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Are humans getting less intelligent?

humans dumber intelligence

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#16    Neognosis

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

Quote

People who would not have been as evolutionarily successful in the past are having more children, and doing so earlier, than those who put their careers and intellectual pursuits first.

I think you are confused about what evolution really is. Having more children that survive IS winning the evolution game. Nature does not give a flying fig about your career or intellectual pursuits. All nature cares about is that you pass your DNA on to as many healthy offspring as possible. So the people that wait, get nice careers, pair up and reproduce later and have fewer kids LOSE the evolutionary battle to those who have more children sooner that survive.


#17    Hasina

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:30 PM

A lot of factors go into how intelligent you are.

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#18    BuzzLightYear

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:51 PM

Well that's nothing new. Where do you think America gets it's liberals. Baahahhahahahhahahahaha


#19    Chooky88

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:56 PM

Is intelligence how clever you are? The amount of knowledge you have or the capacity to learn? I think that on average thanks to the Internet the world's knowledge has increased, our capacity to learn hasn't changed either. As far as clever, well that's difficult to measure. I disagree with the report.


#20    Neognosis

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

It is the ability to solve problems.

1
a (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : reason; also : the skilled use of reason  (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests)

http://www.merriam-w...ry/intelligence

In what time in human history have human beings had to deal with as many new or trying situations than we do now? At what time did we have to think more abstractly than we do now?


#21    mikehr

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

View PostCybele, on 13 November 2012 - 04:08 AM, said:

Significant advances in modern human societies are made by the few. Perhaps in small, paleolithic tribal bands everyone had to do more to chip in. .

Modern Western nations will support people who cannot or will not support themselves and their families without government aid. People who would not have been as evolutionarily successful in the past are having more children, and doing so earlier, than those who put their careers and intellectual pursuits first.

And similarly until recently the rich have outbred the poor as a result of access to more/better food, better shelter etc. Now it is the other way around. The rich are arguably richer because they are smarter, so now the less smart are outbreeding the smart.

Edited by mikehr, 13 November 2012 - 03:21 PM.


#22    Alienated Being

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:08 PM

I don't agree that we are becoming less intelligent, however I do believe that we are not using our brains as much as we have in previous years. For example, children in school are using calculators for mathematical fundamentals (adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying), etc. Less intelligent? No, I don't agree with that; however, increasingly lazy? Absolutely, and that is irrefutable.


#23    Neognosis

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

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The rich are arguably richer because they are smarter,

FALSE


#24    Kazoo

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:36 PM

Intelligence is not something measurable by genetics.

Its enviormental.  Humans long ago that were geneticly the same as once hunted and gathered. We are not smarter then them by nature. We are smarter then them by learning. Anyone has the capability to become intelligence if given enough effort.

Humans today are more knowledgeable then ever. Intelligence is something many people don't need and therefore they don't use it. It does not mean they don't have the capability for it.

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#25    -M7

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:39 PM

The answer is yes and no. Depending on what you look at.

Smart enough to accomplish technological advancement.

Dumb enough to do stupid things just for laughs...You know what I mean if you watch youtube.


#26    Zaphod222

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:50 PM

I think it is pretty obvious that intelligence in developed countries is going down -- unless you reject evolution, that is.
Just look who is breeding.... the intelligent segment of the population? Obviously not. They have zero or 1 kid per woman. The segment of the population that is reproducing like crazy is the mass of welfare recipients. And among those, the ones who are intelligent and make something of themselves in turn have few children. So, it is simply the same evolution at work... way back in Africa, high IQ was an asset to procreation. In modern society, it has been made irrelevant, and the high-IQ section of the population does not reproduce. Et voila.
Incidentally, the state of Singapore has recognized this and is offering subsidies for high IQ couples to have more children. Alas, with little success.


#27    Cybele

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:53 PM

View PostNeognosis, on 13 November 2012 - 01:29 PM, said:

I think you are confused about what evolution really is. Having more children that survive IS winning the evolution game. Nature does not give a flying fig about your career or intellectual pursuits. All nature cares about is that you pass your DNA on to as many healthy offspring as possible. So the people that wait, get nice careers, pair up and reproduce later and have fewer kids LOSE the evolutionary battle to those who have more children sooner that survive.

That's exactly what I meant. You have misinterpreted my quote.

Many societies now have built-in safety nets to provide for those who can't provide for themselves. This allows people who would not have been evolutionarily successful in the past to pass on their genes.

Putting a career first often means having fewer kids, and starting later--decreasing evolutionary success. This is relative to the less educated members of society, who tend to have more kids and to start having them earlier--i.e.-increasing evolutionary success. Intelligence may have increased fitness in the past, but I don't believe it does any longer.

Edited by Cybele, 13 November 2012 - 05:22 PM.

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#28    Cybele

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:08 PM

View Postmikehr, on 13 November 2012 - 03:06 PM, said:

And similarly until recently the rich have outbred the poor as a result of access to more/better food, better shelter etc. Now it is the other way around. The rich are arguably richer because they are smarter, so now the less smart are outbreeding the smart.

My understanding is that lower classes tended to marry earlier than higher classes in prior centuries as well, at least in the Western world. Rich people aren't necessarily rich because they're smarter, but because of inheritance and increased opportunities, such as access to education without going into debt, etc.

One might argue your case more convincingly with self-made millionaires and billionaires. Certainly you have to have great intelligence and creativity to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but these are extremes. I don't know how the statistics would play out.

Edited by Cybele, 13 November 2012 - 05:26 PM.

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#29    Mbyte

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:41 PM

As far as intelligence goes we are at a peak because we have almost boundless intellectual abilities locked away from us right now. We are all mathematical geniuses, and all musical masters but we simply don't have access these sides of our intelligence.


#30    Cybele

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:51 PM

View PostMbyte, on 13 November 2012 - 05:41 PM, said:

As far as intelligence goes we are at a peak because we have almost boundless intellectual abilities locked away from us right now. We are all mathematical geniuses, and all musical masters but we simply don't have access these sides of our intelligence.

Intelligence is a tricky concept. People with significant life impairments can have artistic or mnemonic abilities far beyond the average person and be considered genius (i.e.-savants). Intelligence is generally assessed more holistically than this, by testing memory, verbal, quantitative, spatial abilities and the like.

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