Babies are born equal no matter what their class or race is, research has found.
The idea that race or class determines intelligence has been revoked after experts reveal babies born in similar circumstances will thrive regardless of their background, the Telegraph reported.
A team of researchers from Oxford University tracked the physical and intellectual development of babies around the world while in the womb through to age two.
Researchers from Oxford University carried out the INTERGROWTH-21st Project over the course of seven years
Professor Stephen Kennedy, the co-director of the Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Insti-tute, told the Telegraph: ‘At every single stage we’ve shown that healthy mothers have healthy babies and that healthy babies all grow at exactly the same rate.
‘It doesn’t matter where you are living, it doesn’t matter what the colour of your skin is, it doesn’t matter what your race and ethnicity is, receiving decent medical care and nutrition is the key.’
The INTERGROWTH-21st Project, which took seven years to complete, tracked nearly 60,000 mothers and babies in the womb and then followed more than 1,300 to age two.
Mother’s, from all over the world, were selected because they were in good health and lived in clean urban areas.
Results showed that as well as physical growth, behaviour and neurodevelopmental milestones occur at the same rate among babies of differing ethnicity.
While the study should help settle the debate over the role of genetics in determining intelligence, controversial assumptions have also been made about the intellectual ability of different races.
The study tracked the physical and intellectual development of infants from around the world
Last week the Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory in the US cut its ties with Nobel Prize-winning ge-neticist, James Watson, who, with Maurice Wilkins and Francis Crick, first proposed the double helix structure of DNA, citing his ‘unsubstantiated and reckless’ remarks about race and intelli-gence.
Mr Watson, the laboratory’s former chancellor, has continuously suggested that genes cause a disparity in average scores in IQ tests between blacks and whites.
Prof Kennedy added: ‘There’s still a substantial body of opinion out there in both the scientific and lay communities who genuinely believe that intelligence is predominantly determined by genes and the environment that you’re living in and that your parents and grandparents were liv-ing in and their nutritional and health status are not relevant.
‘Well, that’s clearly not the case.’