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Is Pampered Humanity Getting Steadily Less Intelligent?


Offbeat  (tags: humans, odd, society, research, genetics, education, culture, off-beat )

Carrie
- 524 days ago - guardian.co.uk
Since modern humans emerged from the evolutionary brambles of our ancient ancestry, our bodies and minds have been transforming under the pressures of natural and sexual selection. But what of human intelligence?



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Comments

Past Member (0)
Monday November 12, 2012, 1:58 pm
If anyone needs proof of this, just review this past election campaign.
 

Michael M. (58)
Monday November 12, 2012, 2:06 pm
Since epigenetic factors affect individuals and offspring for a couple generations (at the least), expect that significant differences exist in useful intelligence even among a single population cohort.

We know that human brains 10,000 years ago were on average 15% larger, but this may be due to the growth of large societies, and the required submissive deteriorization.

We also know that without training in local gathering of edible species, that many of the present world would not survive anywhere.
Knowing of some anthropologists who made a grave mistake on a hot day in Australia, I also believe that a populace too-sheltered might not even develop the sense to gauge what time of day is best for travel in hot or cold climes (Tibetan travelers start walking when they're cold - a wise maneuver, and mountainous terrain heats one up quickly) before dying.

Socrates was against literacy, as he said, just like many North American wise men pointed out, that leaving one's memory outside the self in print or script makes you less intelligent.

Since intelligence is a much-argued symbolic or imagined characteristic, one comment is relevant:
Intelligence is not exclusively a social trait - there are cognitions quite conscious and much faster than self-talk, which are utterly nonverbal in origin, learning, and action. Thus general statements arrogating intelligence tohuman animals or primates, is inaccurate and unfounded..
 

Roseann D. (176)
Monday November 12, 2012, 4:04 pm
Kids today must wonder how their parents got around without GPS navigation and now that cars can park themselves, or even just remembering phone numbers. It does raise the question of memory retention.
 

Angelica C. (80)
Monday November 12, 2012, 6:16 pm
Judging from all the ignorant secessionist traitors out there, I would have to say YES.
 

Mitchell D. (123)
Monday November 12, 2012, 6:57 pm
An interesting concept, in my estimation. The brain, use it or lose it!I've been trying to rely, less, on my cell phone's "contact list," and memorize some of the frequently used phone numbers.
Michael M., I like your point of view on this. Is that the same Michael M., with a new logo?
 

JL A. (269)
Monday November 12, 2012, 7:26 pm
And this theory doesn't even mention the brain damage attributable to environmental toxins and other deleterious chemical exposures...
 

Robert Hardy (64)
Monday November 12, 2012, 9:03 pm
Need to compare to political preference.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Monday November 12, 2012, 10:46 pm
Thanks.
 

Colleen Prinssen (14)
Tuesday November 13, 2012, 4:22 am
Roseann D. some people are just terrible with numbers. i could of never recall many. one of the problems of it is that i try to recall the whole thing and not just the nessesary digits.
 

Kenneth L. (321)
Tuesday November 13, 2012, 6:28 am
I wouldn't attribute the 'dumbing down' of humans to being pampered as much as I would attribute it to so many psychoactive drugs put into human beings, to the tune of 300 million scripts written every year worldwide. How many people do you know that take psychiatric drugs? From children to adolescents to teens to youth to adults to seniors. They are ALL powerful chemicals that affect brain function, with many known effects. Their single intention is to cause effects in brains.
 

Suzanne L. (152)
Tuesday November 13, 2012, 9:32 am
I think our potential is about the same as our ancestors dating back at least 50,000. Same basic architecture of the brain and same possibilities.
 

Debbie W. (108)
Tuesday November 13, 2012, 10:05 am
Yes - a steady decline in intelligence for the majority.
 

Michael Kirkby (81)
Tuesday November 13, 2012, 10:39 am
Interesting but its only one opinion.
 

Pat A. (117)
Wednesday November 14, 2012, 4:57 am
It seems a logical article - and did I see Harry Enfield's 'Tim Nice But Dim' in the photograph? Mind you if someone from 1000 BC came to the present day they would have nervous breakdown from the information overload!

Green star to Kenneth L.

 

Lois Jordan (55)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 4:49 pm
Thanks, Carrie. Intelligence is measured in many different ways. While I agree that we are "less" intelligent comparatively in some ways, I think we have the capacity to educate ourselves and learn more. The internet has played a large role in this--we can learn of events on the other side of the world in real time and refer to history for some context as well. I also agree that you can't fix "stupid."
 
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