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Study Claims Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago

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  • Study Claims Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago

    "Professor Gerald "Jerry" Crabtree of Stanford's Crabtree Laboratory published a paper (PDF) that has appeared in twoparts in Trends in Genetics. The paper opens with a very controversial suggestion: 'I would be willing to wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions.' From there, Crabtree speculates we're on the decline of human intelligence and we have been for at least a couple millennia. His argument suggests agriculture and, following from that, cities, have allowed us to break free of some environmental forces on competitive genetic mutations a la Mike Judge's theory. However, the conclusion of the paper urges humans to keep calm and carry on, as any attempt to fix this genetic trend would almost certainly be futile and disturbing."

    Study Claims Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago - Slashdot

  • #2
    Yeah, when they stopped letting kids get "left back" because it might hurt their boo boo egos, it all went to shit.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

    B*tch-lite

    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Grok View Post
      [I]'I would be willing to wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions.'
      I guess it's possible, but hardly established just by saying so. This would be during what's generally believed to be the "Dark Ages" after the collapse of Mycenaean civilization:

      http://www.ambrosedigital.com/compon...id=59&vmcchk=1

      I'd have thought Athens about half a millennium later would be rather more interesting. I don't know about "he or she" though -- the Ancient Greek practice of keeping women relatively speaking veiled and shut up ("respectable" ones at any rate) might have handicapped their intellectual "aliveness" somewhat ... though maybe not: I guess the women in Lysistrata give as good as they get.

      CLEONICE
      And why do you summon us, dear Lysistrata? What is it all about?

      LYSISTRATA
      About a big thing.

      CLEONICE (wearily)
      And is it thick too?

      LYSISTRATA
      Yes, very thick.

      CLEONICE
      And we are not all on the spot! Imagine!
      Drama: Lysistrata

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      • #4
        Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago - and you can tell by some of the threads around here lately.
        Female, age 51, 5' 9"
        SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

        Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
        2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

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        • #5
          Just skimmed the paper. That's not a "study." That's what we call a "think piece" in my field, basically it's interesting speculation by someone with some knowledge on the subject. No research was performed.
          The difference is huge, because nobody is ever going to know the answer to the "peak" of human intelligence. Brain cavity size, gene activation, none of the things you could possibly use as measurements really say much about actual intelligence.
          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jojohaligo View Post
            Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago - and you can tell by some of the threads around here lately.
            Heheheheheh...........................

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
              Yeah, when they stopped letting kids get "left back" because it might hurt their boo boo egos, it all went to shit.
              Truth. When my wife was a full time teacher they weren't allowed to give kids an "F" anymore. Complete and utter bullshit. If the kid had every opportunity to perform well, but failed because they didn't pay attention in class or do the homework, guess what? they failed.
              The greater the achievement the more difficult the path. The easy road is granted to those less fortunate as a consolation prize.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jojohaligo View Post
                Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago - and you can tell by some of the threads around here lately.
                No, that's caused by The Department of Education.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                  Yeah, when they stopped letting kids get "left back" because it might hurt their boo boo egos, it all went to shit.
                  The only way that is even relevant is if those children go on to have more offspring than they would have.

                  I'm not sure that's the case...

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                  • #10
                    I don't know the stats on the number of offspring. However, I have to believe that when "everybody passes," it knocks the wind out of little developing, naturally competitive, high achieving kids. What's the point of working your ass off if everyone gets the same reward?

                    Imagine a world where everyone who took the CPA exam, Bar exam, Medical boards, etc., got to work in those professions regardless of ability, just because they tried "real hard," but just didn't get the grades. As it is, in my lifetime, they've dumbed down the SATs so much that if I want to be one of those senior citizen grad students, they automatically add 200 points to my scores because of those changes.

                    I don't know current numbers, but when I lived in CA, I learned that for every dollar spent on "exceptional" children in education, 98cents was spent on below average learning abled and 2cents was spent on above average. I'm not heartless, and I believe in public education, but damn, that's a huge disparity.

                    Large segments of our culture glorify the good old boy mentality while sneering at "those over-educated snobs."

                    I don't know when intelligence peaked. But I think the respect for intelligence went in the toilet about 25 years ago.
                    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                    B*tch-lite

                    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know when human intelligence peaked, per ce. But from my personal observation it's definitely on a sharp decline since the early '00s. Reality TV is just one perfect example.

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                      • #12
                        The average citizen from Athens ate a grain-based slop diet while producing olive oil to burn or sell which eventually ruined the land (that wasn't that good to begin with) completely. Ecological disaster and famine! Well, I guess he would have fit in today just fine!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                          I don't know the stats on the number of offspring. However, I have to believe that when "everybody passes," it knocks the wind out of little developing, naturally competitive, high achieving kids. What's the point of working your ass off if everyone gets the same reward?

                          Imagine a world where everyone who took the CPA exam, Bar exam, Medical boards, etc., got to work in those professions regardless of ability, just because they tried "real hard," but just didn't get the grades. As it is, in my lifetime, they've dumbed down the SATs so much that if I want to be one of those senior citizen grad students, they automatically add 200 points to my scores because of those changes.

                          I don't know current numbers, but when I lived in CA, I learned that for every dollar spent on "exceptional" children in education, 98cents was spent on below average learning abled and 2cents was spent on above average. I'm not heartless, and I believe in public education, but damn, that's a huge disparity.

                          Large segments of our culture glorify the good old boy mentality while sneering at "those over-educated snobs."

                          I don't know when intelligence peaked. But I think the respect for intelligence went in the toilet about 25 years ago.
                          That's all well and good, but this is more about genetic intelligence. And I don't know if that even affects the birth rates in terms of intelligence.

                          However, as it stands, poorer people tend to have more children than richer people. And there is a correlation between poorness and low IQ. That isn't to say all poor people are dumb, some are Einstein smart. But poor people tend to be less intelligent on average, as a group, than rich people.

                          One solution is some sort of incentive to not have more children while on welfare.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bosnic View Post
                            That's all well and good, but this is more about genetic intelligence. And I don't know if that even affects the birth rates in terms of intelligence.

                            However, as it stands, poorer people tend to have more children than richer people. And there is a correlation between poorness and low IQ. That isn't to say all poor people are dumb, some are Einstein smart. But poor people tend to be less intelligent on average, as a group, than rich people.

                            One solution is some sort of incentive to not have more children while on welfare.
                            Rather than the current incentive of "Have a kid? Too young/underqualified to work? Have more and it's almost like earning a living!" Seriously, why schemes that pay you for having kids? Why something that says your kid is in "relative poverty" if they don't enjoy the same videogames as their friends? Why not something like several high-schools run, which is a day-care for teenage mums, so they can study, but see their kids on campus? Why not get paid for getting a job, after all, many teen mums study and/or work with one or two kids and make an amazing life for themselves. We need an incentive for young mums to educate themselves and get a job, not shrug and tell them they're doomed "breed" for cash from now on.

                            [Hell, I've been on welfare for two years. I made my way out of it. I know I'm smarter and stronger than to need it and better than to demand it. But even I look back and wonder why it was all so easy. Anyone who's smart enough can escape that cycle, but, right now, there's no incentive.]
                            Last edited by Kochin; 11-16-2012, 09:22 AM.
                            --
                            Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

                            --
                            I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
                            I'd apologize, but...

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                            • #15
                              Uhm, I am sorry to put this here, but would that be Athenian showing up among the modern Greeks or modern Americans? Folks from the US tend to examine every problem very inwardly, and then extrapolate the result to the entire world, when they are actually an exceptional minority. Just sayin'.
                              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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