Leading Geneticist: Humans Getting Dumber - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-22-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Pearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,653
Local Time: 03:06 PM
Leading Geneticist: Humans Getting Dumber

Quote:
Would you be surprised to hear that the human race is slowly becoming dumber, and dumber? Despite our advancements over the last tens or even hundreds of years, some ‘experts’ believe that humans are losing cognitive capabilities and becoming more emotionally unstable. One Stanford University researcher and geneticist, Dr. Gerald Crabtree, believes that our intellectual decline as a race has much to do with adverse genetic mutations. But human intelligence is suffering for other reasons as well.
According to Crabtree, our cognitive and emotional capabilities are fueled and determined by the combined effort of thousands of genes. If a mutation occurred in any of of these genes, which is quite likely, then intelligence or emotional stability can be negatively impacted.

Read more: Leading Geneticist: Human Intelligence is Slowly Declining


The article goes on to say that our food system may be playing a role, with fluoride and high fructose corn syrup lowering our IQs. Interesting. Our food is making us more fat and possibly dumber.

But I'm sure we've all been noticing that generally people seem to be getting more dimwitted. The American education system focuses more on students passing tests than learning problem solving skills and critical thinking. Many admire celebrities for being rich than smart.

This article also says our emotional intelligence is declining, which is interesting because emotional intelligence is a new concept. I say it may likely because of our fast-paced, stress filled lives. I also think technology may play a role, which is ironic because I am right now using the Internet to communicate to people.

Anyway, I think this is a good topic.
__________________

__________________
Pearl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,493
Local Time: 02:06 PM
i don't think this is true?

Quote:
Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century
by James R. Flynn
Cambridge University Press, 310 pp., $22

IN THE MID-’80s, the political philosopher James Flynn noticed a remarkable but puzzling trend: for the past century, average IQ scores in every industrialized nation have been steadily rising. And not just a little: nearly three points every decade. Every several years, IQ tests test have to be “re-normed” so that the average remains 100. This means that a person who scored 100 a century ago would score 70 today; a person who tested as average a century ago would today be declared mentally retarded.

This bizarre finding—christened the “Flynn effect” by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray in The Bell Curve—has since snowballed so much supporting evidence that in 2007 Malcolm Gladwell declared in The New Yorker that “the Flynn effect has moved from theory to fact.” But researchers still cannot agree on why scores are going up. Are we are simply getting better at taking tests? Are the tests themselves a poor measure of intelligence? Or do rising IQ scores really mean we are getting smarter?

In spite of his new book’s title, Flynn does not suggest a simple yes or no to this last question. It turns out that the greatest gains have taken place in subtests that measure abstract reasoning and pattern recognition, while subtests that depend more on previous knowledge show the lowest score increases. This imbalance may not reflect an increase in general intelligence, Flynn argues, but a shift in particular habits of mind. The question is not, why are we getting smarter, but the much less catchy, why are we getting better at abstract reasoning and little else?

Flynn starts from a position that accepts the idea of IQ—a measure that supposedly reflects an underlying “general” intelligence. Some researchers have objected to this concept in part because of its circular definition: psychologists measure general intelligence by analyzing correlation patterns among multiple intelligence tests; someone with greater general intelligence will perform better on all these subtests. But although he does not quibble with the premise, Flynn argues that an increase in general intelligence is not the full story when it comes to the past century’s massive score gains.

If we were really getting smarter overall, scores should be going up across all the subtests, but that is not the case. To understand the score gains, then, we need to set aside issues of general intelligence and instead analyze patterns on the IQ subtests. Doing so opens a window into cognitive trends over time and reveals a far more interesting picture of what may be happening to our minds. This inquiry is at the heart of Flynn’s thirty-year career, and it drives his thoughtful (though occasionally tedious) book.

As Flynn demonstrates, a typical IQ test question on the abstract reasoning “Similarities” subtest might ask “How are dogs and rabbits alike?” While our grandparents were more likely to say something along the lines of “Dogs are used to hunt rabbits,” today we are more likely to say the “correct” answer, “Dogs and rabbits are both mammals.” Our grandparents were more likely to see the world in concrete, utilitarian terms (dogs hunt rabbits), but today we are more likely to think in abstractions (the category of “mammal”). In contrast, the Arithmetic IQ subtest and the Vocabulary IQ subtest—tests that rely on previous knowledge—show hardly any score increase at all.

Why has this happened? The short answer, according to Flynn, is that a convergence of diverse social factors in post-industrial societies—from the emphasis of scientific reasoning in school to the complexity of modern video games—has increasingly demanded abstract thinking. We have begun to see the world, Flynn says, through “scientific spectacles.” To put it even more broadly, the pattern of rising IQ scores does not mean that we are comparing “a worse mind with a better one,” but rather that we are comparing minds that “were adapted to one cognitive environment with those whose minds are adapted to another cognitive environment.” Seen in this light, the Flynn effect does not reflect gains in general intelligence, it reflects a shift to more abstract thinking brought about by a changing social environment. We aren’t getting smarter; we are getting more modern.

Meehan Crist and Tim Requarth Review James R. Flynn's "Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century" | New Republic
__________________

__________________
Irvine511 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 11:08 AM   #3
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Pearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,653
Local Time: 03:06 PM
Quote:
Why has this happened? The short answer, according to Flynn, is that a convergence of diverse social factors in post-industrial societies—from the emphasis of scientific reasoning in school to the complexity of modern video games—has increasingly demanded abstract thinking. We have begun to see the world, Flynn says, through “scientific spectacles.” To put it even more broadly, the pattern of rising IQ scores does not mean that we are comparing “a worse mind with a better one,” but rather that we are comparing minds that “were adapted to one cognitive environment with those whose minds are adapted to another cognitive environment.” Seen in this light, the Flynn effect does not reflect gains in general intelligence, it reflects a shift to more abstract thinking brought about by a changing social environment. We aren’t getting smarter; we are getting more modern.


Hmm, that's an interesting point. Obviously we'd have to think differently according to our environment. But I've heard claims that our diet and pollution is hurting our IQ levels. I remember reading years ago about some towns where there are chemical plants nearby having high cases of learning disabilities.

The human brain is easy to manipulate, basically. I guess how we should manipulate it is up for debate.
__________________
Pearl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #4
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Danny Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Harvard Supermodel Activist of the Decade Runner-Up
Posts: 9,157
Local Time: 11:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
The article goes on to say that our food system may be playing a role, with fluoride and high fructose corn syrup lowering our IQs. Interesting. Our food is making us more fat and possibly dumber.

But I'm sure we've all been noticing that generally people seem to be getting more dimwitted. The American education system focuses more on students passing tests than learning problem solving skills and critical thinking. Many admire celebrities for being rich than smart.
None of these environmental factors have anything to do with a genetic drift toward higher or lower intelligence. It's possible that people living right now are "dumber" because of environmental exposures and poor educational trends, but it has nothing to do with whether their children or grandchildren will have higher or lower cognitive potential.

The only way we become dumber as a species is if there is some reproductive advantage toward having a lower IQ. If you can demonstrate that dumb people are reproducing faster than smart people, you may have something.
__________________
Danny Boy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 11:24 AM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Pearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,653
Local Time: 03:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Boy View Post
The only way we become dumber as a species is if there is some reproductive advantage toward having a lower IQ. If you can demonstrate that dumb people are reproducing faster than smart people, you may have something.
Its well-known that more educated people have fewer children, so...
__________________
Pearl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 11:39 AM   #6
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,984
Local Time: 02:06 PM
I see evidence of it on a daily basis
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 12:11 PM   #7
Blue Crack Distributor
 
bono_212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 81,104
Local Time: 11:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
Its well-known that more educated people have fewer children, so...
Does education level actually relate to IQ?
__________________
bono_212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Jive Turkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 13,646
Local Time: 02:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl


But I'm sure we've all been noticing that generally people seem to be getting more dimwitted. .
Relative to what? If we're arguing for a genetic basis, you most certainly haven't noticed any change as your evolutionary perspective is insignificant.
It's far more likely that, with social media, we're just more aware of other people and the dumb things people occasionally say are more likely to stick in our minds.
Studies like this are no more than sensationalism with little substance
__________________
Jive Turkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 12:35 PM   #9
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,493
Local Time: 02:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bono_212 View Post

Does education level actually relate to IQ?

Yes. IQ can be improved and it's more or less a social construct.
__________________
Irvine511 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 12:38 PM   #10
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Pearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,653
Local Time: 03:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post
It's far more likely that, with social media, we're just more aware of other people and the dumb things people occasionally say are more likely to stick in our minds.
That's probably it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post
Studies like this are no more than sensationalism with little substance
Well, Irvine's article points out how measuring IQs can change over time, and it says a lot about our societies. And the part about the chemicals in our food is interesting. After all, if all the crap in processed food makes us fat why won't it have some impact on our brain if food and chemicals can do that? Then again, I'm getting more health conscious and looking into detox diets to see if they're worth it.
__________________
Pearl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 01:07 PM   #11
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Jive Turkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 13,646
Local Time: 02:06 PM
Just eat healthier food and avoid any diets with the words 'toxins' 'detox' 'cleanse'. A healthy diet isn't brain surgery despite what the nutritionists would like you to believe
__________________
Jive Turkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2013, 08:10 PM   #12
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
the iron horse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: in a glass of CheerWine
Posts: 3,251
Local Time: 02:06 PM
Quick!!! Reply

Don't cheat and look it up!


-Internal combustion engine / How does it work?

-Microwave oven / How does it work?

-Why is your fridge cold?
__________________
the iron horse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2013, 08:30 PM   #13
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Jive Turkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 13,646
Local Time: 02:06 PM
Unless you expect me to know how the microwave generates microwaves, as opposed to how microwaves (the actual waves) make things hot, I can answer all of those. I'm sure most people here can
__________________
Jive Turkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2013, 09:13 PM   #14
Resident Photo Buff
Forum Moderator
 
Diemen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Somewhere in middle America
Posts: 13,237
Local Time: 01:06 PM


__________________
Diemen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2013, 09:41 PM   #15
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Jive Turkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 13,646
Local Time: 02:06 PM
If I was being insincere, wouldn't I have just googled the answers first, then pretended I just saw the question?

Or would I?
__________________

__________________
Jive Turkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com