A person growing up in a crime-ridden favela in Brasil is much less likely to become a famous scientist than an equally talented person from
Well yes such situations don't permit people to go on developing ways to better humanity, they have other things to worry about, but the question is why certain areas develop into such hell holes, is it cultural or economical? maybe a bit of both. what determines the cultural and economic success of an area? should be its resources and technology (we can say this is the environment), now what determines how people put to use these resources and technology? maybe intelligence, that being knowledge one has inherited from past generations... Now is this intelligence due to internal (genetics) or external (exposure to knowledge throughout life) factors? well it is a bit of both, one who is never exposed to such knowledge can not possible know certain things, while one who is exposed but does not have the capacity to comprehend could not possibly learn... In this way intelligence is heritable depending on both genetic and environmental factors, which I would say, internal and external factors acting together.
Some nations fare better than others, because they have received a better set of givens but also because they display more drive, determination and and ambition. The point is making the most of available opportunities.
On the long run, the quality of the school system and the loving support of a child by his/her family is probably even more important than genes, although intelligence seems to be inherited to a large extent.
I'd say equally important, probably a unique case for every person.
I don't think we are all cookie cutters Barney, it's not that simple, but I can partially agree. Nothing is out of the question for science, but
are there ethical issues, probably yes.
Comparing Polish and Jewish success levels?
Can you explain in what context, as an ethnicity? in terms of material wealth, knowledge, population numbers? etc. Or did you want a list depicting all factors, which I can say would require intensive research.