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Study claims humans are becoming less intelligent
cbsnews ^ | November 13, 2012, 10:47 AM | By Tia Ghose

Posted on 11/13/2012 5:09:22 PM PST by dennisw

Humans may be gradually losing intelligence, according to a new study.

The study, published today (Nov. 12) in the journal Trends in Genetics, argues that humans lost the evolutionary pressure to be smart once we started living in dense agricultural settlements several thousand years ago.

"The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples [living] before our ancestors emerged from Africa," said study author Gerald Crabtree, a researcher at Stanford University, in a statement.

Since then it's all been downhill, Crabtree contends.

The theory isn't without critics, with one scientist contacted by LiveScience suggesting that rather than losing our smarts, humans have just diversified them with various types of intelligence today.

Life or death situations

Early humans lived or died by their spatial abilities, such as quickly making a shelter or spearing a saber-toothed tiger. Nowadays, though almost everyone has the spatial ability to do ostensibly simple tasks like washing dishes or mowing the lawn, such tasks actually require a lot of brainpower, the researchers note.

"A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his/her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate. Clearly, extreme selection is a thing of the past," the researchers write in the journal article.

(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/13/2012 5:09:27 PM PST by dennisw
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To: dennisw

Less “informed” would be a better word.


2 posted on 11/13/2012 5:11:00 PM PST by tsowellfan (Allen West for Speaker!)
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To: dennisw

Tuesday of last week was proof positive of this thesis.


3 posted on 11/13/2012 5:12:00 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: tsowellfan

A “low information” humans can do quite well in America when they have a patron Saint Obama


4 posted on 11/13/2012 5:13:33 PM PST by dennisw (Government be yo mamma - Re-elect Barack Obama)
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To: dennisw

the ones here are that is for sure


5 posted on 11/13/2012 5:13:49 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: dennisw
I suppose that I really needed something like this.
6 posted on 11/13/2012 5:14:37 PM PST by An Old Man
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To: dennisw
You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude, so that's what you call me. Or maybe His Dudeness, or Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.

Mary Jane kills the brain!

Don't do it!

7 posted on 11/13/2012 5:15:16 PM PST by RoosterRedux (Bill Clinton just signed Paula Broadwell to write his bio...and Jill Kelley as his social liaison.)
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To: dennisw

Only due to overpopulation in the third world.

The trend in developed nations is upwards in IQ every year.

This is largely due to better nutrition and less childhood disease leading to larger and smarter people on average.

In the USA the trend is upwards.


8 posted on 11/13/2012 5:18:02 PM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: dennisw

The last “election” here in this country is proof of that.


9 posted on 11/13/2012 5:20:16 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest)
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To: dennisw

Of course, humans are becoming less intelligent. And they join the democrat party. Conservatives aren’t getting more intelligent either. That’s why RINOs get elected and nominated.


10 posted on 11/13/2012 5:20:22 PM PST by Terry Mross (I haven't watched the news since the election. Someone ping me if anything big happens.)
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To: dennisw
Two potential trends which deserve consideration:

1) The gene pool becomes shallower as the survival value of intelligence is diluted by communal support for the incompetent, who unfortunately are rather fertile.

2)The new genetics explores the "turning on and off" of genes according to adaptive requirements in the environment. This neo-Lamarckianism offers the promise that novel intellectual challenges, specifically based on the burgeoning of digital technology, may activate and energize genetic capacities unknown to previous generations.

The possibility exists that the next generation or two may interact and relate to their world in ways very different than what we understand today. The proliferation of the digital age will likely have consequences for cognitive development that are essentially unforeseeable, and may make current understandings of intelligence obsolete.

11 posted on 11/13/2012 5:23:06 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: tsowellfan

IQ levels are actually plunging. It’s not difficult to see.

Look at the literacy rate. Half the people are hardly human.


12 posted on 11/13/2012 5:24:11 PM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (I will fear no muslim))
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To: dennisw

I’ve seen evidence that as the density of habitation increases, the intelligence level goes down


13 posted on 11/13/2012 5:28:48 PM PST by bigbob
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To: dennisw
It certainly explains the results of the last 2 presidential elections... Obamba is a master of the Jedi Mind Trick against those weak minded fools!

Mark

14 posted on 11/13/2012 5:31:33 PM PST by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: dennisw

As soon as I put down my stone axe and traded my bark canoe for a Denali, I have felt so much less clever. /s

Obviously, people in the bush are so much smarter than we are. Even though that is not reflected in standardized tests, the tests are wrong.


15 posted on 11/13/2012 5:33:32 PM PST by SC_Pete
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To: hinckley buzzard
1) The gene pool becomes shallower as the survival value of intelligence is diluted by communal support for the incompetent, who unfortunately are rather fertile.


16 posted on 11/13/2012 5:34:30 PM PST by dennisw (Government be yo mamma - Re-elect Barack Obama)
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To: dennisw
All this means is the OBAMABOTS are taking over. As you all know, we are too stupid to understand his magnificence and superior intelligence.

FMCDH(BITS)

17 posted on 11/13/2012 5:41:37 PM PST by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: Vigilanteman

RE: Tuesday of last week was proof positive of this thesis.

I knew this would be one of the first remarks on this thread.


18 posted on 11/13/2012 5:46:23 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: allmendream

I have read the same thing. But my nonscientific sense is that our culture is getting dumber each year. Just look at TV and newspapers. Newspapers were written for 12th graders 25 years ago. Now, they are aiming a few grades lower. So my conclusion, again nonscientific, is that the uptick in IQs is due to a raising of the left hand side of the curve.


19 posted on 11/13/2012 6:01:16 PM PST by maro (what did the President know and when did he know it?)
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To: dennisw

Conversation on a zerohedge thread...

Water Is Wet(poster), “E’ERY BODY IN CLE’LAND GOT OBAMAPHONE!”

cnmcdee (poster), “LMAO but we have created a new subset language consisting of tonal clicks, pops, hyphenated abbreviations and digitized text messages....

:-)

In three or four generations the vocal cords of the texters should be atrophied enough that they can no longer speak, and when they do it will be primal utterances and inflections...”


20 posted on 11/13/2012 6:02:17 PM PST by PGalt
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To: Hardraade

There’s a lot of social selection, aka “sexual selection”. Who was the conservative pundit I read recently who commented on the irony that the liberal intelligentsia sustains itself by adherence to conservative family values ?


21 posted on 11/13/2012 6:11:49 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: PGalt
In three or four generations the vocal cords of the texters should be atrophied enough that they can no longer speak, and when they do it will be primal utterances and inflections...”

Remember HEAVY METAL magazine ? ( It was the basis for the cartoon feature movie. ) There was one running strip called, IIRC "1994", where all the characters talked a sort of mumble talk, artfully rendered in the speech balloons. Of course, they were all redneck types, wandering around shooting people and mumbling.

22 posted on 11/13/2012 6:15:47 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: Vigilanteman
Tuesday of last week was proof positive of this thesis.

Beat me to it. Well said, and sad but true.

The 'rats, aided by the MSM, held out a few shiny objects in one hand "Look over here, birth control, abortion, iPhones, free healthcare..." and the sheeple gazed in wide wonder... Forgetting the important things like the economy, security, basic freedoms and liberties. Meanwhile, with their other hand the secular fascists and socialists were picking our pockets and putting a gun to our heads. And the self-centered, self-absorbed, uninformed, and willfully ignorant masses - well, 51%, looked up at the light (see "Cowboys and Aliens") and were led to slaughter...

23 posted on 11/13/2012 6:16:41 PM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: bigbob

Living in a city does some bad juju to the brain, so says this article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jun/22/city-living-afffects-brain


24 posted on 11/13/2012 6:25:08 PM PST by pepperdog ( I still get a thrill up my leg when spell check doesn't recognize the name/word Obama!)
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To: allmendream
In the USA the trend is upwards.

And Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

25 posted on 11/13/2012 6:28:26 PM PST by WhistlingPastTheGraveyard (Some men just want to watch the world burn.)
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To: allmendream
The trend in developed nations is upwards in IQ every year.

Teens texting while crossing the street thins out a few.

26 posted on 11/13/2012 6:34:26 PM PST by Liberty Wins
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To: dennisw

So we should be devolving back to apehood soon.


27 posted on 11/13/2012 6:45:35 PM PST by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: ViLaLuz; dennisw
So we should be devolving back to apehood soon.

That's the fate of the "Doasyoulikes" tribe in Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies.

28 posted on 11/13/2012 6:52:14 PM PST by thecodont
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To: Vigilanteman

*snort* GMTA! That was my very first thought after reading the headline!


29 posted on 11/13/2012 6:58:00 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: maro

A few years ago I tried reading an unabridged version of Edward Gibbon’s “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, not taking into account that it had been written in the 1700s. Oh my head...trying to follow the complex English that Gibbon used was rough!


30 posted on 11/13/2012 7:00:22 PM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: dennisw

Well, duh!


31 posted on 11/13/2012 7:16:27 PM PST by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: dennisw
Study claims humans are becoming less intelligent

You don't say.


32 posted on 11/13/2012 7:22:18 PM PST by reagan_fanatic (You are not now, and will never be my President, Mr. Obama.)
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To: dennisw

What you don’t use, you lose.

And, 47% of the populace doesn’t need to use their brains.


33 posted on 11/13/2012 7:24:07 PM PST by adorno
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To: WhistlingPastTheGraveyard

Sorry the facts don’t conform to your preconceptions. Now you kids get off my lawn!!!!


34 posted on 11/13/2012 7:42:04 PM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: allmendream

And I’m sorry you don’t know what a preconception is.

Or a fact, for that matter.


35 posted on 11/13/2012 8:08:16 PM PST by WhistlingPastTheGraveyard (Some men just want to watch the world burn.)
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To: M1903A1
Oh my head...trying to follow the complex English that Gibbon used was rough!

Gibbon's prose can be compared to a long draught of air, that having been drawn in a moment, and to a single purpose, is expelled with exceeding restraint, gently carrying the reader on its current, until it has dissipated insensibly into a swirl of verbiage, the object of which can neither be discerned nor recalled to mind.

36 posted on 11/13/2012 8:27:57 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: humblegunner

Saw this thread and thought of you.


37 posted on 11/13/2012 9:03:39 PM PST by Eaker ( If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.)
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To: dennisw

nonsense, of course. Because the most common cause of low intelligence is not genes but protein malnutrition. The same high protein high fat diet that makes us fat also allows our children’s brains to grow and their bodies to be taller than their ancestors.


38 posted on 11/13/2012 9:57:42 PM PST by LadyDoc
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To: allmendream

you are a bit behind the times. The population growth is down in most countries, even in “religious” ones like Iran and the Philippines, and the obesity index is up.

Even Africa is getting cellphones, and the Chinese are teaching them to grow high tech food that the US/European “Greenies” opposed for being too complex for their little minds to figure out how to plant. You heard of the “Asian Tigers”? well, look up African “cheetah” index...

But the greenies in the US are still in the Erhlich Population bomb mindset, and they run the press, so you might not know about it (unless you live overseas).


39 posted on 11/13/2012 10:04:38 PM PST by LadyDoc
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To: dennisw

NEA - mission accomplished.


40 posted on 11/13/2012 10:07:11 PM PST by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
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To: dr_lew; Eaker; humblegunner; All
Of course, they were all redneck types, wandering around shooting people and mumbling.

Of course. (I remember the name of the magazine, but never picked up a copy.)

LOL...you're bad, Eaker. From everything I've seen...'gunner is wiley and has a good eye. It's a good thing you're buds. FReepers extraordinaire BUMP!

41 posted on 11/14/2012 5:06:18 AM PST by PGalt
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To: WhistlingPastTheGraveyard

The rising scores on IQ tests in the USA is a fact. Where is any data that it is declining? Please familiarize yourself with the Flynn effect.


42 posted on 11/14/2012 5:49:50 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: dennisw

This is total BS for the following reasons:

1. The average age of hunter-gatherers was about 14. Iq increases beyond that age. During the Middle Ages, 70% of the people were 14 or under which is why they seem to be a bit childish in their decisions and actions.
2. Inputs to brain activity are much higher now, exponentially higher than during the HG phase resulting in increased brain development.
3. Increased specialization of labor has placed a very high value on innovation and for the non-innovators, the ability to adapt to different circumstances and to incorporate new innovations.
4. The experience of HGs were highly repetitive solely involving the acquisition of food, housing and warmth and security.
5. The sum of all abilities of HGs are now regarded as skill sets that are fairly minor: Hunting, construction of housing using branches, leaves and mud, production of arrow and spear points using flint, etc. Basically our hobbies are the complete set of their knowledge.
6. Although most people think that agricultural life is pastoral and easy, it is not and it requires lots of thinking and action to ensure that the crops come in. This is particularly true when you have crop yields that are 1/32nd or less of our current yields. Crop yield during the last 150 years has exploded.
7. HGs were fed at close to starvation levels, particularly protein. We take in huge amounts of protein compared to the HGs and it shows in brain development.

These are just a few of the changes that have occured over tha last 40,000 years. There and many others.


43 posted on 11/14/2012 7:03:08 AM PST by buffaloguy
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To: LadyDoc

What? A high protein, high fat diet will make you trim aka ketosis. I agree with your otherwise, but it is processed carbs that make you fat.


44 posted on 11/16/2012 7:37:08 PM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: buffaloguy

HGs also suffer from short time horizons, too much leisure and mysogynistic social structures.

Farmers live by the Law of the Harvest and must value their women - hence marriage and family become central.


45 posted on 11/16/2012 7:42:23 PM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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