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  • Lowering of human intelligence article

    Can't help but think this is funny-in particular the theory that it started right around the introduction of agriculture

    People Getting Dumber? Human Intelligence Has Declined Since Victorian Era, Research Suggests

    “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

    Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

  • #2
    Idiocracy.
    The above should be viewed as complete and utter nonsense.

    Comment


    • #3
      I can't get the link to work. Do I have to click on it or something?

      Comment


      • #4
        It's a theoretical/speculative article, not science. The article can basically be summarised as saying that because there's less selective pressure on populations now, by definition we must be getting dumber (since presumably intelligence would be selected for).

        In terms of actual data, the only period we have detailed information for is post 1940, and the Flynn effect (which is completely environmental, not genetic) completely swamps the theoretical intelligence degradation due to relaxed selection pressure.
        Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

        Griff's cholesterol primer
        5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
        Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
        TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
        bloodorchid is always right

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
          It's a theoretical/speculative article, not science. The article can basically be summarised as saying that because there's less selective pressure on populations now, by definition we must be getting dumber (since presumably intelligence would be selected for).

          In terms of actual data, the only period we have detailed information for is post 1940, and the Flynn effect (which is completely environmental, not genetic) completely swamps the theoretical intelligence degradation due to relaxed selection pressure.
          You write good!
          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

          - Ray Peat

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
            You write good!
            You are right. It seems his answer alone disproves the article. hehe

            “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

            Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm not sure if it is entirely based on genetic selection, either. There's a fair amount of environmental factors that could be relevant- chemical differences could cause a slowdown of synapse transmission. I have no idea if that's true or not, or even possible, but there are a lot of things to rule out before you can say it is definitely genetic.

              Also, children have become more children-ified. Parents don't let them do things they are capable of, and educators aren't any better. For example:
              think:lab: 8th Grade Examination from late 1800's
              I'd do terribly at this test, and I've seen similar ones that include a fair amount of Greek and Latin, which this one doesn't include at all.

              There's a lot of interesting stories from John Taylor Gatto's book, "An Underground History of American Education" that involve young people of 13-15 doing things like establishing their own homesteads, or becoming captain of a ship, with a full crew. My wife was just talking with a classmate who is about to graduate and hasn't found a job. She fully expects her parents to support her, because they supported her sister. My wife and her classmate are graduating from law school! Everyone is at least 25 years old! Society now has this extended adolescence that is getting longer and longer, where young people are not expected to make any kind of positive contribution to themselves, their families, or society.

              I'm ranting, but I'll stop now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
                You write good!
                Thanks
                Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                Griff's cholesterol primer
                5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                bloodorchid is always right

                Comment


                • #9

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spk View Post
                    Can't help but think this is funny-in particular the theory that it started right around the introduction of agriculture

                    People Getting Dumber? Human Intelligence Has Declined Since Victorian Era, Research Suggests
                    I can't help thinking that it's an incredibly weak article. Still, journalists have to fill column inches, so if people feed them stories (which they do do for obvious reasons) they print 'em.

                    ... they analyzed the results of 14 intelligence studies conducted between 1884 to 2004, including one by Sir Francis Galton, an English anthropologist and a cousin of Charles Darwin.
                    It's unintentionally funny that they should mention both Galton and Darwin. Both men, Galton especially but, I'm afraid, his cousin Charles Darwin too on occasion, were also apt to worry that:

                    "... women of high intelligence tend to have fewer children than do women of lower intelligence. ..."
                    The Australian philosopher David Stow was particularly funny on the inherent but unobserved contradiction that lies in this attitude.

                    Stow should be on every thinking person's shelf anyway:

                    Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution: David Stove: 9781594032004: Amazon.com: Books

                    But really how does one measure these things, and so far as these limited tests do show us anything how could we know that epi-genetic factors weren't at play?

                    In the late 19th Century, visual reaction times averaged around 194 milliseconds, the analysis showed. In 2004 that time had grown to 275 milliseconds.
                    Oh, good grief (as Snoopy would say). Just good grief! Is that all they've got?

                    So I guess kids who play video games a lot, and who would therefore be quicker at pressing buttons on a signal, would probably score higher on this test. This would, then, mean that if you spend a lot of time hunched over a PC (or these days a smartphone) and don't mix with people and learn about the human world and what's around you through experience of it in ways that are so subtle that we couldn't even begin to describe them let alone measure them you'd be marked down by "Dr. te Nijenhuis and colleagues" as of superior intelligence.

                    Pfft! ...

                    That's all you can say. Even if it be true that "human intelligence is on the decline" -- as it might be -- there's absolutely NOTHING here to substantiate that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Lewis, your post reminded me of an interesting TED talk on video games given by cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier:
                      Daphne Bavelier: Your brain on video games | Video on TED.com

                      I realize this is anecdotal evidence but my husband teaches High School and he's found that the kids that play video games are often the more intelligent. I may be a little biased because our son is unschooled and plays a lot of video games, whenever he meets new people they always remark on how intelligent and mature he is. Maybe he's just the exception.
                      Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
                        Lewis, your post reminded me of an interesting TED talk on video games given by cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier:
                        Daphne Bavelier: Your brain on video games | Video on TED.com

                        I realize this is anecdotal evidence but my husband teaches High School and he's found that the kids that play video games are often the more intelligent. I may be a little biased because our son is unschooled and plays a lot of video games, whenever he meets new people they always remark on how intelligent and mature he is. Maybe he's just the exception.
                        I honestly credit video games with my terrible homework scores and awesome test scores all throughout school.
                        The above should be viewed as complete and utter nonsense.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
                          I'm not sure if it is entirely based on genetic selection, either. There's a fair amount of environmental factors that could be relevant- chemical differences could cause a slowdown of synapse transmission. I have no idea if that's true or not, or even possible, but there are a lot of things to rule out before you can say it is definitely genetic.

                          Also, children have become more children-ified. Parents don't let them do things they are capable of, and educators aren't any better. For example:
                          think:lab: 8th Grade Examination from late 1800's
                          I'd do terribly at this test, and I've seen similar ones that include a fair amount of Greek and Latin, which this one doesn't include at all.

                          There's a lot of interesting stories from John Taylor Gatto's book, "An Underground History of American Education" that involve young people of 13-15 doing things like establishing their own homesteads, or becoming captain of a ship, with a full crew. My wife was just talking with a classmate who is about to graduate and hasn't found a job. She fully expects her parents to support her, because they supported her sister. My wife and her classmate are graduating from law school! Everyone is at least 25 years old! Society now has this extended adolescence that is getting longer and longer, where young people are not expected to make any kind of positive contribution to themselves, their families, or society.

                          I'm ranting, but I'll stop now.
                          This and PUFAs, fluoridation, aspartame, HFCS, vaccines, compulsory schooling, the media. etc.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Flynn effect doesn't explain the why Ashkenazi Jews have a disproportionate amount of Nobel laureates in science. I think intelligence is positively selected for once you are in an urban environment, and that's why Ashkenazis are so intelligent; they've been city dwellers longer than arguably any isolated, continuous genetic pool.

                            PS, my reflexes are insanely good.

                            Much better than this guy's...

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