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Still Waters

Are humans getting less intelligent?

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Our intelligence and behaviour requires optimal functioning of a large number of genes, which requires enormous evolutionary pressures to maintain.

Now, in a provocative theory, a team from Stanford University claim we are losing our intellectual and emotional capabilities because the intricate web of genes which endows us with our brain power is particularly vulnerable to mutations - and these mutations are not being selected against our modern society because we no longer need intelligence to survive.

http://www.dailymail...ce-survive.html

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I don't find it comforting to think that Mike Judge was onto something with Idiocracy.

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Our intelligence and behaviour requires optimal functioning of a large number of genes, which requires enormous evolutionary pressures to maintain.

Now, in a provocative theory, a team from Stanford University claim we are losing our intellectual and emotional capabilities because the intricate web of genes which endows us with our brain power is particularly vulnerable to mutations - and these mutations are not being selected against our modern society because we no longer need intelligence to survive.

http://www.dailymail...ce-survive.html

I wouldnt bother going to Stanford if thats all they can come up with,total rubbish again.You have to be more and more intelligent to survive in this modern day era.

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Humans are getting what now?? :passifier:

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Less intelligent or just lazy.

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I wouldnt bother going to Stanford if thats all they can come up with,total rubbish again.You have to be more and more intelligent to survive in this modern day era.

I wouldn't exactly say rubbish since Use it or Lose it is true.... but I believe your last sentence says it all :)

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I wouldnt bother going to Stanford if thats all they can come up with,total rubbish again.You have to be more and more intelligent to survive in this modern day era.

I don't see why you think that. Our modern world allows people who would have died as children to live to a ripe old age because our medical technology overcomes the inherent weakness in their genetic code. By the same token, "think fast or die" situations are pretty rare for a modern human.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying these guys are right (especially since there's no real definitive way to measure intelligence among modern people, much less a way to apply it to previous generations), just that from a logical perspective our amassed knowledge base as a species may allow individuals to get by with learning less or more slowly than generations where individual knowledge was all that determined whether one would eat dinner or BE dinner...

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Polymaths (people who were good at a lot of things) are dying out.

Eg. My Dad; a carpenter, woodworker, plumber, electrician, car mechanic, heavy duty mechanic, millwright, welder & fabricator, machine operator, tree faller, saw mill designer (the list goes on and on).

We're not getting less intelligent, just more specialized. Sure, there were better people in any of those one fields. Now, those people who were adept in all those fields (or any other list of fields) are getting fewer.

In short, I'd rather have someone with experience, than someone who's an 'expert'.

Edited by Likely Guy
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Well, according to my wife, I am getting "less intelligent"

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Well, according to my wife, I am getting "less intelligent"

No pallidin, she used to give you the 'benefit of the doubt'. She's not doing that anymore. :)

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No pallidin, she used to give you the 'benefit of the doubt'. She's not doing that anymore. :)

I like that. :w00t:

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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.

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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.

The "minority" becomes the "majority" by virtue of birth population. Nothing against minorities, just stating a fact.

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I don't know if true intelligence can be accurately measured - heck we don't even really seem to have it defined yet...

However, I do firmly believe that we are becoming much less 'focused'... Our attention spans seem to have been reduced noticibly from earlier generations...

IMO we are not less intelligent, we are just more easily distracted...

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What we eat has a huge effect on how intelligent we are. If you're not healthy, it impacts everything.

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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.

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A lot of factors go into how intelligent you are.

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

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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.

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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-webster.com/dictionary/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?

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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

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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.

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The rich are arguably richer because they are smarter,

FALSE

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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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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.

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