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Are Humans Becoming Less Intelligent ?

trends in genetics stanford university hypothesis

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#16 Hitman2000

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:00

I read a similar piece (cant remember where haha) which argued we maybe losing our memory functions because of technology, who needs to remember facts and figures when you have google and Wikipedia at your finger tips. So surely over generations of this, our memory capacity will be reduced, it made sense to me.




#17 Yusuf M.

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:29

It's an interesting and highly debatable topic. Some say that certain types of intelligence have improved dramatically whereas others haven't. One interesting theory (by Geoffrey Miller) is that human intelligence wasn't propelled by natural selection alone. Instead, it was also driven by sexual selection. It seems a bit weird to think that our ancestors found intelligence to be an attractive quality. It's not something you see often in today's society (or at least what's depicted in the media).

I read a similar piece (cant remember where haha) which argued we maybe losing our memory functions because of technology, who needs to remember facts and figures when you have google and Wikipedia at your finger tips. So surely over generations of this, our memory capacity will be reduced, it made sense to me.

That's not true. What you're talking about is similar to Lamarckism. It's the inheritance of a characteristic that is acquired over an organism's lifetime. For example, a giraffe has to stretch its neck to reach leaves on a tall tree. After a lifetime of doing this, its neck grows longer. And when that giraffe gives birth to a calf, it too has a long neck. However, that isn't the case in the real world. An organism cannot pass down a characteristic it acquired in its lifetime. Whatever it passes down is determined by its genetic makeup.

Similarly, the use of technology to remember things will have no effect on future offspring. Whether it improves or diminishes your memory capacity is irrelevant.

#18 Arceles

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:48

It's an interesting and highly debatable topic. Some say that certain types of intelligence have improved dramatically whereas others haven't. One interesting theory (by Geoffrey Miller) is that human intelligence wasn't propelled by natural selection alone. Instead, it was also driven by sexual selection. It seems a bit weird to think that our ancestors found intelligence to be an attractive quality. It's not something you see often in today's society (or at least what's depicted in the media).


That's not true. What you're talking about is similar to Lamarckism. It's the inheritance of a characteristic that is acquired over an organism's lifetime. For example, a giraffe has to stretch its neck to reach leaves on a tall tree. After a lifetime of doing this, its neck grows longer. And when that giraffe gives birth to a calf, it too has a long neck. However, that isn't the case in the real world. An organism cannot pass down a characteristic it acquired in its lifetime. Whatever it passes down is determined by its genetic makeup.

Similarly, the use of technology to remember things will have no effect on future offspring. Whether it improves or diminishes your memory capacity is irrelevant.


So... intelligence is genetic? Oh my... :D

#19 +GreenMartian

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:58

Totally true, plus we become fanboys of almost everything :D

And the worst ones seem to congregate here:
http://www.neowin.ne...estic-politics/
:rofl:

#20 Asrokhel

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:02

If Windows 8 is any evidence, I would say yes we are! :p

#21 OP Hum

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 23:05

From the samples I see walking the streets, I'd tend to say yes.

But I don't think that some humans are becoming less intelligent -- it's just that the truly stupid are reproducing out of control. ;)

#22 Luis Mazza

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 23:14

From the samples I see walking the streets, I'd tend to say yes.

But I don't think that some humans are becoming less intelligent -- it's just that the truly stupid are reproducing out of control. ;)


Couldn't make more sense.

Somebody please, stop this.

#23 Growled

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:14

From the samples I see walking the streets, I'd tend to say yes.


Some of them look so subhuman that I am surprised we've ever made it this far.

#24 Eddie7

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:19

With the technology and stuff out these days, it's a definite yes.

#25 lexp

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:54

1) Intelligence correlates with DNA (http://articles.lati...igence-20110809)
2) High-intelligent people statistically have fewer children than less intelligent

RESULT: society becomes less intelligent.
Demographics is destiny.

Dark ages are coming not because of UFO invasion but because high intelligent people just don't have enough children.

#26 scaramonga

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:40

1) Intelligence correlates with DNA (http://articles.lati...igence-20110809)
2) High-intelligent people statistically have fewer children than less intelligent

RESULT: society becomes less intelligent.
Demographics is destiny.

Dark ages are coming not because of UFO invasion but because high intelligent people just don't have enough children.


Wake me up when its finished........no, in fact, let me sleep from this misery.

#27 +Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:51

More and more young parents are so happy and quick to place a tablet/smartphone in front of a toddler, that their brains cannot form the creativity and imaginative pieces that bring on future innovation. They're taught that they have an opinion on almost every single topic, when in reality, maybe they should just get out in the yard, and play fireman for pretend, for example, rather than playing fireman on mommy or daddy's tablet. You can't invite a young mind into that kind of world, because they get stuck into a grown up world that they don't belong in. I for one, thank god that the creators of say, G.I. Joe didn't have a kindle fire/droid/iPhone in front of them. If they had, they wouldn't have been able to come up with original ideas. That's what is wrong, people turn technology over to people that are too young to form an opinion, yet when those young people DO form an opinion, they turn to "Oh, well, now that little Billy has a thought, we better be politically correct"...type of stuff. That is not reality, and I shame all young parents that refuse to actually interact with their children, and instead hand them a tablet/tv/droid/iPhone and just let that deal with them. But that's just my opinion. Don't mean to put a burr under anyone's saddle, just saying.

#28 ncoday

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:07

All I have to say to this question is Obama got elected, twice! Enough said in my opinion..

#29 +Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:08

I'm not entirely sure humans are becoming less smart and more stupid, I'd go as far as to say, anti social, and with less public interaction, this could be considered a contributing factor in why people just blurt out the first thing that 'comes into their head'

I've noticed that since the internet, (by which I'm not a hater, I find it useful as much as the next person) grew, politeness very gradually started to decline, any by that I've seen people talking to one another in with disregard to basic tact, or any diplomacy for that matter.

#30 Shiranui

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:50

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


Not necessarily:





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