty-five hundred years ago,


Environment and Intelligence 36


Empedocles believed that the heart was the seat of thought and intelligence,

while that genius Hippocrates,

teaching his medical students under his plane tree on the island of Cos,

taught them that the human brain was the organ which contained and controlled intelligence

It seems fascinating to me that the ancient Greeks' vast respect for their great men and women caused them to be called "gods" after their deaths

Thus the Greeks,

among whom there were so many geniuses,

So it was that Asclepius,

the physician who lived twelve centuries before Christ,

became the God Asclepius after his death

Today we carry out much the same practice,

Today we observe people whose brilliance and sometimes godlike characteristics set them apart—and call them geniuses

Like the Greeks,

we often wait till after their death to give them the title they earned in life

As the twentieth century draws to a close we have,

resolved the question of where intelligence lies

It lies in the brain

What is still hotly debated is the question of whence cometh this intelligence

Today the debate which rages is whether this

intelligence is hereditary in nature or whether it is environmental

Is it nature or nurture

? This divides the world into two schools of thought

There are the hereditary people and the environment people

Both schools are dead certain they are right

Both sides are absolutely sure that these views are mutually exclusive

Both sides use the same argument to prove they are right

a good example of both points of view

Kind people refer to me as "portly

The heredity people look at me and say,

"He is too heavy

No doubt his parents are too heavy

my father and my mother were a bit portly

Thus they conclude it is entirely hereditary

The environment people say that my parents ate too much and therefore taught me to eat too much,

with the result that I am a bit portly

Thus they conclude it is entirely environmental

In this case,

the environment people are right

Surely the hereditary people are right in believing that my eyes and my hair and my height


and my build are an inheritance from my parents,

grandparents and great-grandparents— but my weight

? While I'd very much like to blame that on my grandparents,

Twice in my life I was thin—very thin

Several times as a combat infantry officer during World War II,

I managed (or mismanaged) to get myself behind German lines for periods of time

The Wehrmacht,

tended to be inhospitable towards that sort of thing

I grew thin

At the University of Pennsylvania I earned no scholarships and ate less well than I might have chosen

Then also I grew thin

On the other hand,

during most of my life I have enjoyed fine food,

with the result that kind people have called me "stocky

" It hardly seems necessary to point out that my grandmother's weight did not go up and down during the periods when I ate too little or too much

Function determines structure

I'd love to blame my fatness on grandfather Ricker or grandmother McCarthy—but it won't wash

There is in the world a very small group of people who do not see heredity and environment as being the mutually exclusive cause of


Environment and Intelligence

We are among that group

How much then can be said for these points of view

? Come with me for a quick trip around the world to visit groups of children doing extraordinary things,

a trip we have actually made a number of times

Let's see whether these particular children are a product of environment or of heredity

Let's try first to make a case for heredity

Come with me to Melbourne and back in time to the late 1960s

We find ourselves in a large indoor swimming pool and behold a charming sight

In the pool are twenty or thirty beautiful pink tiny babies,

ranging in age from a few weeks old to a year old

They are accompanied by beautiful pink mothers in bikinis

The babies are learning to swim

There is a two-year-old boy who insists I throw him into the deep water

He swims out and insists that I do it again and again

I tire of throwing him in before he tires of swimming out

There is a three-year-old girl who is working on her Red Cross LifeSaving Badge

She tows her mother across the pool

Today everyone knows that infants can easily be taught to swim,

but this was in the late sixties


I am delighted but somehow not surprised

Why should newborns not swim

At the end of the session,

the mothers go to dress their babies and themselves

They return carrying their babies in large baby baskets or in their arms

I am agog

The tiny babies can swim but they can't walk

! I learned to swim at nine years of age in the North Philadelphia Y

Everybody I knew learned to swim in the Y

Ergo—everybody learns to swim at nine years of age

Since I knew that everyone learns to swim at nine,

it followed that anyone I saw swimming was at least nine years old


in order to justify my firmly held belief,

I had subconsciously resolved the dilemma between what I saw and what I believed

I had concluded that these infants were nine-year-old midgets

Only the fact that they had to be carried forced me to deal consciously with this patent absurdity

We shall return to Australia and try to make a case for heredity

and back in time to the early 1970s

We find ourselves in the Early Development Association of Japan

Again we are treated to a charming sight

Kneeling in the middle of a large room are two


Environment and Intelligence

One is American,

Kneeling in a semi-circle around them are a score of Japanese mothers,

each with a tiny child in her lap

Most of the children are two years old

The American speaks to the first tiny child in English,


?" Fumio answers in full and clear and understandable English

He has a faint Philadelphia accent

Fumio then turns to the little girl occupying the lap next to him and asks,


how many brothers and sisters do you have

"Two brothers and two sisters

" Mitsue also has just a touch of a Philadelphia accent,

but only a Philadelphian would know it

She now turns to the little girl on the next lap and asks her,


Michiko turns to the little boy to her left and asks,

is there a tree in front of your house

?" "There is a ginko tree in a hole in the pavement

has a faint Japanese accent and the word "hole" sounds faintly like


" When he says the word "pavement" it sounds just a little as if he had said "payment

that would scream "Philadelphia

" Neither my wife Katie nor I was in the least surprised at this beguiling scene because,

the American teacher was our daughter,

Janet Doman,

who is now the director of the Institutes

Her Japanese assistant was Miki Nakayachi,

who was to become the instructor of Japanese at the Institutes and later the first director of our International School

But now it is time to tear ourselves away from this enticing scene and visit another equally enchanting scene to meet one of the greatest teachers of this or any century

Come with us several hundred miles to the northwest of Tokyo to a venerable mountain town in the Japanese alps called Matsumoto and meet its most famous citizen,

Shinichi Suzuki

For a decade before our first meeting,

Professor Suzuki had known of our work and we had known of his


the first man who told us of Suzuki's work didn't believe it and we did

I remember with amusement the heated discussion that followed

Looking back on the debate it seems absurd that I should have been defending with passion


Environment and Intelligence

a man I had never heard of half an hour earlier,

and that he should be attacked with vitriol by a man who knew nothing about him except that (it was said) he taught two- and three-year-olds to play the violin

The reason for the verbal fisticuffs was simple enough

Although neither of us had ever seen a three-year-old play the violin I was dead certain it could be done and he was equally certain that it could not be done

At the Institutes we had learned that children were linguistic geniuses who dealt with learning English without the slightest effort

English has a 450,000 word vocabulary

The number of ways in which those words can be combined is not,

but it will do until infinity comes along

Music is also a language but it has seven notes not 450,000

If the ways in which these notes can be combined seems endless,

it does not approach the number of ways in which 450,000 words can be combined

Since tiny children are able to learn English with its vast vocabulary so easily,

then it should be easier for them to learn the language of music

In fact,

you can teach little children anything that you can present to them in an honest and factual way


Why shouldn't a man named Suzuki have discovered how to teach children to play the violin in an honest and factual way

? The answer to that question was simple

Suzuki has taught,

more than 100,000 tiny children to play the violin

Suzuki and his little violinists

We met as old friends

What a gentle genius he is

His love and respect for his tiny children shines through everything he says and does

Come with us into the lovely auditorium draped with banners,

What a thrilling thing to hear for the first time the absolute glory of these little children in concert

We were prepared to hear them play and to play well

We were not prepared for the actuality

That first concert filled,

and finally overwhelmed our senses

We would hear them many times again

We would have the great pleasure of hearing more than five thousand Suzuki students at their Annual National Concert in Tokyo

The opportunity to enjoy thousands of very young children playing Mozart,

Bach and Beethoven in concert is an experience which defies description


Environment and Intelligence

It is surely one of the most compelling and persuasive proofs that tiny children can indeed learn anything that can be taught to them in a loving and honest way

We have also heard ten of them,

ranging in age from three to ten,

play at Philadelphia's Academy of Music,

the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra

The Institutes have sponsored these concerts over the years

Philadelphia music audiences are not the most demonstrative in the world

They are appreciative but not demonstrative

We have filled the Academy with music lovers paying the same prices as those charged when the Philadelphia Orchestra plays

These little children have never failed to receive a heartfelt and completely deserved standing ovation

Let's get back to our trip around the world

Come with me back half a lifetime to 1943 and the Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning,


In one of the alphabetically arranged bunks we find officer candidate John Eaglebull,

college-educated and hereditary chief among his tribe

Next to him we find officer candidate Glenn Doman


In the grueling but neatly ordered and exciting months that followed,


Environment and Intelligence 46


although Eaglebull tended to be as stoic as his handsome Indian face suggested him to be

I was therefore surprised when he casually mentioned his son

I had known he was married,

but this was the first time I knew lie had a son

Out came his wallet and the inevitable photograph

The snapshot made me shudder

was a very handsome little two-and-a-half-year-old boy

He looked to be a mile in the air

No adult held him

he was bare-back and held the reins

His little legs did not hang down the sides of the horse,

they stuck out so that you could see the bottom of his feet


what a dangerous thing for you to do

" "Why is it dangerous to take a photograph,

?" "Suppose the horse had moved while you were taking the picture

?" "Would have ruined the snapshot

he would have fractured his skull

" Before I enlisted in the Army my job had been fixing up hurt brains and the thought of

that little boy falling off a horse on his head horrified me

The puzzlement on Eaglebull's strong face made his answer slow in coming

When what I was protesting became clear,

"That's his horse," said Eaglebull

"I don't know anybody who can remember when he couldn't ride a horse,

any more than you know anybody who can remember when he couldn't walk

" In my mind's ear I could hear tom-toms beating

Eaglebull's father still bore the scars he had earned while dancing the Sun Dance

My own grandmother had been a small girl when Custer had died at the Little Big Horn

James Warner Bellah,

the great authority on the cavalry-Indian wars,

had once described the Sioux as "five thousand of the world's finest light cavalry

" Of course they were the world's finest light cavalry

Why shouldn't they have been

Come to Philadelphia and the Institutes in 1965 for our final group of little children

On one side of Stenton Avenue sits Philadelphia,

proud of its three hundred years of history,


Philadelphia remembers its position as the first capital of the United States,

at which time it was second only to London as the largest English-speaking city in the world

Yet in its modern school system,

one third of all the children from seven to seventeen couldn't read,

or couldn't read at grade level (which actually means the same thing)

Not only was it possible,

to graduate from high school without being able to read your own diploma,

Before your bosom swells with pride as you compare your own city to Philadelphia,

have a close look at the facts in your city

Yet just across Stenton Avenue,

lies the campus of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential

Even in 1965 the Institutes had hundreds of braininjured two- and three-year-old children who could read with total understanding

What in the world could it mean

? Two-month-old babies who could swim

Japanese children,

carrying on conversations in English,


Environment and Intelligence

Japanese kids,

some of them giving concerts and playing solos at Philadelphia's Academy of Music for highly sophisticated audiences

Sioux children,

Two- and

three-year-old brain-injured kids,

ranging from mild to profound,

who can read with understanding,

while a third of well ones ranging in age from seven to seventeen,

Is it heredity or is it environment

? Let's first try to make a case for heredity

Back we go to Australia and the infants who swim


Take a look at a map of Australia

Four thousand miles of gorgeous beaches and beautiful warm seas

What a marvelous place to swim (if you don't mind the odd shark)


with all those glorious beaches,

have developed some ancient genetic predisposition for swimming which gives them a hereditary genetic advantage over the rest of us

Do I hear a clear-thinking Australian saying,

"Hold on a minute,

? We haven't been here a thousand years

Only the aborigines have been here one


and most of them have never seen enough water to swim in

Can't swim if you haven't had enough water to swim in,

? Not even 'strylians can do that

We're a bunch of transplanted Englishmen,

Welshmen and Irishmen

a bit less strident (perhaps a biologist) saying,

"Come off it

Don't talk to me about genetic change in a thousand years,

A hundred thousand maybe

? Those Australian babies were swimming twenty years ago because a couple of Australians thought that little babies ought to be able to swim,

Come to think of it,

that couple was actually Dutch

! If they'd stayed in Holland,

it would have been a bunch of Dutch babies who would have been swimming and we'd have gone to Holland to see them

That couple was the environment

What about those Japanese kids speaking English

Is that heredity

? Everybody knows how clever the Japanese are and how concerned they are about their children

Perhaps the Japanese,

speaking English for thousands of years have developed a genetic


Environment and Intelligence

"Wait a minute," I can hear everybody shouting,

"How could the Japanese have been speaking English a thousand years ago when not a single Englishman had ever

So it isn't heredity

Then what is it

? We had known for a long time that all kids are linguistic geniuses and that to a Japanese baby born in Tokyo today,

Japanese is a foreign language

No more and no less than is English

Does anyone doubt that he'll speak Japanese before he's four

? The Institutes' English-speaking staff were the environment of those Japanese kids

How else can we explain those faint Philadelphia accents we heard in the Japanese kids

? What about the Suzuki children playing the violin superbly

? Everybody knows how clever the Japanese are with their hands

Isn't it possible that the Japanese playing the violins for thous—

I'd better not start that stuff again

Let's see,

Admiral Perry got to Japan about 150 years ago and

who thought that tiny children ought to be able to play the violin,

and except for Suzuki himself,

there is nothing either Japanese or hereditary about it


Environment and Intelligence 52


Now little children in every corner of the globe play the violin and— come to think of it,

Eugene Ormandy was playing it at two,

and how long ago did Yehudi Menuhin start to play the violin—or Mozart

? And those 5,000 children at the national concert,

playing those fine old Japanese composers—Mozart,

Vivaldi and Bach

? The Australians have no corner on swimming

Nor do the Japanese on speaking English

Nor do the Japanese on violin playing

Hold on,

what about the Sioux kids riding horses

? Didn't you yourself say that they were born on horses

I did say that and perhaps in this case it is hereditary

Suppose that the Indians putting their babies on horses since time immemorial has

! I can hear the history student laughing out loud

"There were no horses in the New World until the Conquistadores came

" Eighteen Spaniards and eighteen horses swept the highly civilized Aztecs before them in their thousan